Anmol had a question for his accounting teacher, so he decided to email her. He didn’t know what to put for the email subject, so he left it blank. He was worried about not getting the answer to his question in time to complete his homework, so he just wrote the email quickly and didn’t do a lot of proofreading. He also put a lot of exclamation marks so the teacher would take him seriously. Anmol was surprised when the teacher told him that the email was rude.
Let’s run this situation through the CMAPP model.
The university is a new context. It has spoken and unspoken rules. Because Anmol wasn’t aware of the context of the university, it was hard to make a good communication choice. Looking back, he realized that a university context is perhaps more formal than other types of environments he’d communicated in, so perhaps his email didn’t have an appropriate tone.
Audience: Anmol realized that his teacher was also a bit on the formal side. She wore a business suit to class each day, unlike some of his other instructors. When he re-read his email, he realized that multiple question marks looked a bit too informal. Anmol also realized that his teacher probably received a lot of student emails and was busy, so she didn’t want to have to re-read an email. Because he hadn’t done any proofreading, his email was hard to read.
Purpose: Anmol’s purpose was to receive a quick response to his question. He realized that he’d simply written “I don’t understand this week’s homework. What should I do?” This is a broad question, so it would be hard for his teacher to help him. Because he didn’t include a subject in his email, it was also hard for his teacher to know what the email was about.
Message/ Product: To help achieve his purpose, Anmol decided to review the instructions his teacher had given, then narrow his question down. He then edited his email to make sure it was easy to read and correctly punctuated. He made sure that his tone was polite. He also added a clear subject line, which included his class and section number. He decided that an email was the correct product to create, since his teacher didn’t give any other contact information.