How to Send an E-Mail

By Teresa R. Simpson

Email, the abbreviated term for "electronic mail," has become a standard mode of communication for many all over the world. People use email to stay in touch with friends and family, share photos, send or obtain information, communicate with co-workers and a host of other reasons. In this day and age, email is almost as essential as the telephone. If you have never sent an email, it may seem daunting at first, but the steps below will walk you through it.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with Internet access
  • Email account

Step 1

Choose an email provider. If you have Internet access at home, your Internet Service Provider (such as AOL, Comcast, etc.) will provide you with an email account. Similarly, you may have been given an email account by your school or employer. If not, there are plenty of free email providers such as Yahoo!, Hotmail, Gmail and more. See the Resources section at the bottom of the page to find a free email provider.

Step 2

Set up an account. To set up an account with an email provider, you will probably have to enter your name, address, telephone number, age or date of birth and possibly additional personal information.

Step 3

Choose a username and password. As part of the setup process, you will be asked to choose a username and password. Your username will become part of your email address. So if your email provider is and you choose "imastud" as your username, your new email address will be

Step 4

Sign in to your account. Once your email account is set up, go to your email provider's main page. You will be asked to sign in by entering your username and password.

Step 5

Open a new email window. On your main email page, there will be a place to click to open up a new email. Depending upon your email provider, this place can be labeled in one of many ways, including "New," "Compose," "Write Mail" or "New Email."

Step 6

Enter the recipient's email address. The first field in your blank email window should be the "To" field. Type the recipient's entire email address. If you want the email to go to multiple recipients, separate each address with a comma.

Step 7

Enter a subject (optional). The next blank box should be the subject field. This is where you can type a word or a phrase to give the recipient an idea of what your email is about. If you do not enter a subject, the email will arrive with "No Subject" or simply nothing at all in the subject field.

Step 8

Write the email. Beneath the subject field is a large blank box. This is where you type the body of the email.

Step 9

Click "Send." When you have finished the email and have spell-checked or proofread it as you see fit, just click the "Send" button and off it will go. Depending upon your provider and the recipient's provider, the email may arrive instantaneously or it may take a few minutes.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you want to send pictures or documents along with an email, look for a button labeled "attachments."
  • Check out the toolbar features on your email window. These may allow you to change the font, color and style of your text. Spell-check may also be included.
  • Be careful when choosing a username, as it can say a lot about you. You probably wouldn't want to appear on your resume.
  • Be cautious of fly-by-night email providers.

References & Resources