THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN WRITING MEMOS: . Identify your audience before you begin to write. Ask yourself, should this be persuasive, directive, or technical? Be concise and come straight to the point. Maintain a business-like tone. Use headings, bullets, and/or numbered lists so key points
1. Business Memo Memos solve problems
Most effective when they connect
2. THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN WRITING MEMOS: • Identify your audience before you begin to write.
• Ask yourself, should this be persuasive, directive, or technical?
• Be concise and come straight to the point.
• Maintain a business-like tone.
• Use headings, bullets, and/or numbered lists so key points stand out and the document is easy to read.
• As when writing anything, each paragraph should contain one main idea. Also, try to keep each paragraph short.
• Always proofread very carefully. Check all of your facts.
• Don’t forget to identify any attachments. If not, a recipient would not realize anything
• Never include a closing. The “From” line eliminates the need.
3. Definition of a Memo A memo is an internal document that is generally short, focuses on a single topic, reports information, makes a request, or recommends action.
It follows specific forms, depending on the organization.
Memos can be as formal as a business letter and used to present a report.
However, the heading and overall tone make a memo different from a business letter. Because you generally send memos to co-workers and colleagues, you do not have to include a formal salutation or closing remark.
4. Parts of a Memo The heading segment follows this general format:
To: (readers' names and job titles) From: (your name and job title) Date: (complete and current date) Subject: (what the memo is about)
Encl or Attached: other documents which are included with the report (omitted if there are no enclosures).
References: list of particularly important background documents ( omitted if there are no such documents).
5. In the heading, be Sure to… Address the reader by correct name and job title.
Be specific and concise in your subject line.
6. Foreword Context !!!!
event, circumstance, or background information.
Paragraph or a sentence.
"In our effort to reduce rat parts in our product...."
Only what your reader needs, but comprehensive and clear.
you should describe what you are doing to address the problem.
"You asked that I look at...."
"To determine the best way of controlling rat extremities, I will...."
YOUR reason for writing.
WHAT is in the rest of the memo. kind of information included.
"This memo presents a description of the current situation, some proposed alternatives, and my recommendations."
7. Summary (for longer than 1 page) Brief statement of the key recommendations you have reached.
Include references to methods and sources you have used in your research, but remember to keep it brief.
You can help your reader by using headings for the summary and the discussion.
The headings you choose here should appear in your purpose-statement forecast.
8. Discussion Details: Keep these two things in mind:
Begin with most important information
Key findings or recommendations
Start with your most general information
Move to your specific or supporting facts
Or Details: strongest weakest
9. Closing Courteous ending that states what action you want the reader to take.
How the reader will benefit from the actions.
How you can make those actions easier.
Usually no signature on memo.
10. Attachments Refer to attached documents, lists, graphs, tables, etc.
E.g. “Attached: Several Complaints about Product, January - June 1997”
11. Format Guidelines Regardless of the style, memos generally have similar format characteristics. Listed below are some basic guidelines that can help you create a memo:
Memos have one-inch margins around the page and are on letterhead paper
All lines of the memo begin at the left margin
The text begins two spaces after the subject line.
The body of the memo is single-spaced, with two spaces between paragraphs.
Memos are written on company letterhead ( special company paper that has that has the company's name, address, and telephone number printed on it).
If the memo is written on letterhead, do not repeat and any information that appears in the letterhead.
The format of the heading is easy to read because of the use of white spaces and aligned columns.
The format of the heading is functional; the first information it gives is the information the readers need first.
None of the information is presented more than once at the beginning of the report. The information included in the letterhead is omitted from the heading.
12. Common Types of Memos Each memo is written for a specific purpose to a specific audience. The purpose and audience for your memo will help guide what type of memo you will write.
Even though no two memos are identical, four common broad categories exist. If you are unsure about how to format your memo, ask your instructor or review memos your co-workers have written.
13. Persuasive Memo: In a persuasive memo you must constantly keep your reader's feelings in mind. Consider how the person will react to what you are saying. What would convince him or her most readily? How much should you rely on logic, and how much should you appeal to emotion?
14. Directive Memo: A directive memo states a policy or procedure you want the reader or co-worker to follow. The length of the memo depends on how much space is required to properly explain the procedure.
15. Technical Memo: A technical memo is a concise presentation of results, with a logical progression from the principles which are core to the analysis towards the conclusions that were drawn from the results.