As Professional Writers, knowing how to write memos is a must. Whether it’s to a professor, client, or employer, this memo-writing checklist can help you structure your document.
1.) The entire memo should have a rather large header indicating that the document is a memo. It should also be single spaced, 1-inch margins, pages numbered, and double-spaced between each section.
2.) Begin with a ‘To’ section containing the name of the receiver. For informal memos, the receiver’s given name; e.g. “To: Andy” is enough. For more formal memos, use the receiver’s full name. If the receiver is in another department, use the full name and the department name.
3.) A ‘From’ section containing the name of the sender. For informal memos, the sender’s other name; e.g. ‘From: Bill’ is enough. For more formal memos, use the sender’s full name. If the receiver is in another department, use the full name and the department name. It is usually not necessary to use Mr., Mrs., Miss or Ms unless the memo is very formal.
4.) A ‘Date’ section.
5.) A subject heading that summarizes what your memo addresses, like an email subject heading.
6.) The message. The chunk of the memo should contain the following sections: Intro, Body, and Conclusion. The first section should include an introduction to the subject addressed in the memo as well as a list of the section headings of the following body sections. Each body paragraph should have a summarizing section heading. The conclusion should analyze and summarize the memo.
For more memo writing tips, check out this article at Communications at Work or make an appointment with the Writing Center at http://writing.msu.edu/.