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What is a Proper Email Structure?

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Every computer user is familiar with email. It is one of the modern communication mediums that has influenced society. Knowledge pertaining to the structure of the email will help us to use it effectively. We are going to discuss what email is and how it is structured.

What is Email?

“Email” stands for electronic mail. It is the message distributed by electronic means among computer users in a network. An email will be sent from one user and can be distributed to many. The email was initially first used in the 1960s. It took its current form in the 1970s. In fact, some earlier systems required both the sender and receiver to be online which is similar to how instant messaging works today.

Let us see the parts of email and their sub divisions in detail. The popular email services are listed below and are available at free of cost.

1) Outlook.com

2) Gmail

3) Yahoo Mail

4) Inbox.com

5) Mail.com

6) AOL Mail

7) Zoho Mail

The common protocols used for email services are IMAP, POP and SMTP.

Structure of an email

There is a standard structure for emails. Email contents are primarily classified as two, the header and the body. We are going to see the contents come under the two subparts.

The Header

The email header gives us common details about the message such as the unique identity of the message. The details of the users of the ‘from’ and ‘to’ ends are also stored here. The email header consists of the following parts. However, the exact contents of the header can vary according to the email systems that generate the email message.

1) Subject

2) Sender (From:)

3) Date and time received (On)

4) Reply-to

5) Recipient (To:)

6) Recipient email address

7) Attachments


The subject part is the topic of the message. In most email systems, if the content view of the folders is set to view each messages separately, the subject part also will be visible with the user’s name. These subject fields are scanned by the spam scanners to evaluate the messages.

Sender (From:)

This field describes the ‘from’ address of the email. This will specify the sender’s email address. Usually, it will be the “reply-to” address.

Date and time received (On)

This is the date and time the message received.


This field describes the email address that will become the recipient of the reply to the particular email. When you reply, it will go to this email address despite the sender email address.

Recipient (To:)

This is the first/last name of the email recipient as configured by the sender.

Recipient email address

The email address of the recipient is specified here.


Some emails could be attached with files such as text, image, audio, video etc. These files are specified here.


The actual content is stored in this part. This will be in the format of text. This field could also include signatures or text generated automatically by the sender’s email system. As we mentioned earlier, the contents of the emails can be varied according to the different email systems used by each user.

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