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Electronic Mail: The Basics

Electronic mails have become the most widely used medium of communication. It is more commonly use to get in touch with one’s family and friends or communicate business matters with colleagues. Aside from being a very fast and convenient tool of sending/receiving messages, emails are also free of charge. The only thing you need to worry about is your internet charges.

Once you’ve created a free account on Yahoo!, Gmail, or Hotmail, you can already start sending and receiving emails. Here are the basic parts of a standard email.

Parts of an Email

Recipient’s address – first thing you need to enter when composing a message. It follows the format: user@host (e.g. If you will send a single message to multiple addresses, separate them with a comma.

CC (carbon copy) and BCC (blind carbon copy) – in these fields, enter the addresses to which you want to send a copy of the email to. Addresses in CC will be able to see and correspond with the other recipients of the message, while those in BCC will not.

Date and Time when the message was sent are automatically added within the message.

Subject – a brief description or a title of the message

Body – the content of your message

Signature – an optional feature of an email. Once turned on, it will automatically appear at the end of your message. To set this, go to your mail Options, click Signature, type your name or whatever you want to use as your signature, then hit Save.

Attachment – this is a file that goes with your message. To add an attachment, click Attach File or Add File, Browse through your system, and click open.

Adding a Link

Sending an email with a link to a web page is very easy. Just go to the page you want to share. Copy the URL (from the address bar) and paste it on your message’s body. If you want to link a word/phrase in your email to another site, just highlight the word/s, click on the chain icon in your email formatting options, then copy the URL into the empty field in the pop up box, then click OK.

Adding a Video

Compress your video file first, since email providers set limits to the size of an email (usually around 5 mb). Then attach the compressed file to your message, and click send.

Formatting Your Text

When composing a message, you can change the font size, style, effect, and color of your text in the manner you want. After typing your message, you can select the parts you want to work on and format them using the formatting tools, which are usually found on your text field.


Balle, Jade. “How to Add a Video to an Email.” Web. Retrieved on 25 September 2011 from

“Composing a New Email Message.” Earthlink. Web. Retrieved 25 September 2011 from

Leigh, Jessica. “Parts of Electronic Mail.” Web. Retrieved on 25 September 2011 from

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