#AutisticLifeHacks – how to compose a simple email

Sending an email

Knowing how to word emails and keep them simple doesn’t always come naturally. How to address people you wish to send a message to, sticking to the point and trying to strike the right tone can, at times, be difficult to master.

To address these problems, autistic university lecturer Dr Sharon Elley has come up with the latest of our #AutisticLifeHacks! Sharon’s hack is using an email template, which follows a simple formula. Here is what she does:


I have a strategy for communication via email and in person. It’s a formula I was given by a coach. It is basically E, C, A, A. This stands for Empathise, Clarify, Assert and Agree.

It works for all people (not just autistic people) as everyone struggles to communicate effectively and clearly both personally and professionally.

Here’s an example of how it works in the form of an email:

“Dear X

 I hope you are well and surviving returning to teaching (Empathise).

Can I please clarify that you received my email dated 7th July about the Xmas party arrangements(Clarify) and you are aware that we really do need to book the venue (Assert)?

If you could let me know in a couple of days (Agree) that would be great.

Best wishes, X”

This has helped me to write emails without worrying about saying the wrong thing or coming away unsure of what I am doing!


#AutisticLifeHack by Dr Sharon Elley | 25.09.2018