Structuring your email

Depending on the message to be delivered, there are various ways of structuring an email. The following three-part format – which exists in various versions – is very useful:


The RAP model

R – state your reason for writing
A – state what action is needed
P – add a polite closing sentence

RAP model example

RAP modelExamples
Opening salutationDear Dr Sanchez, / Dear Anna Sanchez,
/ Dear Anna, / etc.
Reason for writingI am writing in response to your questions
regarding the XXX conference in May.
Attached please find the preliminary
conference programme and a list of
participants. All conference rooms are
equipped with computers for powerpoint
Action needed

Please let us know if you require any further
audio-visual equipment or if you have any

Polite closing sentenceWe look forward to seeing you in Lund.
Closing salutationYours sincerely, / Best regards, / etc.
+ writer's name


Note that the word 'please' is very common in polite English.

English dictionaries provide information about how to phrase sentences with the words 'please' and 'thank you'. See, for instance,

Please and thank you in Cambridge Dictionary

See the LU staff pages for further recommendations on how to manage emails at Lund University. 

LU Tips and advice on email management for internal and external emails

Page Manager: aweluluse | 2021-12-02