Writing Plan for Formal Memos


Writing Plan for Formal Memos (Guffey, instructor and others, publicly available on the internet 2017) memorandum, or memo, is the most important document in organizational and business communication. The memo carries the life’s blood of key information. The memo is primarily an internal document developed and used within an organization, business, government agency, department, university or department. The memo has somewhat limited external use, for example, when communicating with clients or other business associates with a relationship to the primary organization. The memo is neither an academic report nor journalism. The memo is a professional communication that speaks in the language of colleagues, co-workers and other professionals. Nonetheless, write simply. Avoid jargon and be clear and succinct. Basics: An effective memo contains the following parts : Header: Contains the routing information showing to whom the memo has been sent, who wrote it and the date Subject line: Summarize the main idea in just a few words. Purpose: Reveal the main idea immediately in expanded form, explaining why the memo needed to be written. • Summary: Explain and justify the main idea using headings, bulleted lists, and other high-skim techniques when appropriate. Discussion: Speak to the readers directly and say what the information presented means. Meaning is essential. Without clear meaning, a memo just adds to organizational confusion. Closing and Action: State what needs to be done next, dates, or deadlines; summarized the most important message of the memo is just a few words; include a closing thought. See reverse for a sample memo

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