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GEN BUS 360: Workplace Writing and Communication (Spring 2022)

Subject Lines

Always use a detailed and specific subject that expresses the main point(s) of the email—this means you often have to write it last. Try to craft subject lines that will prepare readers for messages and help them find messages and access key information later.

Situation

Vague Examples

Detailed, Useful Examples

Asking for something

Request

Request for Fourth Quarter Sales Figures

Saying thank you

Thanks

Thank You for Covering the Client Demo Last Week!

Scheduling a meeting

Meeting

All Staff Meeting Friday, May 5— Blue Conference Room

Asking a question

Question

Question about Planning the 2019 Convention: Vendor Details

Proposing a project

Proposal

ABC Corp.’s 2020 Green Initiative Project Proposal

Saying No

Sorry

Response to Catering Request for Saturday, June 10

Subject Lines for Negative Messages: No one will be eager to open a message with the subject “Rejecting Your Proposal.” Be detailed and accurate about the subject of your message without delivering the negative news in the subject line.

Subject Lines for Replies: If you are replying to an email chain, but starting a new topic, change the subject line and delete irrelevant messages.

Content Credit

Content on this page was created by the Business Communication team at the Wisconsin School of Business.