So, as I researched event planner for my website report, I noticed a lot of people talked about writing memos at their jobs. The event planner I interviewed for my profile said that she writes a lot of memos. In the movie, Office Space, the boss acts “Did you get that memo?”
I was wondering if their is a certain format of memos that is considered correct. And in what ways is a memo different from just a letter?
The Online Writing Lab, OWL , outlines a memo in a clear way. It says memos basically “solves problems.” They do this by informing its readers of something new- like a new policy- or persuading them to do something – attend a meeting.
The direct plan format of a memo is the most commonly used. It starts out by stating the most important information first followed by certain details. The general format for the heading of the memo is:
TO: (readers’ names and job titles)
FROM: (your name and job title)
DATE: (complete and current date)
SUBJECT: (what the memo is about, highlighted in some way)
4 Sections usually follow:
1. Opening section: First present the context and the problem. The context is the event, circumstance, or background of the problem you are solving. Don’t waste the readers time; include only what they needs. Next a task statement tells what is being done to solve the problem. Finally, write a purpose statement as a reason for writing the memo and write an overview of the remaining sections of the memo.
2. Summary section: If the memo is long, you should write a summary. It will tell briefly the conclusions you have come to and the recommendations you are making.
3. Discussion section: Included supporting ideas to present how you are solving the problem. If you want people to attend a meeting, include why they would find it beneficial to go. If you have a new dress code, write in the reasons behind the change. In this section, begin with what is most important.
4. Closing section: This states the action you want the readers to take and the main points from previous sections.
Other things to consider when writing the memo- found from Writing Guides’s Writing Business Memos:
-Memos can be like letters, but the main difference is you usually send memos to colleagues and coworkers who you know, so a formal saluation is not necassary.
-Before writing, outline the purpose of the memo and think of the best way to write and get the point across.
-Consider your audience. How familiar are they with the problem you are writing about?
Directly from the website, here are specifics in formatting:
- 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