Email (electronic mail) is the exchange of computer-stored messages by telecommunication. Email messages are usually encoded in American Standard Code for Information Interchange ( ASCII) text.Email is a service which allows us to send the message in electronic mode over the internet. It offers an efficient, inexpensive and real time means of distributing information among people. Each user of email is assigned a unique name for his email account.

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This name is known as E-mail address.


Email Account and Email Address Basics

An email account consists of several parts

  • A Username and password
  • An Email Address
  • A Mailbox

An email account is a username/password combination that gives you access to a mailbox.The mailbox is the location where email is stored and is usually spit into folders. You can liken a mailbox to a filing cabinet.The mailbox will always be located on an email server belonging to your email provider e.g. Yahoo.The email address is a label attached to the mailbox and is used for delivering mail to the mailbox.

The email address serves the same purpose as your house address or your phone number.Usually there is one email address per email account and one email address for each mailbox.However you can associate a mailbox with multiple email addresses. These extra addresses are usually known as aliases.Additionally  you can link email addresses together using a technique called email forwarding.

Email Address Structure

Here is an example email address.

An email address consists of two distinct parts separated by a @.


Sending and Receiving Emails

To send an email you will first need to create or compose an email message.

If you click on the compose message link ( new message link) a new message form opens.

The form has a number of fields which you need to understand – image below:

Although the new email message form will be different depending on the  email client you are using, the common fields are the same.

Email Address fields

These appear normally right at the top of the message form

FROM– Not normally visible unless you have multiple email accounts and addresses configured. Defaults to your default email address.

TO -You need to enter the email address of the recipient in the to field. You can enter multiple email addresses usually using a comma to separate them.

You can also use the contacts list or address book to add addresses and most email clients will automatically suggest email addresses and names as you type.

Note: Names only appear if they are in your address book(contacts list).

CC- CC stands for carbon copy : Anyone listed here will get a copy of the message and anyone who receives the message will know who else the message was sent to. Not normally visible

BCC- Blind carbon copy: Anyone listed here will get a copy of the message but anyone who receives the message will not know that the person(s) on the Bcc line were sent the message.-Not normally visible

It is recommended that you always use the bcc field when sending messages to confidential mailing lists.

Subject Field –This should contain a brief summary of the content and should always be used, but is not mandatory.

If you leave this field blank then some email systems may reject the message as spam.

Content Field- This contains the main email message and if you are using HTML email (default) it can contain text and images.

You can leave this field blank.

Adding Attachments

Attachments are files like documents and pictures that you can include with your email.

To add an attachment look for the paper clip icon.

All email providers limit the size of attachments with the standard being around 25MBytes.

Sending The Email

When you click send the email is normally sent immediately and cannot be cancelled or retrieved.

A copy of the email is placed in the sent items folder.

Receiving and Reading Emails

Your mailbox is divided into a number of folders and incoming email is normally placed in your inbox.

Most email clients display a list of emails showing the sender and subject with unread emails shown in bold.

They will also often show a preview of the email that you have selected.

Clicking on an email subject will open up a new window with the email displayed.

Replying To and Forwarding Email

To reply or forward an email you will first need to open it.

Most email clients display three icon:

  1. Reply to – Send Reply to sender only
  2. Reply to all– Send Reply to sender and all other recipients of the original email
  3. Forward – send a copy of the email to new recipient(s)



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