memorandum writing example

memorandum writing example

Effective Techniques for Writing Memos in a Professional Setting

1. Introduction to Memos

The writing of memos is not a subject that has been widely studied, despite the importance of the genre. This may be because the genre is so flexible. However, calls for maintaining training in the memo remind us of the need to study it. Researchers posed that such an essential form would be an excellent vehicle for the teaching of professional writing and would give students practice in some of the specific skills they are likely to need in courses that await them. In addition, memos are a genre that could help communities of writers focus on standards that would evolve and change. Researchers urged writing programs to identify the characteristic features of the memo genre, evolve standards for evaluating it, and incorporate the genre into the curriculum, through formal assignments and classroom discussions. This article asks how memos can be taught effectively within a university business communications course. It separately explores current memo-teaching techniques, provides additional assistance for effective memo-writing, and suggests additional areas in which to provide administrative feedback to students on the concepts and conventions of memo writing.

Memos are critically important. They are used in law and labor offices, in governmental and educational organizations, in business corporations, and in countless other settings. They serve as an essential way for administrators to communicate with and request information from their subordinates, and they provide a forum for consideration of office matters. The basic importance of memos was underscored in a survey twenty-five years ago of basic writers at Texas A&M University who indicated that the memo form was the one students would most likely use in the world of work. Consequently, the task of producing user-friendly teaching materials and practices for training students to work effectively and efficiently with memos is crucial. The essential need for memos presents a variety of avenues to explore with students who are struggling with writing assignments. In finding and developing effective techniques to teach and use memos, the authors had their students’ real-world and in-class experiences in mind.

2. Key Components of a Memo

Following the introduction, the memo should present the purpose of the memo in a clear and concise manner. Typically, the purpose is presented in a separate paragraph that is clearly labeled “Purpose” or “Objective.” Many messages are written for more than one purpose. For example, the writer might want the reader to review and approve a proposal, understand a series of events, implement a new policy, and offer suggestions for an upcoming project. One or more supporting proofs or items are listed in a subsequent paragraph. Sufficient proof or support is critical to persuade the reader that the recommendations contained in the memo should be implemented. Indeed, the proof or support is the backbone of the memo and is necessary to retain the attention of the reader.

Once you have a clear picture of the situation and a purpose for your memo, your next step is to identify the reader. You’ll need to think about the reader’s preferences, attitudes, and insights to really write effectively. Besides these key components, your memo should contain several other items. First, the “From:” address line is a mandatory item which tells the destination of the message. Second, the “To:” address line is a mandatory item which identifies the destination of the message. Third, the “Date:” item is a mandatory item that indicates when the memo was submitted. Fourth, the “Subject:” item is a mandatory item that tells the reader the topic of the memo. After these first four items, the memo should contain a brief introduction that clearly states the memo’s objective. The purpose of the memo is typically presented in the introductory paragraph. Furthermore, the information presented in the introductory paragraph provides the reader with the necessary background regarding the issue. This does not assume that the reader can always mentally retrieve all past events in their entirety.

3. Structuring and Formatting Memos

If the memo and enclosures are written well, the reader should be fully informed no matter which part they read.

If referenced within the memo, titles should match the attachments exactly. If something is not indicated in the memo as an enclosure, you should assume the writer forgot to list them in the attachment and will need them.

Memos are often attached to notes or other documentation. Differentiate between the memo and the attachment if there are both.

Attachments and Enclosures Follow directly after the last paragraph. If there are multiple attached instructions, refer to business letter protocol.

Sample: In conclusion, the A&A department recommends that we implement SOX. The firm is required under SOX to provide documentation, testing, development, monitoring, and remediation in five key areas (enclosed). Will you address my next email? Will you, won’t you, will you go to lunch with me?

Introduction In the concluding paragraphs, communicate the desired result in a clear, concise, and tactful manner. Be firm, but diplomatic or persuasive. If there is a specific request, refer to the enclosure or title it in order to identify it in the last paragraph. Close with a statement of action, or an appeal such as “Will you? You won’t you? Will you join the dance?”

4. Tips for Clear and Concise Communication

Therefore, the art of having the ability to write and communicate effectively (using a written form) often directly correlates to your professional image and strength as an employee. And, it only takes about 10 seconds to make a lasting, positive impression. Those responsible for writing and distribution of this important communication aid should be aware of the impact its content might have once read. With this in mind, the written product (memo) and its content should be carefully reviewed before sending or distribution. The importance of clear and concise communication in both a written and verbal manner is critical in order for a reader to get the message and act upon it. The purpose of this article is to explore and present techniques and tips that are useful to the writer when constructing a lasting, impressionable product while focusing on the needs of the reader.

– Project meeting dates and times – Task lists – Defining clear and specific responsibilities – Communicating salient information to team members on specific subjects – Newsletters and updates on project statuses

The Importance of Constructing a Clear and Concise Memo Communicating ideas and information is a large and necessary part of the business working environment. This communication occurs in a variety of verbal and written formats. One common area where verbal and written communication occurs is in the business world. In fact, the execution and writing of memos in business is normally the basis of most objectives and operations. For example:

By following these tips, you can ensure that your readers will understand your message and act upon it more quickly.

– Break your sentences into bite-sized pieces of information. – Use bulleted or numbered lists when possible. – Use subheadings for longer sections with multiple related ideas. – Indent or underline important words or special points. – Use charts or graphs when the information can be organized in visual form. – Use screen displays when appropriate. – Use the direct organization pattern whenever possible to clarify the relationship between main and secondary points.

Clear and concise communication is essential in the workplace. These tips will help improve your writing skills and ensure that your messages are easily understood.

5. Best Practices for Professional Tone and Style

5. Use the Appropriate Style. The documentation style of your memo may vary depending on what it communicates. A ratios decision may require presentation of both pros and cons. A narrative decision may demand only that pros and cons be listed. You could help streamline your approach on writing the memo based on the type of decision being made.

4. Keep in Mind the Receiver’s Time. Your task is not to hold forth in your area of expertise but to inform someone else with the necessary information to help him make a decision. Keep to the point.

3. Understand Receiver. What does your reader need to know to make a decision? What perspective will help? Once you answer those, write the memo as efficiently and directly as possible to save the reader’s time.

2. Adapt to Receiver. Use the familiarity you may have with your receiver to present your message as effectively as possible. Tailor the message to achieve the needed results.

1. Reading and Writing Focus. Memos are not letters; they are for rapid communication of specific information; the reader is not looking to be stirred or entertained, just kept informed. Memos offer just the facts to help the reader make a decision.

The aim in writing a memo in a professional setting is to communicate quickly, efficiently, and clearly. Some effective techniques follow.

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