How To Write A Memo Essay Format
How To Write A Memo Essay Format
Memos are an important form of written communication within companies. They are forms of internal communication sent to other people within the same organization. Note that when writing a memo it is important to pay attention to the format and content.
Parts Of A Memo
The first part of a memo is the header. The header gives information about the author, the intended recipient, the subject, the date, and the names of other people who may see the memo (cc). Many companies insert a smaller version of the letterhead at the top of the page.
There is not a set order for the parts of the header; just consider what is best for the reader. Also, most senders will initial the memo to verify its authenticity and to take responsibility for the content. This is much like signing your name at the end of a letter. If the memo is longer than one page, a different heading is needed for the additional pages.
Long memos (those longer than one page) often have a short summary following the introductory paragraph. The summary is an effective tool for helping the reader decide how much of the memo to read. Summaries are especially useful if the memo contains complicated subject matter. Keep the summary in proportion to the rest of the document; the summary for a two-page memo would be considerably shorter than the summary for a twenty-page proposal.
Headings break up the memo into separate sections and identify for the reader the content of the memo. Without them, the memo would just be boring, difficult pages of text. Each time there is a new subject, identify it with a new heading. Headings also help readers understand the information by reinforcing the ideas in that section. Keep headings simple and use a font style that is different from the rest of the text.
When it comes to style, remember that you are not writing for an English class. You want to communicate in a clear, precise fashion. Do not try to confuse your reader in an effort to sound knowledgeable. Simplicity is key.
Be sure to single space items within paragraphs and double space between paragraphs. Paragraphs should not be so long that they are difficult to read.
Memos serve as records of important communications. Because recipients might not always recall the occasion or significance of your correspondences, you should include an introductory paragraph that establishes a context by stating the following:
- The subject and purpose of the memo (what prompted you to write it);
- Any necessary context details (dates, names, assignment numbers, etc.);
- A preview of the contents (not a summary—just tell the reader what to expect).
Style and Tone
In your correspondence, use a professional but conversational style. Slang would be inappropriate, as would overly stiff, formal prose. Choose a courteous, accommodating tone, much as you would in conversation with a professor in his/her office.
With other audiences, you will need to make choices about style and tone based upon your relationship with them and your perceptions of their needs and expectations.
Some memos do not need concluding comments such as you might write for more formal, argumentative papers. Many memos, however, require some kind of response or indicate a future action. In those cases, conclude by providing an opportunity for response. (For example, “I will come by your office on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. to discuss my paper with you.”) Make your closing statement substantial and meaningful. Avoid clichés.
Memo format does not include a signature block. You should, however, write your initials (in pen) beside your name in the heading.