Opinions on emailing

Emailing/ Strong and weak opinions

How do you feel about how email is used in your company, in your industry, and in modern life generally?  

Give your opinions on emailing and see if others in your group agree. Possible topics:

  • Abbreviations (acronyms etc) and emoticons (= emoji)
  • Addressing more than one person/ Group emails/ Memos (= Memorandums)
  • Advantages and disadvantages of emails
  • Apologising/ Dealing with complaints
  • Archiving/ Deleting emails/ Keeping emails/ Storing emails
  • Asking for information/ Asking for permission/ Requests
  • Attachments
  • Being friendly/ Social language
  • Closing greetings
  • Closing lines
  • Commands/ Demands/ Instructions/ Orders
  • Copying people in (= CCing people)/ Forwarding emails
  • Cultural differences/ English emails v business emails in your country
  • Email signatures
  • Emailing people for the first time v emailing people who you often contact
  • Emailing v telephoning v online chat v texts (= SMS)
  • Formality/ Being polite/ Being diplomatic
  • Formatting (bold, underlining, red, writing words all in capitals, etc)
  • Giving bad news
  • Giving information
  • Good and bad emails
  • How emailing is changing/ has changed
  • Internal emails v external emails
  • Junk mail (= Spam)
  • Dealing with many emails/ Time management
  • Language mistakes/ Editing
  • Length of emails/ Short emails
  • Making arrangements/ Fixing meetings
  • Making emails easy to understand
  • Opening greetings
  • Opening lines
  • Pasting things into emails
  • Personal email use at work
  • Planning (paragraphing etc)
  • Replying
  • Security
  • Signing off
  • Subject lines
  • Talking about deadlines
  • Translation
  • Using names/ Forms of names
  • Workload/ Work-life balance/O Accessing email outside work

————————————————-

Choose one of the statements below that you think is true and read it out. What do the other people in your group think?

  • I don’t really believe that “How are you?” is suitable for business emails.
  • I don’t really think that we should use emoticons in work emails.
  • I really don’t believe that emails are that different from country to country.
  • I really think you should have a closing line in every email, even short ones.
  • I strongly believe you should avoid writing words in all capital letters.
  • I strongly recommend against emails more than 10 sentences long.
  • I strongly recommend that you use clear paragraphs (one topic per paragraph)
  • I would always give reasons when dealing with complaints and apologising.
  • I wouldn’t usually recommend opening any attachments on work computers.
  • In my honest opinion, emails have made working life much worse.
  • In my humble opinion, emails are the thing which have most improved working life.
  • It is a terrible idea to put a closing greeting in your email signature.
  • It is always a good idea to CC your boss into your emails.
  • It is sometimes worth sending a quick acknowledgment, saying that you will deal with it later, if you don’t have time to reply to an email straightaway.
  • It might be a good idea to avoid general subject lines like “The next meeting”.
  • It’s a great idea to plan the paragraphs on your email before you start writing.
  • It’s definitely not worth getting access to your work email on your smartphone.
  • It’s definitely worth giving an exact deadline rather than just saying as soon as possible.
  • It’s not really worth using the spellcheck of your email provider.
  • It’s probably not a good idea to sign off with just your family name.
  • It’s usually a good idea to write and spell check your emails in Word and then paste them into your email later
  • I’d definitely paste all documents into the body of the email as well as attaching them.
  • I’d probably recommend copying in as few people as possible.
  • I’d probably use simple English in emails (because most people who receive them are not native speakers)
  • I’m not sure but I think you need every name when addressing emails to more than one person.
  • There is absolutely no point wasting time thinking of interesting subject lines that will get people’s attention.
  • There isn’t much point checking your junk mail folder nowadays.
  • You can use online messaging instead of email.
  • You certainly shouldn’t use abbreviations in emails
  • You could apologise for your email being short.
  • You definitely shouldn’t use “Please + verb” for requests.
  • You mustn’t forward joke emails.
  • You really shouldn’t use automatic translation.
  • You should definitely be careful with spelling and punctuation even in short, informal emails
  • You should probably keep your email as short as you can.
  • You should try not to send personal emails from work.

Are there any statements above which you would make stronger or weaker?

—————————————–

Without looking above for now, try to make the phrases below both stronger and weaker by adding or changing words:

I don’t believe

 

I don’t recommend

 

I recommend

 

I think

 

In my opinion

 

It’s a bad idea to

 

It’s a good idea to…

 

It’s not worth

 

It’s worth

 

I’d/ I would

 

There’s no point

 

You should

 

You shouldn’t

 

Check your answers above.

 

Use similar language to change statements above which you don’t (fully) agree with. 

Use similar language to agree on and write down more statements about the topics at the beginning of this lesson, then see if another group agrees with your statements.  

Hold a meeting to decide on the email policy for your company. 

How can you start and end meetings?

———————————-

 Suggested answers

  • I don’t believe – I really don’t believe – I don’t really believe
  • I don’t recommend – I strongly recommend against – I wouldn’t usually recommend
  • I recommend – I strongly recommend/ I always recommend – I’d probably recommend
  • I think – I really think – I’m not sure but I think
  • In my opinion – In my honest opinion – In my humble opinion
  • It’s a bad idea to – It is a terrible idea to – It’s probably not a good idea to
  • It’s a good idea to… – It’s a great idea to…/ It is always a good idea to – It’s usually a good idea to/ It might be a good idea to
  • It’s not worth – It’s definitely not worth – It’s not really worth…
  • It’s worth – It’s definitely worth – It is sometimes worth
  • I’d/ I would – I would always/ I’d definitely – I’d probably
  • There’s no point – There is absolutely no point… – There isn’t much point
  • You should – You should definitely – You should probably/ You can/ You could
  • You shouldn’t – You mustn’t/ You really shouldn’t/ You certainly shouldn’t – You probably shouldn’t/ You should try not to

 

——————————————

 

Suggested answers

  • I don’t believe – I really don’t believe/ I strongly believe – I don’t really believe
  • I don’t recommend – I strongly recommend against – I wouldn’t usually recommend
  • I recommend – I strongly recommend/ I always recommend – I’d probably recommend
  • I think – I really think – I’m not sure but I think
  • In my opinion – In my honest opinion – In my humble opinion, emails are the thing which have most improved working life.
  • It’s a bad idea to – It is a terrible idea to – It probably not a good idea to
  • It’s a good idea to… – It’s a great idea to…/ It is always a good idea to – It’s usually a good idea to/ It might be a good idea to
  • It’s not worth – It’s definitely not worth – It’s not really worth…
  • It’s worth – It’s definitely worth – It is sometimes worth
  • I’d/ I would – I would always/ I’d definitely – I’d probably
  • There’s no point – There is absolutely no point… – There isn’t much point
  • You should – You should definitely – You should probably/ You should try not to/ You can/ You could
  • You shouldn’t – You mustn’t/ You really shouldn’t/ You certainly shouldn’t – You probably shouldn’t

 —————————–

PDF version for easy saving and printing: emailing opinions

One Response to Opinions on emailing

  1. Magali says:

    Thank you very much for this worksheet! It’s the perfect warm-up to a lesson about emailing.

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