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Writing Guide

Professional & Academic e-Communications


Emailing is often the most used communication tool in an organization and is now more popular that the telephone for business communication.  It's important to be able to write effective emails.

Professional email tips:

  • Be concise
  • Use the subject line
  • Consider the appropriateness of the content
  • Use a formal/academic tone
  • No emoticons
  • Assume everyone will see the email
  • Use spell check
  • Don't CC/reply all unless needed
  • Set up your signature

For more email etiquette, click here

Be sure to take a look at the Communication Guide for additional helpful resources.

Here is an example of a properly constructed email:


Chat (also known as instant messaging)

When you are chatting, you are writing short messages and sending them to someone else in real time.  An email, in comparison, contains full sentences, is in paragraph form, and is not in real time.  Chat messages are short and conversational (e.g. Emma writes something in the chat box and then Raphael responds).

Your organization may employ a chat feature when using webinar platforms.  During an online meeting, participants can type short comments, thoughts, questions, etc. into the chat box and others can respond and add to the conversation.

Tips for chat:

  • Spelling still counts
  • Remember that everyone can see what you are typing and you can't erase it
  • Professionalism is still important--communication can be easily misconstrued

For more chat guidelines, click here.

Web camera communication

You may find yourself part of a conference or meeting in a webinar setting. You may be able to communicate through voice audio, a chat box, and your image may be captured on a webcam.  If this is the case, be aware that people can see what you are doing the entire time.  They can also see your facial expressions and gestures.  Maintain your professionalism throughout.

For web conferencing etiquette tips, click here.

Phone conferencing

Having a meeting over the phone sounds simple but there may be some challenges.

Phone conferencing guidelines: 

  • Make sure you are in an area without background noise.  You want to be heard clearly, without distraction.
  • If a speaker phone is being used, make note of when you are muted and when you are not.
  • Try to avoid talking at the same time as someone else.  Sometimes this requires a bit more time before responding.
  • Another tip is to be prepared.  Others may not be there to see your notes, but they can hear if you sound unprepared.

For more tips, click here

Resources for Professional & Academic eCommunications