Electronic Mail

electronic mail or e-mail, the electronic transmission of messages, letters, and documents. In its broadest sense electronic mail includes point-to-point services such as telegraph and facsimile (fax) systems. It is commonly thought of, however, in terms of computer-based message systems where the electronic text file that is received can be edited, replied to, excerpted, or even pasted into another electronic document that can be used or manipulated by a word processor, desktop publishing system, or other computer program. Users of such systems, called store-and-forward or mailbox systems, can broadcast messages to multiple recipients, read and discard messages, file and retrieve messages, or forward messages to other users. Extensions to e-mail allow the user to add graphics and sound to messages, and files can be attached to e-mails. Computer-based messaging can take place on a single computer, a computer network, or across gateways linking different computer networks (as through the Internet). With the increasing use of e-mail, unsolicited commercial e-mail, known as spam, has become a significant problem. E-mail, especially through attachments, has also become a means for disseminating computer viruses and other malicious programs.

See D. Angell and B. Heslop, The Elements of E-Mail Style: Communicate Effectively Via Electronic Mail (1994); N. A. Cox, ed., Handbook of Electronic Messaging (1998); J. Tunstall, Better, Faster Email: Getting the Most Out of Email (1999).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

E-Mail: A Write It Well Guide : How to Write and Manage E-Mail in the Workplace
Janis Fisher Chan.
Write It Well, 2008 (2nd edition)
The E-Policy Handbook: Rules and Best Practices to Safely Manage Your Company's E-Mail, Blogs, Social Networking, and Other Electronic Communication Tools
Nancy Flynn.
American Management Association, 2009 (2nd edition)
E-Mail and Ethics: Style and Ethical Relations in Computer-Mediated Communication
Emma Rooksby.
Routledge, 2002
The Development of E-Mail Literacy: From Writing to Peers to Writing to Authority Figures
Chen, Chi-Fen Emily.
Language, Learning & Technology, Vol. 10, No. 2, May 2006
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
An Exploratory Study of the Impact of Formatting on Email Effectiveness and Recall
Marshall, Bryan; Cardon, Peter; Goings, Douglas A.; Humphries, Sally; Jones, Neil.
Communications of the IIMA, Vol. 9, No. 4, December 2009
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
The Warrantless Interception of E-Mail: Fourth Amendment Search or Free Rein for the Police?
Ray, Ryan A.
Rutgers Computer & Technology Law Journal, Vol. 36, No. 2, Summer 2010
Developing an Effective Company Policy for Employee Internet and Email Use
Arnesen, David W.; Weis, William L.
Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict, Vol. 11, No. 2, July 2007
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Did You Get My E-Mail? an Exploratory Look at Intercultural Business Communication by E-Mail
Davis, Anne S.; Leas, Penny A.; Dobelman, John A.
Multinational Business Review, Vol. 17, No. 1, Winter 2009
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Gender Differences in Perceived Gratifications Obtained through Electronic Mail
Harper, Vernon B.; Harper, Erika J.
Quarterly Review of Distance Education, Vol. 11, No. 1, Spring 2010
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Applying Human Interaction Management Concepts to E-Mailing: A Visualized Conceptual Model
Kristjansson, Baldur; Mikalef, Patrick; Versendaal, Johan; Ravesteyn, Pascal.
Communications of the IIMA, Vol. 9, No. 2, April 2009
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
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