Introduction to E-Mail

An Online Interactive Tutorial

This tutorial will help you to learn how to...

Use e-mail, especially free World Wide Web-based e-mail

Be able to compose and send a message

Be able to read, forward, and delete e-mails

Be able to make folders and an address book

Be familiar with e-mail terminology, etiquette, and practices

Be able to sign up and use your own e-mail account via the World Wide Web


What is E-Mail?

E-mail stands for electronic mail, which is the transmission of messages over a communications network.  To use e-mail, you must have access to a computer that is linked to the outside world, via a modem, phone line, or fiber optic cable.  E-mail messages are sent over the Internet and are stored in electronic mailbox servers for the recipient to retrieve them.  Read the list of E-mail pros and cons.

  How to Read an E-mail Address

E-mail addresses are one of the two types of addressing associated with the Internet.  They're distinguishable from the other type of addresses for pages on the World Wide Web because e-mail addresses have the "@" (at) sign in the middle.  Your e-mail address is specific to you.  Only you have it.  It's like your fingerprint.  Click here to find out more about the three parts of an e-mail address.

How Does E-Mail Work?

When you send a message to your friend, it travels from your computer through your provider or service to your friend's mailbox, which is on her provider's server.  The message is stored there on the provider's server until your friend logs on to check her mail.  When you check your mail, it travels down from your mailbox on the server to your computer. 


Etiquette on the Internet and for e-mail is referred to as Netiquette.  There are proper and improper uses of e-mail and it pays to know some of the conventions and unwritten rules of e-mail.  Read about E-mail Do's and Don'ts.

Sign Up for Free E-Mail

There are many free World Wide Web e-mail services that are available. This tutorial will be guiding you through the process of signing up for an e-mail account through MSN using their free e-mail service HOTMAIL.  Click on the Hotmail link below to enroll in their free e-mail service and then come back to this tutorial and you can learn about reading, deleting, composing, replying, and forwarding messages. 

E-mail Tasks for the beginner user

Go to the Hotmail Web site and log in from any Internet computer

Read a message

Delete a message

Compose a message

Reply to a message

Forward a message

Change your password

E-mail Tasks for the advanced user

Using the address book

Creating a signature

Using folders

CC and BCC


Created by Lecia Eubanks
Cherokee Regional Library
Date last updated: 03/05/2003