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Business English Emails: Ask for a progress report

Updated: Nov 22, 2018

It's common for business people to email their team or colleagues to ask about a project or to get a progress report on some business task. When asking for a progress report, it's important to use appropriate language that is direct, yet polite. It's also important to be organized and request all the information needed.

Let's look at a sample email requesting a progress report. In this email, Ms. Ellen Gray is contacting two people, Tom and Mary, to get a progress report. She needs the report because her supervisor wants to know the status of the project.

Hi Tom and Mary,

I’m emailing you to get an update on your progress with the marketing materials project. I’m meeting with Mr. Green, the president of marketing, and I need to report on the status of this project.

Mr. Green has made it clear that this is an important project. He expects to see progress, so it’s very important that we demonstrate concrete results.

At our project meeting on June 15th, we agreed that Tom’s team would create content and Mary would negotiate with vendors to design the materials.

I’d like to know what progress you have made. Tom, please update me on the status of content production. Mary, I’d like to know about your progress with the vendors. Also, if you are having problems, you must bring them to my attention immediately.

As the project manager, I’m responsible for the success of this project, but I can only succeed if we work together. I’m depending on you to complete your tasks on time.

I need you to send me this information no later than Thursday.


Ellen Gray

Vice President Marketing

Westeros Associates

This is a great example of a professional email. Ellen Gray has organized the email well as follows:

  • Greeting

  • State the context and the purpose of the email

  • Clarify the importance of the project

  • Review tasks

  • Ask for specific information

  • Clarify roles and set a deadline

  • Sign off

She uses high-quality language to express herself. This is the kind of language that native English speaking professionals use. If you use this kind of language, you'll communicate effectively and impress your international colleagues.


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