Writing Class Week 13

This is week 13 of the semester. We are near the end of the session so it’s time to complete a few tasks to help students learn English writing skills.

Today’s Notes

  1. Students hand in homework – rewrite business memo
  2. Tuesday, email writing lesson
  3. Friday, quiz #2
  4. Quick review of the things we’ve learned and done since the mid term exam
  5. Answers for textbook chapter 6-8.
  6. Textbook vocabulary for quiz #2.

Email Writing Lesson

  1. some basic research
  2. research about email messages from Korean hotels
  3. professional email writing structure

1. Basic Email Writing Research

This slideshow provides basic data about email messages.

2. Hotel Email Research

  1. Here is an email which I sent to many hotels in Korea. Some of the answers I received are here.

Dear Sir/Madame,

I’d like to get some information about rooms and availability at your hotel.

I have two adults and one teenager traveling to Seoul. They need a room for two nights
on May 26 and May 27.

1. Do you have rooms available on those nights?

  1. 2. What are the rates and taxes?
  2. 3. Do you have wheelchair access?

4. What is the best way to travel to your hotel from the airport?

Many thanks for your help and information.



Writing an effective email in English is not difficult. But my students need to learn a few basic writing skills.  This lesson will help them in the future, especially when they start looking for a job and need to write emails in English.


Just about every email – in the professional world – is about two things:

  1. Giving information
  2. Asking for something (a request)

Email is fast, which is good. But you have to write for people who read quickly as well. That means:

  1. be clear (few mistakes)
  2. be brief (not too wordy, no extra information).

In business, the tone of an email is very important. Tone means the feeling people get when they read your message. Emails should be polite. But unlike a business letter, an email does not usually have to be super polite. Also the style (or formatting) of the email message is important.

Email Structure

Here is a worksheet that outlines the basic structure of an email.

10 Rules for Writing Business E-Mails

  1. Remember PAS. Purpose, action, salutation. The beginning should say the purpose; why you are writing. Next, the email should have clear action: are you giving information or asking for something? Finally, close the email with a polite way to say goodbye.
  2. Be informal, but not too friendly. ‘Hello Rob’, or ‘Hi  Mr. Kim’ are okay. Sometimes, people write emails that begin with a name, like “Steve”. Never use emoticons.
  3. Be concise. Business e-mails are short. Usually, 2 paragraphs are enough – few people read long emails.
  4. Use the subject line well. Tell readers why they should open your email.
  5. Remember grammar, word choice, punctuation and spelling.
  6. People scan emails. If it is interesting, they might read it carefully. Many people receive 25 to 100 emails a day. They don’t have time to read every email. Short sentences and short paragraphs are good.
  7. Reference. If your email is a reply, say that. Something like this: “In your last email you asked …..” .
  8. If your message has an attachment, add one sentence to say that.
  9. Use white space. Usually, 2 lines per paragraph. This makes the message easy to scan and read.
  10. Write with active sentences. Passive sentences use more words and take longer to read.

Writing Exercise

You task is to write an email message that sends an answer to a question with information.

Here is the email message with a question. You job is to answer the question by

  1. comparing the two things
  2. write a properly formatted email message


Since the mid term exam:

  1. analyze numbers, identify patterns of change, describe those changes in words
  2. learned to write with the basic memo format
  3. learn the concepts of close ad faraway words
  4. learned to write about progression (i.e. change)
  5. read and learned vocabulary from the textbook (chapter 5, 6 and 7 since the mid term exam)

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