SCRAP - how to structure your email

Clare Lynch
A free video tutorial from Clare Lynch
Cambridge University writing tutor & professional copywriter
4.3 instructor rating • 10 courses • 68,734 students

Lecture description

Use this proven formula to outline your next email.

Learn more from the full course

Email Etiquette: Write More Effective Emails At Work

How to write emails that get results. How to write emails that build better working relationships.

58:31 of on-demand video • Updated May 2020

  • Write punchier, more powerful emails every time
  • Contribute to a positive workplace culture through email
  • Never write an embarrassing or ineffective email ever again
  • Save time and eliminate stress when writing your next email
  • Apply simple layout tricks to adapt your emails for readers on mobile
  • Avoid accusations of bullying, back-covering and discrimination in your emails
English [Auto] Writing an email I'm not sure where to start. Here's a tried and tested formula that will help you craft your message in under a minute. Scrap scrap stands the situation or where we're at right now complication. The problem that needs to be dealt with resolution your proposed way of solving the problem. Action the action you want your reader to take to fix the problem. And finally politeness. This is why you finish on a friendly note. Let's examine the scrap formula in action by taking a look at a letter that a fellow copywriter sent me recently. The writer started with the S of the secret formula by outlining the situation or the reason he got in touch in the first place. Highclere City Lit just got in touch with me about running their weekly copywriting course. Next time in his next paragraph he moved on to the C of the secret formula by outlining the complication of the problem he needed my help with. However it's not suitable for me since I am not a trainer and B I'm not in London. Next the right has moved on to the art of the scrap formula. The resolution or his proposal for how I might help him solve the problem. Since you meet both criteria I thought you might fancy it. Or if not perhaps you know someone who would. Then he moved on to the age of the scrub formula by outlining the action he wanted me to take. Please let me know if you or anyone you know would be interested in our Paschall email on Finally the writer completed the secret formula by ending on this polite note. If not sorry to bother you. No need to reply. Best wishes Tom now that email was a pretty straightforward application of the scrap formula. But scrap can be used for all sorts of business emails and it really comes into its own when you've got a tricky message to convey. In such situations it can be tempting to give into verbal diarrhea you find yourself writing an email that skirts around the issue because it's just so hard to say what you want to say and as a result your email loses all impact because your message isn't clear. Scrap helps you avoid that pitfall. It keeps your message short focused and to the point and at the same time it keeps things civilized and friendly. All of which massively increases the chance of your reader doing what you want them to do. As a result of your email. So next time you sit down to write an email don't forget scrap it.