Chapter 6: Electronic Written Communication

Jordan Smith

Chapter Learning Objectives

  • Identify characteristics of effective professional emails.
  • Plan, write, revise, and edit short documents and messages that are organized, complete, and tailored to specific audiences.
  • Select and use common, basic information technology tools to support communication.
  • Discuss emerging netiquette standards in social media used for professional purposes.
  • Use rapid electronic communication channels such as texting and instant messaging in a professional manner.

We begin our applied-writing unit with electronic channels because they are by far the most popular both for personal and business use. The fact that most students in college have grown up with these channels and now have years of experience using even the newest of them gives them the advantage of familiarity. With that comfort, however, may also come years of bad habits deeply rooted in the development of those skills for personal distraction and social ends. This chapter will attempt to provide those students a reset button to help professionalize those communication skills. Email deserves a close look because it is the most widespread and established of the electronic forms. Since so much of our lives are wrapped up in electronic interaction, reviewing the netiquette principles established at the outset of the electronic communications revolution can actually help us move forward as we look at the newest and fastest communication channels, texting and instant messaging.


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