I used to (and occasionally still) fall into the "doctoral candidate" camp. When I was new on the job, and unsure of my decisions, I used to write multi-page e-mails walking the reader through my entire thought process to make sure they understood what I did and how I came to the conclusion, in the hopes that if I was wrong, they could help me figure out where I got off track. I failed to realize a number of people either refused to read the e-mail or assumed I was trying to be a "know-it-all."
I got a great piece of advice from this or one of its sister sites: Write your e-mail like a news article (and don't bury the lead). The first sentence should be the most important point you want to convey or the question you need answered, then fill in with supplemental information in descending importance.
Your e-mails can still be long, but make them read fast, so your readers will have already hit the most important points long before their eyes can glaze over.
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