How to Write a Business Memo
This is not going to be a business memo example. We do not want to give you something just to duplicate; instead, we would like to give you the knowledge about writing a good memo, which we believe is much more valuable than just a business memo template. Just follow our tips and you will become a professional writer of business memos. So, here are the main points to consider.
Appropriate Language and Format
1) Use language that is concise, focused, and professional. Avoid using informal words and phrases. Try to exclude any information that is irrelevant or too general. Also, you need to make sure that your language is devoid of emotional tone and you rely solely on facts.
2) Clearly indicate parts where you cite some source. You can do this with the help of such signal phrases as “According to…” or “Smith argues/states that…”
3) Opt for a standard font size and style. Times New Roman 12 or 11 point is usually the best choice. One important thing to remember about business memo format is that this document is single-spaced in most cases. You can have spaces between paragraphs though. Paragraphs normally are not indented.
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Getting Ready to Write a Memo
1) Think carefully if you actually need to write a memo. Usually, a business memo is written to suggest a solution to a problem or an idea, report or update on something like a project, or give some instructions. Besides, some information can be delicate and should not be sent in a memo. In such cases, a direct conversation will be more appropriate.
2) Discuss one specific topic only in your memo. Cramming the discussion of more than one topic in your memo may make it difficult for a receiver to properly grasp each point. Thus, you need to make sure you have your topic narrowed and you stay focused throughout the memo.
3) Take into consideration who you are writing to. The tone and style you use, just as the content of the memo, should be appropriate for a particular receiver. For instance, distinguish between your colleagues, supervisor, or subordinates. Also, if more than one person should get your memo, then make sure you include all those who should be informed.
Writing a Memo
1) Title your memo with words “Memo” or “Memorandum.” Both centering and left-justifying your title are fine. Then, provide the heading with four lines: “To,” “From,” “Date,” and “Subject.” Specific attention should be paid to the subject line. Make it brief, specific and clear. Also, keep in mind that salutation is not normally used when writing a business memo.
2) Provide an introduction at the beginning of the body of your memo. Keep it short. Then, compose a few paragraphs in which you actually discuss your topic. It is a good practice to use headings and subheadings in the body of your memo to make it more readable. Make sure each heading/subheading is brief and to the point. Moreover, you can use bullet points or lists. At the end of your business memo, write a conclusion. If required, finish the document with stating the specific action(s) you want your recipient(s) to take. If none is required, you may close with the phrase like “Let me know if you happen to have any questions.”
3) Remember to start each body paragraph with a topic sentence. This will help your receiver to better navigate through the content of your memo. Each paragraph should be devoted to one idea only.
4) Try not to go over a page or two when writing a business memo. Also, you may want to write a summary. Normally, a business memo does not require one, but if you feel that the information you have written is complicated or if your memo is somewhat long, it is okay to provide a short summary of the main points.
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