How to Write a Good and Clear Memorandum
What is a memorandum – definition
It is good to understand the meaning of a memo before you proceed to encrypt one so that you can be, of what you are writing. A memorandum is a short notice usually written by the management to address a certain policy or give a certain announcement or changes in an organization. In official instances, a memo is usually written by the organization heads, but even students at different levels of education may be examined on the same.
So, whether you are a student or working-class, writing a memo is a very important skill that you cannot afford to miss. A memo can also be written in a business case where you are writing to confirm to your suppliers that you have received certain goods. This type of memo called a business memorandum.
How to write a good memo
It is good to know how to come up with the best memo so that whatever you are trying to pass across to your audience is clear. In most cases, a memo is usually used to address very critical matters and therefore it has to come out clear so that the content of the information being passed is not distorted. Below are some of the tips that you need to pay attention to while writing your memo:
- Make it a s short as possible- the memo should not be lengthy because it will be tiresome to read. Most people would want to go through it with the shortest time possible but acquire all the information. You need to summarize as much as you can. The shorter your memo will be, the more the readers because most people are prone to be ignorant to lengthy notices.
- Use simple English- you should not use complex language while writing your memo because the readers may end up missing up important points and your memorandum will not have served its purpose. Avoid too much use of vocabularies in your work.
- Use a captivating heading- the heading of your memo should attract readers- you should be very selective in the words that you use for your heading because that is the first impression that your readers would come across. Others would just read the heading and leave, so it is your responsibility to make them curious to read the rest of the document. There are different ways that you can use to captivate the readers:
- Use bolding on emphasize- you should use bold letters in the action that expect your readers to take so that it can attract their attention and they will have gotten the message.
- Use a different color for the heading- you can decide to use a different color for your heading so that it can attract readers from a distance.
- Avoid simple grammar and spelling errors- you should be very cautious in memo writing because a simple spelling mistake may confuse the intended information that you needed to pass and that would be chaos especially if it is a critical matter that affects an organization. You should go through your memo after writing to ensure that everything reads as required.
A memorandum writing format.
The format of your memo should adhere to the required rubric because one can be able to identify a memo from its format. In the notice board you may find several notices of which others are usually, meant for motivations purposes, so it is the format that will distinguish your memo from other notices.
At the top of the page, you should indicate that it is a memo in capital letters. This helps to give identity to your document.
The recipient addresses
Immediately after the header, you should write the recipient address. Be official in writing the name of the recipient whether it is one person or a group of people. The address helps the readers to know whom the memo is being addressed to. You should also include other recipients if you wish your memo to address a different group of people. When you have more than one recipient, you can use the following format:
In this format, the cc will serve to address another recipient that you wish to address apart from your main.
After the recipient’s address, you should indicate where the memo is coming from, write your name and your position if you have one so that the readers can be able to know you.
After writing the senders name you should write the date in the right format so that the readers can be able to know when was the memo sent. The date is important because it distinguishes the old and new memos in the notice board.
After the date, you should write the title of the memo. In the title, you should indicate what the memo is all about clearly. The title carries a heavy weight in your memo because it should tell the reader what the memo is all about in the shortest words.
On the formatting of the heading and the addresses you should:
- Ensure that the content is double spaced. This helps to improve the clarity of your document.
- Align all the content to the left side of your page- you should align the date and the addresses to the left side of the page.
- You should write the start of the address with capital letters. For example, when writing to your staff and you are the It director of a certain company you will proceed on as follows:
To: All staff
From: The IT Director.
Subject: Promotions in Different Departments.
The second part of the memo format is the body. You should keep your memo as short as possible by avoiding more stories in the body paragraphs. Below are some of the tips on how to come up with the best body for your memo:
- Consider your readers- your readers, in this case, are the audience that you are writing to. You should use the right tone depending on what you are writing on. You should be able to note the needs of your audience because for instance if you are requesting something from your staff as the manager, you have to use polite language so that your staff can consider your request. You should ask yourself any question that your readers are likely to come up with after reading your memo and address them accordingly. You should also use a language that will suit the class of people you are addressing.
- Go directly to the point- after deciding on what you are going to write on, you should avoid the salutations available in other letter writing formats. The thesis for your memo should be your major issue.
- Give a small background of the problem- after addressing the change that you need you should proceed and give reasons for the implementation of that policyor rule. Explain to your audience the sole reason that led to coming up with that decision or what motivate you to that step. You can also mention the merits and the demerits of the change.
- Support your issue- after mentioning what you wanted of the readers, you can go on and give illustrations just to be clear on what you mean or improve their understanding. There are several ways in which you can support your points.
- Use of lists- you can use a list to indicate what you need to be done if there are several points.
- Use of short subheadings- you can use a short subheading just to clarify to your reader on the points you are addressing.
- Give the actions that you need the readers to do- after explaining what you need you should state the role of the readers in the implementation of your policies. You can also give the conditions that should apply to your reader. you can, for example, give a deadline to whatever you need to be done.
- End your memo with a summary. You need to summarize your points and state the cause of action needed by your readers. Try and be positive as much as you can while closing your memo.
- The last thing is signing- you can decide to sign at the end of the memo just to make it official. Signing of the memo makes it official.
Types of memos
There are different types of memos that you can be asked to write. It is good to get familiar with each type so that you can be able to classify and know where it falls. Below are some of the memo types that you can come across:
- Request memo- in this type of memo you will be trying to get a favor from a certain person or group of people. You are supposed to use persuasive language to win the heart of your recipients.
- Confirmation memo- this document is written after a certain agreement between two parties. You will be writing just to confirm that you agree to a certain demand. In this type of memo, you should state the terms of the agreement and encourage the recipient to ask for clarification where they did not understand.
- Suggestive memo- this type of writing is written in the case where the management is requesting views from the employees on how to solve a certain problem. You will need to request your readers to give their say about a certain issue and specify how they should forward the suggestions.
- Report memo- this is a memo written after a certain period of time to give an account of the progress.it takes the reportformat. In this memo, the body is mainly consistent of values and charts to indicate the progress.
- Informal results memo- this is where you are required to give the results of a certain action. It can be research that was done and people would wish to know the outcome, or it can be even application results for various seats in a department.
A good writer would always have the passion of going through different samples to improve their proficiency. A memo template will help you to understand how you are supposed to orient your work to look appealing in the eyes of the reader. Below is a memo sample that should act to guide you on how to plan your work and keep to the right format.
To: All students taking IT course at the university.
From: The department chair.
Date: July 7, 2018.
Subject: Submission of your final project.
It has come to our notice that some of you have not submitted their final year projects which is very crucial at this moment because it determines whether you will graduate or not. In the previous years, we have had the same incidents and students usually come back to me crying when they find out that their name is not on the graduation list. The project will account for forty percent of your final grade and that is why it should be taken seriously. On that note the department has given out a deadline of 3rd august 2018, if you do not have submitted your project by then, you will have to wait 1 academic year to graduate. You are all advised to submit your project before the due date as we do not want you to suffer when it comes to graduation. Thanks in advance.
It is good to go through such examples because they help you to understand how to format your work. You also get to know the right tone to use for your memo. The tone is usually very important in memo writing because it will determine the attitude that the recipients will have towards your memo. Am guaranteed that from this guide you are going to be the best writer of a memorandum to suit all kinds of audience.