What is Memo?
If you are wondering how to write a memo, this article is for you. Memos have become increasingly common in a corporate world. A memorandum is a convenient and, actually, standard method of communication in business. Numerous definitions have been proposed to describe the meaning and intent of business memos. The truth is that, like any other form of corporate writing, it has its rules. Therefore, if you want to write a perfect memo, be ready to follow the basic requirements for memo writing.
Before you start writing your memo, consider your target audience. This is not as simple as it seems. You may need to spend additional time to figure out who is going to read your memo and, more importantly, how they will benefit from it. Are you writing it for the entire company or are you writing it for a group of managers? Answer these questions before you move ahead.
If you want to know how to write a memo, do not forget about headings. Each heading can serve as a separate point in your memo outline. You will organize your memo around these headings. Also, include a general heading containing the name of the person to whom it is addressed and the subject of your document.
Review the example below:
One of the secrets of successful memo writing is beginning with an introduction. You will take it as an opportunity to explain to your readers why you are writing the memo and what you intend to achieve with it. Once your 1-paragraph introduction is completed, you can start working on the body of your memo. Finally, include a comprehensive conclusion that will wrap up your main argument. Follow our recommendations below to craft a brilliant memorandum!
Start with the word “MEMORANDUM” at the top. Your readers must know that this is a memo. Make it clear from the very beginning. Use double spacing between the word “MEMORANDUM” and the next line of your document.
Include the name of your recipient, his or her titles, position or credentials. For example, “To: Dr. Allis, the Dean.” This is how you can set a formal tone for your memo from the outset. The reader will also know whom you are addressing.
In case there are other recipients, do not forget to include their names. Use your CC line to indicate who will receive a copy of the memorandum beyond the primary recipient. If you want this memo to reach each every employee, you can write something like “To everyone concerned.” Include your name after the names of your recipients. This is going to be your “From” line below the CC line. Include the date of your memo. It can take different forms. For example, DATE: April 7, 2018. Or you can write it as “7 April 2018.”
Provide a subject of your memorandum. This should be included in a separate subject line that is a mandatory component of any memo. Keep it brief and informative.
Now that you have included information about your recipients, it is time to start writing the body of your memo.
Stay simple and straightforward as you are writing the memo. Do not make your reader seek additional meanings between the lines.
Begin the memo by restating the subject and purpose of the document. Specify the goal and intent of your memorandum. Define the tone for the entire document. Include some information about what you are going to discuss in this document. Establish the basic framework for your memorandum, so that readers know what to expect.
Check if your paragraphs are short enough not to confuse your readers. Your paragraphs should not be longer than 6-7 lines. Your document should have enough white space in it. This way it will be easier to read and consume it.
Avoid including any extensive unnecessary details in your memo. The whole point of writing a memo is providing a brief summary of the problem and proposing (or asking for) a solution. You are not writing a scenario for a new Santa Barbara series here. Brevity is everything!
Your memo should not exceed one page. If it is longer, then you will also need to write a brief summary. Review great memo examples and the way they look. Include the most necessary information and avoid anything that can make your message less compelling.
While working on the body of your memo, check if you are using a clear and explicit language. If you want to know how to write a memo, then you should learn to be focused. Meet the needs of your target audience. If you are writing for a non-professional audience, then avoid using any sophisticated terms or words. Your readers must be able to understand your message! Do not make your readers use a dictionary as they are reading through your memo.
Formatting and Citations
It may happen that you will need to reference other sources when working on the document. You may even want to include direct quotations. If that is the case, do not forget to incorporate proper citations and a list of references on a separate page. Follow appropriate requirements to cite and reference your sources correctly!
Editing and Proofreading
Looking at wonderful memorandum samples, you will certainly notice that they do not contain any inconsistencies and errors. Make sure that you have enough time to edit and proofread your memorandum. Otherwise, you will never achieve the desired effect.
Give yourself some freedom and space to review your memorandum. Finish the first draft, take a break, and get back to produce the second draft. It is important to approach the editing and proofreading task with a clear mind. Nothing should distract you as you are editing and proofreading your memorandum. This is one of the best things that you can do to produce a persuasive document. Otherwise, get someone else to read your memo through. Once you are done with editing, your memo can be forwarded to its recipients!
Now you are ready to write the body of your memorandum! Get is started!
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