WRITING MEMOS Contents: • Definition • Purpose • Audience Analysis • General Format • Types of Memo Business Letters in English : Business letters are formal paper communications between, to or from personnel of an organization. It consists of: • Letter • Memo • Fax What is a Memo?: • A memorandum, or memo, (plural ‘memorandums’ or ‘memoranda’) is another kind of official correspondence used in business organizations and in educational and research institutions. • A memo is a document typically used for communication within a company. • Memos resemble official letters in that they are a means of written communication related to work situations. • However, memos differ from letters in style, format and most importantly, in that they are used for communication within an organization or a department. Example: The heading and overall tone make a memo different from a business letter. • Because generally you send memos to co- workers and colleagues, you do not have to include a formal salutation or closing remark. Purpose of a Memo : They are used to announce plans and schedules, inform people about changes, ask for information and respond to requests. to persuade to congratulate to inform to reject/offer a proposal to request to remind to express thanks to invite/welcome to introduce a person or to follow up policy to formalize decisions to recommend to apologize Audience Analysis : • Knowing your audience is very important when writing a memo. • The typical audience for a memo is co- workers and colleagues. • If writing a memo to employees of other companies working on the project, inform that a meeting will take place and also list the date and time and give details. Audience Analysis (Continued)… • Always include a means for them to get in touch with you and other members of the team working on the project. • For example: if you are writing a memo for a paper, do your audience already know • What the paper is about? • What further information do they require to understand? General Format : • General format of Memo. • Heading • Message • Tone • Length • Format Guidelines General Format A memo has two parts - the heading at the top and the message at the bottom. Type the word ‘Memo’ or ‘Memorandum’ at the top, followed by the recipient’s name, the sender’s name (and sometimes, designation), the date and a brief statement of the subject. 1) Heading » TO: » FROM: » DATE: » SUBJECT: • When necessary, add a CC line below the recipient’s name to send the memo to people who need to be kept informed of the matter. • Draw a line under this section and type the message in single space in the second half of the memo. • Ex: To: Heads of department CC: Professor xxxxxx, Principal From: XXXXX, Librarian Date: 30 Sep 2011 Subject: Acquisition of new titles General Format 2)Message : • First sentence of the memo should answer the question with a purpose statement. The best purpose statements are concise and direct. • Always tell readers why memo is being written. • If your memo is a result of a situation, the first sentence would be , "As a result of yesterday's meeting..." • If your memo is a reminder, begin it with, "The presentation is due February 12”. General Format 3)Tone : Sending memos to those working within the company, memo can be written in informal tone . • For example, you might refer to your colleagues by their first names. However, always keep in mind that you still need to be professional. Ask yourself how the company's president would react to your memo. General Format 4)Length: • Memos are generally short, concise documents. • However, you may have to write longer memos, depending on topic. For example , a memo might present the new guidelines for a specific office task. • Some memos might even introduce a short report. In this case, you might include the report in the memo. • The memo might be a separate document, introducing the report. Format Guidelines : • Memos have one-inch margins around the page and are on plain 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 • Second-page headings are used, as in business letters • The second page includes who the Memo is to, the page number, and the date • The sender usually signs the Memo using initials, first name, or complete name TYPES Of MEMORANDUM: • Directive • Response to an Inquiry • Trip Report • Field/Lab Reports TYPES Of MEMORANDUM: 1)Directive : • A directive memo states a policy or procedure you want the reader or co-worker to follow. • The body of the memo should begin with a clear, concise sentence that states the purpose of the memo TYPES Of MEMORANDUM: 2)Response to an Inquiry: • The purpose of this memo is to provide the audience with desired information. It usually has five parts: • purpose • summary • discussion • action 3)TYPES Of MEMORANDUM: Trip Report: • Trip report memo is usually sent to a supervisor after an employee returns from a business venture. Structure • Purpose • summary • discussion • action TYPES Of MEMORANDUM: 4)Field/Lab Report Memo: Memos are often used to report on inspection and procedures. Include the problem, methods, results, and conclusions, but spend less time on the methods section. TYPES Of MEMORANDUM 4)Field/Lab Report Memo (Continued)… • A field or lab report memo has the following structure: • purpose of memo • Summary • problem leading to the decision to perform the procedure • methods • results • conclusions • recommendations Do’s & Don’ts • Begin the message with a simple, concise statement of the purpose of the memo. • Use a clear, direct style of writing and prefer short sentences to long complex ones. • You can use the first person pronouns (‘I’, ‘we’, ‘me’, etc.). Choose the right degree of formality according to the situation and the intended readers, but keep the tone professional and polite. • Day-to-day memos are short and to the point. Longer memos can be organized in paragraphs or, alternatively, in bullets, with headings, if necessary, to guide the reader through the message and note important points easily. • Write a concluding paragraph to suggest further action, to recommend a solution, etc. Do’s & Don’ts • Provide only relevant and necessary information, and avoid repetition. • Do not communicate confidential or sensitive information in memos. • If there are attachments sent with the message, mention this at the end of the memo close to the bottom margin, as in ‘attachment: copy of notice inviting tenders’. • Proofread the typed memo and put your initials beside your name before sending it. Sample Memo MEMORANDUM To: Heads of department CC: Professor XXXXXX, Principal From: XXXXXX, Librarian Date: 30 Sept 2011 Subject: Acquisition of new titles Following an increase of 20% in the library’s annual budget for 2009-2010, the college management has decided to add to the list If books in the library. The first step towards achieving this has been taken by asking for recent catalogues of general and subject books from leading publishers and preparing lists for different subject categories. I request all heads of department to go through the lists and select 40-50 reference books and possible textbooks each. Besides books on your subjects, you could suggest titles that would be of general interest. Please send in your recommendations latest by 15 Oct 2011. Attachment: copies of catalogues THE END Thank you
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