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Chapter 25. You've Got Mail! > Bits and Bytes - Pg. 289

You've Got Mail! 3. 4. 289 5. Organize the points into categories and put a heading on each.Create an outline to order your ideas in a logical way. Remember: Your aim is to make your e-mail clear and easy to read. Draft the e-mail.Still working offline, write one or more rough drafts. Resist the temptation to toss off a quick note. Once you push that "send" button, you've lost the chance to revise. As with all types of writing, your audience's expectations determine your tone and diction. For example, when using e-mail or real-time communication ("instant messages"), you may be tempted to write informally, overlooking some of the accepted conventions of grammar, usage, spelling, and punctuation. Resist the temptation. If I had a dime for every e-mail that contained a crucial typo, I'd be sitting on a tropical isle right now, enjoying one of those drinks that comes with a little umbrella. Write a subject line.The subject line is a brief description of the message. An effective subject line grabs your reader's attention and summarizes the content of the e-mail. When you're in a hurry, it's tempting to type something quick like "re" in the box. Instead, take the time to provide a brief description of the contents of your message or the main point you wish to convey. Write Angles If you respond to an e-mail message, delete the first message's header (all the routing information) so your correspondent doesn't have to scroll through it.