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Email styles: An interesting Hacker News discussion

This Hacker News discussion provides lots of in-the-trenches wisdom about how to write more-effective emails.  (Hacker News is probably the premier discussion site for techies.)

Here are some of the more-interesting takeaways, interspersed with some of my own practices:

1. BLUF: Bottom Line Up Front (from the military) — this might include saying in the first paragraph, e.g., “JANE, please see the request in #5 below.”

2. Short paragraphs.

3. Numbered paragraphs for longer emails, so as to signal changes of topic.

But keep the paragraphs short — use unnumbered continuation paragraphs if necessary.

4. REQUEST: For key paragraphs, use the first word in all-caps as a signal, e.g., RECOMMENDATION; REQUEST (as in this paragraph).

5. All-caps the names of people who should pay particular attention, e.g., JANE in #1 above.  (Or, use @Jane.)

6. Be careful about wording, so as not to appear curt or harsh.

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