Press Snooze on the Confusion

Dear 3040 and Beyond:

Help! I’m in big trouble at work. I just graduated from college and I’m leading a really big project. I want to impress my boss, but he says my emails confuse everyone and that I’m basically doing everything wrong. I was afraid to ask what that means. I have to send out lots of complex information to the people on the project every week, so I can’t help writing so much! Do you have any advice about how to write a great email?


New and Confused

Dear New and Confused,

Though hearing criticism from your boss may seem discouraging, I can assure you that your poor fortune can easily take a turn for the better. It is extremely important to make a respectable impression amongst your colleagues especially upon entering a new job as a millennial. To begin the task of creating a creditable reputation in your company I advise that you focus on improving your communication within your emails. Nowadays, it is difficult to effectively communicate your point while accommodating the relationships amid your co-workers yet this is of upmost importance. Do not be intimidated; with a few simple steps you can eliminate confusion and complexity from your workplace emails.

Straightforward Subject  

According to a post published by the Radicati Group, young adults receive and send dozens to hundreds of emails each and every day, creating a massive amount of chaos. When I wake up in the morning I tend to “take care” of my emails by deleting anything that does not stand out as important. This is a perfect illustration of why a proper subject is necessary. The last thing you would want is for your qualified email to go unnoticed, especially if there is vital information included in further details. A subject should include the main title of a project or event and your name. Keep this line short and clear so that even amongst a quick scan through various emails, it is easy to understand what the body of the email will entail.

Concise Body 

After your target receiver opens your email you must make sure the content is precise and to the point. Reading multiple emails can be tasking to say the least; you do not want your reader to get bored before you reveal your ultimate point. A study by Sendmail discovered that around 64% of people who receive an email found the information confusing. This was said to increase anger and confusion; both of which you may be experiencing after sending your emails. I remember you expressing that your coworkers were overwhelmed with the complex information you were sharing. In order to eliminate this overall confusion you must make sure the most important information is addressed early on. It is also imperative that the sentence structure is short and that long block paragraphs are avoided. In general, the clearer and quicker your information is produced, the less hostility you will face.

Tailor to Your Audience 

Possibly more important than the organization and structure is tailoring to your audience. Writing to your significant other, collogues, or your boss are all drastically different and each require proper tone and professionalism. I advise you to always look over your recipients before sending your final product to your entire company. You stated that you wish to impress your boss so in order to make a favorable impression you must take into consideration his or her core values, position, and competence.

Response Date 

Though concluding your email may be the least of your worries I encourage you to lend consideration to how you wrap up the body of your message. Since people are constantly unloading emails throughout the day, they often decide to reply or not based on the lull in their schedule. Affirming a date you desire to receive a response will once again resolve any confusion that may be conveyed.

Forbes specified that many “bad” emails float around our servers all too often. Hopefully some of my advice will aid you in avoiding falling victim to an elaborate email that provokes both confusion and anger. I wish you the best of luck as you continue your main project.


Megan Foster


7 thoughts on “Press Snooze on the Confusion

  1. Megan! I really liked the way you were to the point. Where some people tend to repeat advice, you gave great points and were concise, just like your advice. I agree that I tend to delete most emails and it is easy to forget how important a subject line is, when you are the one sending the email. Without a good subject, I tend to delete the email. Another really important thing you mentioned was setting a date to receive a response. Some times I tend to leave important emails unread to ensure I will go back to them and giving a date lets me know how long I can let it sit in my inbox before I need to take action. As with everything we have addressed in this class, tailoring your writing to your audience and making sure you are reaching the right people is crucial. Great post!

  2. Dear Megan,
    Good job on your post! I really liked that you began it with reasons why it is so important to make a respectable impression amongst your colleagues especially upon entering a new job as a millennial. As well as how you touched on how nowadays it is difficult to effectively communicate your point and also accommodating the relationship amid your co-workers. I also really liked the way that you set up your post, it makes it very easy to comprehend your main points and easily access them. Your main points of making sure you have a concise body, tailor to your audience and response day I thought were very informing.

  3. Megan!
    This is very well organized. Your bold headings for different segments is great, it really makes the post flow well and keeps your reader engaged. I follow your ideas from start to finish with no trouble. Your intro in particular is really solid. Before you dive into dissecting your sources, you make a point to empathize with your reader and that makes you seem very credible and personable. I think by making the “new and confused” part a block quote, it could help the visual flow of this post. I like the image you used, very apt for the prompt. Overall, nice work, I enjoyed reading this post.

  4. This was an excellent read, Megan! You clearly state the problem in your introduction and offer some viable solutions early on. I thought that the point you brought up about “organizing the chaos” was a very good issue to point out. I know for most millennials, probably 80% of the emails we get are junk or have no real importance to our careers. It is important to be able to sift through the garbage and keep your inbox organized, otherwise an important message may be missed and too much accumulated email can be discouraging to go through. The solutions you offered are very feasible.

  5. Hey Megan! First off I loved your title. Not only is it humorous but it is also engaging. It catches you readers attention and gives your post an advantage over others in the battle to be read. Your overall format is very well done and clear. The use of bolded words and subtitles makes it very easy for the reader to organize and understand. I especially liked your advice on a straight forward subject. Get right to the point, this advice is perfect for the context. Overall great job! I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future.

  6. Your article has some great tips in it! I like that you did some background research before sharing your personal tips. I like that you focused on how you wrap up the body of your message. Having a date that you expect a response is a really smart idea in that you imply that you expect to hear back from them. As always I like that your blog post reflects what you preach. You have a good wrap up, you tailor the email to your audience and you remind your reader to be concise and straightforward, New and confused would definitely be taken in the right direction with your advice!

  7. Hi Megan,

    First off, I really like your title and think it does a great job of drawing readers in. The visual layout of your post was also very appealing and effective. At no point did I feel overwhelmed or unsure of what I was reading. I believe that the headings you used were a big part of this success. Further, I thought your advice was very good and flowed together well. I could also tell that you were practicing your own advice in the post, even though it was not an email. I felt that this gave you credibility and proved that your advice was sound. Keep up the good work!

    Nate Roadman

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