Why do you have to know memo parts? Suppose you are a group leader and you were given the responsibility to organize a business trip to another city. What will you do first? If you have good planning skills, you will probably start by writing down everything that should be done. After that, you will manage the workload and think about which tasks should be delegated to your team members. Finally, you should think about the means of communication that will be used in this case. This is where the knowledge of memorandum format and memo parts comes in handy. Memos are the most suitable type of communication when you need to share important plans, policies, announcements, etc. with people in position as well as other members in your organization. If you want to learn how to write a professional memo, this article is for you.
A memo (short for memorandum) is a document used to communicate information to a large group of people in a clear and concise way. It is most commonly used in business and government but is also typical for other environments. Memos begin with a highlight of the important issue and offer recommendations or instructions. Such format is especially helpful when a memo is written for high-level executives of an official because they usually do not have time to read long reports.
In simple terms, a memo is a written message that passes information from one individual to a department in an organization. Unlike letters, memos are not strictly formal, but you should still follow the conventions and observe the structure when writing a memo.
A memo heading, which is the first part of a memo, tells the reader who the author and the recipient(s) are, what the subject is, specifies the date, and includes other relevant information. Some companies also include the letterhead at the top of the page. There is no single header format, so you may include this information in whichever order you think is more appropriate for your audience. It is also recommended to initial your memo to prove its authenticity and claim responsibility for what is written in it. If your memo is going to be longer than one page, consider using a different header for each page.
Include the address of the recipient immediately after the header. Use the official name and position of the recipient. The address helps the readers understand who the intended audience is. If there is more than one recipient, use this format:
(audience’s names and job titles)
(your name and job title)
(Month, date, year)
(Purpose of the memo)
Cc stands for the addresses of another recipient that you want to receive this document.
Following the recipient’s address, include the name and the position of the person who created the memo.
You should also inform the readers about the date when the memo was sent. This information is important because it helps organize memos by the date.
Title your memo in a way that clearly informs the readers about its content. The memorandum title should be both informative and concise.
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Memo format should meet these basic criteria:
To: IT departmentFrom: HR manager
Subject: Changes in Hiring Procedures
The body of a memorandum consists of the message, which is comprised of the following parts:
(a) Introduction: The main idea of the message is represented in the first paragraph. This part of the memo is also referred to as the background of the information.
(b) Details: The second paragraph supports the introduction by providing more details. Although this is going to be a separate paragraph, it should be a logical continuation of the first one.
(c) Response: It is also known as an action statement. This paragraph summarizes the action you expect the readers to take, the action you are planning to take, an action that you are expected to
take, the deadline, etc.
Using headings will make it easier for the audience to follow the information. Make sure to keep them brief, but choose clear language. For instance, “Summary” would be too vague. Instead, write something specific like, “Education Policy Recommendations.” Whatever headings you select should be the ones that you mentioned when discussing the purpose of the
One of the best ways to get the audience’s attention and allow them to focus on the important ideas is to list them in bullet point form. Since they are brief, it will save the reader time and effort to understand the purpose of the memo.
The sections of the memo should take up the following amount of the entire document:
• Header: 1/8 of the memo
• Introduction, Background and Task: 25% of the memo • Summary, Discussion: half of the memo
• Conclusion, Necessary Attachments: 1/8 of the memo
These are the basic and obligatory parts of a memo. Remember that your document should be, above all, concise and clear. The following tips will help you achieve this goal:
Some memos also use references. If you choose to include sources, format them the way you would do when writing an academic paper.
There are several types of memos that you can choose from. The following memos are the most common, although you might come across different classifications online:
|If the purpose of your memo is to get a favor from someone, it is a request memo. Such memos should be persuasive and convincing.|
|Such a memo is written as a follow-up after reaching an agreement between parties. One way to write such a memo is to describe the terms of the agreement and encourage the recipient to ask for clarification if something is not clear.|
|You will use this memo type when you want to ask for someone’s opinions about the best approach to solve a problem.|
|This type of memo is written sometimes after an agreement has been reached or a change has been made to discuss the progress. In this case, the body will include charts and tables that represent the progress.|
|Informal results memo.|
|Similar to the reported memo, this is a document that describes the results of a change. It can take the form of a research report or even describe the progress by departments.|
These guidelines should help you prepare a good memo that meets the formal standards. Just choose the memo type that is the most appropriate for your audience and follow these practical tips.