To: Students of BU113 Critical Thinking and Communication in Business
From: Prof. Bauer-Ramazani
Date: month day, year
Re: Memo Form and Content--Business Writing
Create a Memo in Word by clicking File > New > Templates on Office Online > Memos (select a style--Professional, Contemporary, Elegant, etc.) or compose your own, following the same format. Memos are used to provide a summary of important information and suggest actions that should be taken. Although memos can be ten pages or more, one- to two-page memos are more common and are more likely to accomplish the writer’s purpose. Memos have a heading for each section and are written in paragraph form with no indentations. All memos are typed single space with double spaces between paragraphs. They often include bulleted lists to offset important items.
A memo has five headings at the top of the first page: 1. Company name, usually contained in the letterhead; 2. The word “To” followed by a colon indicating the recipient of this memo. In the To: line, use the reader’s full name with any professional title, such as Dr., but without the complimentary titles of Mr., Ms., Mrs., Miss; 3. The word “From” followed by a colon indicating the sender; 4. The word “Date” and a colon; 5. The word “Subject” (or Re: ) followed by a colon introducing the topic of the memo. State the subject in a few words but make sure it communicates the point of the memo.
A memo is written as continuous text that is organized into paragraphs. Each paragraph has a heading (see the example here). A memo has no indentations; it is single-spaced, with double spaces between heading and paragraph and among paragraphs. Memos begin with a 2-3 line introductory paragraph, summarizing the purpose of the memo and the major outcome and end with a brief concluding paragraph, which may summarize the findings, suggest a course of action, or make other recommendations.
Each section of the memo should follow the American organizational pattern of general-to-specific in content, beginning with a topic sentence, followed by supporting sentences, and ending with a concluding sentence. Supporting information in the form of explanations, statistics, facts, examples, and/or reasons constitute the heart of the memo. Additionally, supporting information may be provided in the form of tables, graphs, or short, bulleted lists.
Additional considerations: A memo
© Christine Bauer-Ramazani This page was last updated: March 6, 2012