Sometimes your position is so crucial that people will need to have someone to turn to in your absence. When that’s the case, it’s often best to keep things professional by telling people when you’ll return and who they can contact in your absence. But, if your situation is a bit less formal, you can also have some fun.

I’ll be out of the office until Monday, 24th July. If your message is urgent, please reach out to the lovely and talented Bob Smith at bob@domain.com.
If you have breaking news to share, contact Big News Journal’s hard-working managing editor, Ashley Jones, at ashley@domain.com.
Just make sure your news is juicy. Ashley has no time for your shenanigans!

If you’re going to a professional conference, odds are good that a lot of the colleagues who email you will be there, too. Conferences are a great place to ramp up your networking efforts, so let people know where they can find you.

Greetings! I’m out of the office 24-28 July attending the Epic Professional Conference. Are you there, too? You’ll find me walking the floors with a Starbuck’s coffee in my hand, comfy kicks on my sore feet, and a bag full of brochures and swag. (I hope someone’s giving away those light-up bouncy balls again this year. I burned mine out.)If you’re at the conference, I’d love to meet up to chat about your email marketing strategies.
Feel free to text me at (+44) 7754 225 889 so we can connect.

If you write, and you publish, then you’ve got content to promote. Why not use your out-of-office message to make anyone who reaches out to you aware of it?

Hello! Thanks for getting in touch. I’m out of the office until 5th August with limited access to email. But never fear! I’ve left you with some helpful
writing tips to read and share.

•             Improve your writing times
•             Give Writing Feedback That’s Constructive, Not Crushing
•             How to improve your writing skills

I look forward to connecting with you when I return.

While you’re away, your email is going to be handled by a bot. Everyone knows it, so you might as well acknowledge it in a fun automated email.

This is Jane’s bot. Jane is indisposed and unable to respond to your email. I’m replying to let you know that she will return to her desk on 1st August. It is her intent to attend to your request promptly at that time. Meanwhile, Jane leaves you with the following message. Please ponder its significance:
“I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.” —Jane

There’s really never a bad time to collect leads or subscribers. Your out of office email can be a handy tool for lead generation. When someone tries to connect with you, why not tell them how they can stay connected?

Hi, and thanks for writing! I’m out of the office with no access to email until 3rd August. If your request is urgent, you can contact helena@domain.com for assistance. Otherwise, I’ll get back to you as quickly as possible when I return. While you wait, why not subscribe to our fantastic newsletter? You’ll get actionable tips once per week geared toward helping you grow your online business. Join us here.

DO’S AND DON’TS FOR OUT OF OFFICE EMAILS

It’s okay to have some fun with your out-of-office message in most cases, but there are a few simple rules you should always follow to make sure that, ultimately, your message is both useful and professional.

  • Do check your company’s policy on out of office messages. If there’s no firm policy, it might be best to check in with your supervisor and have your message approved in advance.
  • Don’t reveal too much. Strangers, spammers, and maybe even scammers could potentially see your auto-reply. Keep that in mind before you tell all and sundry that your house is vacant.
  • Do know your audience. If you send more formal emails during your working hours, don’t create an informal out of office email for your downtime.
  • Don’t make typos. You don’t want to be blasting out the same spelling mistake or grammar error for a week, do you?
  • Do consider a message rule. If your email client will handle it, consider creating a message rule where your auto-reply goes out only on the second message from the same person. That way, you won’t be oversharing your status with spammers or colleagues who really don’t care that you’re away.

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF PS?

PS stands for postscript. It comes from the Latin ‘postscriptum’, which literally means “written after.” A postscript is an additional thought added to letters (and sometimes other documents) that comes after it has been completed.

Here’s a tip: People wonder—does the PS come before or after the signature? Since a postscript is an addition that comes after a letter is completed, it should always follow the signature.
In the days of handwritten and typed letters, we often found ourselves remembering something we wanted to include only after we’d signed off. That’s where a PS came in handy. It’s also often used for effect to add a clever or funny afterthought. It can be added for emphasis, or even as an argumentative “So there!” It’s a tool still used in direct and email marketing, which we’ll talk about in a moment.

THE P.S. IS THE MOST CHARMING PART OF A LETTER. IT’S THE WINK YOU GIVE AS YOU WALK AWAY.

HOW TO PUNCTUATE AND FORMAT PS

Should PS be capitalized? How is it abbreviated; with (P.S.) or without (PS) periods? Should you use any trailing punctuation? Surprisingly, there are no hard and fast answers to these questions.

The Cambridge Dictionary suggests that PS is the proper format in British English.

PS Don’t forget to let the cat in before you go to bed.
The Cambridge Dictionary also says that P.S. (with periods after each letter) is the American English format. Indeed, you’ll often find it abbreviated as such in the US. But The Chicago Manual of Style favours PS, without the periods.

The verdict? Usage varies, and PS doesn’t factor into most style guides. The safest bet is to capitalize the P and S (use periods after each letter if that’s your preference), and leave out any trailing punctuation.

PS IN EMAIL

PS once saved us from having to edit or rewrite an entire letter just to include an important afterthought. But email allows us to go back and edit before sending. Technically, we could avoid the use of PS altogether in electronic communication. But should we?

Not really. PS is still useful for effect, and it’s a great way to get a specific point noticed. Although the Internet has made us a culture of skimmers rather than people who read things like email word-for-word, we tend to notice what’s at the beginning and end of a text. Can you think of a time when you didn’t read the PS in an email you cared enough about to open?

Including a PS has long been a direct mail marketing strategy. Statistics once showed that as many as 79 percent of people who opened a direct mail letter would read the PS first. Although times have changed, email marketers still swear by it as a way to reiterate a call to action, create FOMO, provide some sort of bonus information or offer, or even share a testimonial.

  • COVID-19 has resulted in schools shut all across the world. Globally, over 1.2 billion children are out of the classroom.
  • As a result, education has changed dramatically, with the distinctive rise of e-learning, whereby teaching is undertaken remotely and on digital platforms.
  • Research suggests that online learning has been shown to increase retention of information, and take less time, meaning the changes coronavirus have caused might be here to stay.

While countries are at different points in their COVID-19 infection rates, worldwide there are currently more than 1.2 billion children in 186 countries affected by school closures due to the pandemic. In Denmark, children up to the age of 11 are returning to nurseries and schools after initially closing on 12 March, but in South Korea students are responding to roll calls from their teachers online.

With this sudden shift away from the classroom in many parts of the globe, some are wondering whether the adoption of online learning will continue to persist post-pandemic, and how such a shift would impact the worldwide education market.

Even before COVID-19, there was already high growth and adoption in education technology, with global edtech investments reaching US$18.66 billion in 2019 and the overall market for online education projected to reach $350 Billion by 2025. Whether it is language apps, virtual tutoring, video conferencing tools, or online learning software, there has been a significant surge in usage since COVID-19.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE FUTURE OF LEARNING?

While some believe that the unplanned and rapid move to online learning – with no training, insufficient bandwidth, and little preparation – will result in a poor user experience that is unconducive to sustained growth, others believe that a new hybrid model of education will emerge, with significant benefits. “I believe that the integration of information technology in education will be further accelerated and that online education will eventually become an integral component of school education,“ says Wang Tao, Vice President of Tencent Cloud and Vice President of Tencent Education.

There have already been successful transitions amongst many universities. For example, Zhejiang University managed to get more than 5,000 courses online just two weeks into the transition using “DingTalk ZJU”. The Imperial College London started offering a course on the science of coronavirus, which is now the most enrolled class launched in 2020 on Coursera.

Many are already touting the benefits: Dr Amjad, a Professor at The University of Jordan who has been using Lark to teach his students says, “It has changed the way of teaching. It enables me to reach out to my students more efficiently and effectively through chat groups, video meetings, voting and also document sharing, especially during this pandemic. My students also find it is easier to communicate on Lark. I will stick to Lark even after coronavirus, I believe traditional offline learning and e-learning can go hand by hand.”

The most successful essays are well planned. Essays that go off the point with lots of extra detail will get poor marks.

STICK TO THE QUESTION

Underline key words in the essay title so you really understand the question being asked. It’s not about writing all you know about a topic.

Words like ‘discuss’, ‘compare and contrast’, ‘evaluate’, ‘account for’ are used as ways to direct your answer; make sure you know what they mean.

Other questions may start with ‘how’, ‘what’, ‘why’ or ‘when’.

WRITE A PLAN

Brainstorm your ideas on the essay topic to get started. Spider diagrams are good for this.

Plan the structure of the essay by numbering each of your ideas in order of importance. At this stage, you may wish to leave some of them out or develop others by breaking them into sub points. Redo your original spider diagram as necessary.

You may have to present your argument for the essay under broad themes like ‘economic’, ‘social’, ‘political’ or ‘religious’ reasons. Make sure you understand which theme suits each of your points, then group your all points on the same theme in order of importance into a separate paragraph.

WRITING THE ESSAY

1. INTRODUCTION

Your essay must have an introduction. State the main points you will discuss in order to support your answer to the question set in the title of the essay.

2. DEVELOPMENT OF YOUR ARGUMENT

After the introduction, add further paragraphs to build your argument, make the most important points first. Remember the way these points are ordered makes your argument clearer to the reader.

Start a new paragraph for each new important point and any linked points that relate to the question. You may include quotations from other historians and refer to primary sources (such as you can find on this website) to support a particular point.

Make sure your essay makes chronological sense. Try to present any factual points in date order.

Avoid telling the story of what happened. If you refer to an important historical event, you must make a point or comment about it. This will stop your essay from becoming a simple narrative and it shows you are trying to analyse events rather than just describe them.

Aim for five to seven paragraphs, depending on the essay and level, of course, you are following.

3. CONCLUSION

Sum up the main points and briefly restate your argument.

RE-READ YOUR WORK, CHECK FOR SPELLING ERRORS, AND REDRAFT IF NECESSARY.