writing memos _4_ by vijayreddy.ravipati



•   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.
  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
Purpose of a Memo :
  They are used to announce plans and schedules, inform
  people about changes, ask for information and respond to

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
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
• 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
• 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

• Memos are generally short, concise
• 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
• 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

•   Directive
•   Response to an Inquiry
•   Trip Report
•   Field/Lab Reports

 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

        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
              Trip Report:

• Trip report memo is usually sent to a
  supervisor after an employee returns
  from a business venture. Structure

•   Purpose
•   summary
•   discussion
•   action

          4)Field/Lab Report
 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.

                4)Field/Lab Report Memo

• A field or lab report memo has the following

• purpose of memo
• Summary
• problem leading to the decision to perform the
• 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

• Do not communicate confidential or sensitive information in

• 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

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
    Thank you

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