Successful Writing :

Sending Electronic Communications

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Sending a message faster does not necessarily mean communicating better - but it should!

The future depends on INTERNET. Virtually 100 percent of U.S. college students use the Internet. Nine out of ten use email daily. And Internet use among college seniors averages eleven hours a week. As a college student, you are probably already doing most of your written communication electronically, not just doing your writing on a word processor, but also sending that writing off over the Internet. If you aren't, you probably will be soon.

Obviously, the online community is enormous and getting bigger. As with any new medium of communication, there are some things about communicating electronically that need to be done a little differently. And as with any large community, the online community needs a few codes of behavior in order for everyone to get along. This page will help you become more aware of some of the important characteristics of online writing - the creation of documents that are meant to be read online (whether in the form of Web page content, reports or email) - and it will fill you in on a few tricks of the trade for handling those documents as well. The foundation for much of this chapter relies on your understanding how readers looking at material on a screen behave in different ways from readers looking at material that is printed out. The section on email do's and don'ts also describes how to handle email and attach¬ments and gives specific regard to privacy issues, harassment and other kinds of unwanted email and viruses.

  • Writing for Online Readers

  • Emails Dos and Don’ts

  • Handling Casual Correspondence

  • Handling Professional and Academic Correspondence

  • Attachments

  • For Practices :

  • Using the guidelines explained in this chapter, adapt the text of a report you have already written - either for your composition class or for some other class for online reading. You may also want to consult Chapter 11 on document design. Make the adaptations you think are appropriate (if you wish, you can easily simulate the look of an HTML document with your word processor) and submit both versions to your instructor. Along with those two versions, submit a short report explaining the thinking behind the changes you have made.

  • Write an email letter of transmittal for a report you have already written and send the letter and the report (as an attachment) to your instructor.

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