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7 Email example: To Professor from Student HEY HOW R U THIS IS XXXXXX AND MY PT TOLD ME THAT I WS DOIN BAD IN CLASS AND I DIDNT REALIZE IT UNTIL TODAY LIKE 4REAL AND SHE SAID U SAID U WAS WILLING TO HELP ME DO MY HOMEWORKS ASSIGNMENTS. OR WHAT EVER I GOT TO DO IN THIS CLASS TO GET A (C) OR BETTER IN THIS CLASS. IF I COULD DO EXTRA WORK WHICH I PROBLEY CNT BUT I HAVE TO PASS THIS CLASS SOWE NEED TO MEET ASAP IM FREE 2MORROW AFTER 330. AND IF I DO GOOD ON THE NEXT TWO TEST I SHOULD BE GOOD AND GET 20/20 ON MY ASSIGMENTS JUST PLZ LET ME KNW CAUSE WE ONLY HAVE 4 WEKS AND I REFUSS TO FAIL THIS CLASS SO GOT TO GET TO WRK AND I REFUSS TO GET A C- OR C+ I NEED A C OR BETTER SO IM ABOUT TO MAKE THIS THIS BEST 4WEEKS OF MY LIFE TO PASS THIS CLASS WITH A C OR BETTER THANKS JUST LET ME KNW WHAT I CAN DO IM FREE 2MORROWAFTER 330 SO WHENEVER WE CAN MEET THANKS 52    Genres Questions about the example: 1. What do you think the professor who received this email concluded about the student who wrote it? 2. Nobody has told you, “These are the rules of email.” Yet what implicit rules does this email violate? 3. If you were a writing teacher working with this student, would you despair? (Hint: there’s VOICE in this email, and that’s the single most important ingredient in great writing.) Questions about Email Email is a medium through which almost anything can be transmitted, but it also shares many properties with genres: it has its own conventions that writers must be aware of and generally adhere to. Our sample email is an actual message sent to a professor by a student. You may have thought that anything goes in email, but how many writing conventions did our sample ignore? Did it communicate successfully? If you had been the recipient of the email, what would you have thought of the sender? 1. What are its purposes? Email is used for communicating any message that doesn’t require the formality of a hard-copy letter or the instantaneousness of a phone call. Because email is fast, permanent, and easy to file and to search, many people use it almost exclusively for their business correspondence. But you should never email something you’re not willing to let the world see. Once released on the Internet, your words take on a life of their own. Writing an email to a friend may feel as casual as a dorm-room conversation, yet the email may be permanent and find its way to the wrong people. So don’t say things in an email that you can’t stand behind. As compared to other forms of writing, email is particularly susceptible to being sent in haste, before the writer has fully thought through all the implications and eliminated as much potential misreading and confusion as possible. Many people create an email rule for themselves: Don’t SEND until morning. 2. Who are its audiences? Anyone who can read. Because email can be so easily forwarded and copied, you always need to be thinking, “Whose hands might this get into?” 3. What’s the typical content? Email is more formal, personal, and individual than social media. Some use it to keep in touch, others just for business or to do research. There’s no “typical” content. Email    53 4. How long is it? There are no limits, though someone preparing a multi-page document would be smart to write it with a word processor and send it as an attachment rather than as an email. 5. How is it arranged on the page? Email text goes through several conversions before it appears on the receiver’s monitor, and all formatting, including paragraph breaks, can be lost without the sender’s knowledge. So there’s not much point in trying to make email text look good, though I double-return between email paragraphs in hopes that a paragraph break will be retained. 6. What pronouns are used? “I,” usually, though some dispense even with that. 7. What’s the tone? Anything’s possible. Hostile emailing has helped create a new term— “flaming.” No matter how angry you are, you don’t want to get a reputation as...


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MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
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