A corpus study of email writing in a business setting and its practical application in teaching English as a second language

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Lancaster, Naomi K.
Riddle, Elizabeth M.
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Thesis (M.A.)
Department of English
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This study examines authentic emails of native speakers of English to see how emails are actually written. A corpus of emails written by employees of the Enron Corporation was examined to determine common patterns of openings, body, and closings in relation to gender and authority as variables. In addition a small survey of eleven English as a Second Language teachers in an Intensive English Institute was carried out to learn how other ESL teachers might approach the topic of email writing, if in fact they do. This information was used to create lesson plans for teaching non-native speakers of English how to write emails in a way that is reflective of how emails are actually written. The information goes beyond an etiquette book because it is drawn from actual email writing practices.