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Steps to write a memo

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Steps to write a memo
August 31, 2018 Anniversary Wishes 3 comments

Memoranda (commonly known a memos) have been a staple of internal business communication. While email and other such communications.

Writing a memo can seem to be a bit daunting at first, but it isn't difficult if you know the steps. As with any business document, it's important to properly format and organize any memo you are writing, as well as to ensure that it's error free before distribution. Follow these four steps when writing a business memo.

Step 1: Create the Memo's Heading

Business memos that will be printed or emailed as attachments should begin with a heading that lists the name(s) of the staff members who will be receiving it. If the memo will be included in the body of an email, this section is not necessary because the email program will provide the information typically included in a memo heading for you.

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Example Memo Heading:

A memo's heading typically includes the following lines:

Memo To: Fill in recipient name(s)

From: Sender's full name

Date: Date memo is sent

RE: Specific subject line; a brief explanation of what the memo is about

CC: Names of the person or people who will receive a copy of the memo (optional; use only if the memo is being copied to additional people)

Heading Tips

Follow these tips when creating the heading for your memo:

  • Headings should include the full name (no nicknames) of the person or people who will receive the document.
  • You should also include your full name, and the date the memo was prepared.
  • The next part of the heading is the subject of the memo, which is usually indicated by "RE:", which stands for "regarding."
  • Make the subject as specific as possible. Instead of a general heading such as "New Policy," choose "New Policy for Scheduling Vacations."
  • If the menu will be copied to other people, end the heading with a CC: line. The meaning of CC: in this context is "carbon copy." If you are copying multiple recipients, simply list all the names, being sure to separate each one with a comma.

Step 2: Write the Body of the Memo

The body of a memo is where the information will be conveyed. It includes three key components:

  • Introduction: This should be a short paragraph of two or three sentences that lets people know the reason for the memo in a direct manner.
  • Recommendations or purpose: This section gets to the meat of the message using key points, highlights or background information. It may include supporting detail like facts and statistics, as well as examples and reasons for the memo.
  • Closing: The closing/conclusion of the memo should clarify what action needs to be taken and when it needs to be completed or reiterates the timely news included in the memo.

Step 3: Finalize the Memo Prior to Sending

Proofread the memo carefully before you send it. Make sure that is free from typos and that the document accurately conveys the point(s) you want to get across. Use the following guidelines when evaluating what you have written and make changes as needed.

  • Audience-appropriate: Verify the document is appropriate for the education, background, company status and needs of the recipients.
  • Concise: Remove needless words and keep the memo to one page or less in most circumstances.
  • Coherent: Make sure that the memo structure is simple and logical and that each paragraph is limited to one idea.
  • Readability: Make sure to keep paragraphs short and use bullet points to list key details.
  • Terminology: Use appropriate terminology that the audience can be expected to understand.
  • Factual tone: Verify that the tone is professional and that you have not included emotionally charged words.
  • Appearance: Ensure the finished document is visually appealing and easy to read.

It can be challenging to proofread your own writing, so you may want to have a trusted colleague review the memo once you are fairly certain that it is error-free. Having that second set of eyes can help you catch and correct additional errors.

Step 4: Distribute the Memo

Memos can be distributed in print or email.

Distributing Printed Memos

Planning to distribute your memo in hard copy (printed) format? When you are sure the memo is ready to go, hand-write your initials by your name on the 'from' line, then copy and distribute the document to the recipient(s). Your initials serve as a form of signature on a memo.

Sending Memos Via Email

If you are sending a memo via email, it's a best practice to convert it to a PDF document before sending, so that you can be sure the memo format will carry through to everyone who receives it. One you have done that, simply enter the appropriate email addresses, attach the memo and add a descriptive subject line. You may also want to add a few lines of introductory text in the body of the email directing readers to open the attachment before clicking 'send.'

Printable Sample Memo Template

While you can apply the tips above to setting up and formatting a memo yourself, you may also find it helpful to start from a pre-formatted template. If you'd like to do this, simply click the image below and a customizable template that you can edit, save and print will open as a PDF document in a separate window. If you need help to download the template, check out these helpful tips.

Once the template is open, click anywhere in the document to replace example the text with the details of your memo, being sure to follow the tips outlined above. When you are finished, use the menu commands to save and print.

Different Types of Business Memos

Of course, there are many different reasons you may need to write a memo, and deciding what to say can be challenging. Accounting-focused memos, such as credit memos are debit memos, will be very different from human resources memos used for things like employee discipline, performance reviews, or promotion recommendations. Review these memo examples if you'd like to see additional samples of pre-written memos for inspiration.

This is what you have to aim in the intention of writing a good memo for someone. When writing a memo, think of the words informative, direct, and to-the point.

20+ Memo Writing Examples & Samples in PDF | DOC | Pages

steps to write a memo

By Sue Fox

Business memorandum or memoranda — also called memo or memos — are specially formatted written communications within your business. A memo’s format is typically informal (but still all-business) and public. Memos typically make announcements, discuss procedures, report on company activities, and disseminate employee information. If you have something confidential to communicate, don’t do it in a memo.

The tone of memos usually is informal and friendly. Although you don’t need to be curt, officious, or patronizing, a certain succinctness is acceptable. Structure the memo so that the most important information comes in the first paragraph and that subsequent paragraphs spell out what’s discussed in the first paragraph.

All memos are structured similarly. They have the following elements:

  • An addressee: Flush left, in capital letters, near the top of the page

  • The sender: Flush left, in caps, immediately below the addressee

  • Date: Flush left, in caps, immediately below the sender’s name

  • Subject: Flush left, in caps, immediately below the date

Use suitable paper for your memos — white bond, either note size or standard to fit most desk in-baskets.

This figure shows an example of a properly structured memo.

Some people appear to think that memos, because they’re public, are effective management tools. Although memos are effective for direction and suggestion, criticism and praise are best given in person.

Even though the majority of information today is conveyed via e-mail, you still need to use the correct style when sending a memo in the body of an e-mail. When you’re conveying larger amounts of information, send that information as a properly formatted memo attachment. The message itself can contain the correct headings, numbered items, and other formatted information that an e-mail does not allow as easily.

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Welcome to the Purdue OWL

steps to write a memo

Like most forms of writing, memos come with so many rules, instructions, and suggestions that it's easy to forget a few. Since we've already addressed the dos and don'ts of how to write a memo, let's take a moment to look at these rules in practice.

While reading over the below memo examples, pay special attention to the key features of a memo. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is it addressed to the right audience?
  • Does the subject line accurately convey its contents?
  • Does it anticipate and address potential objections?
  • Is it formatted clearly and consistently?

When considering each memo's main text, pay close attention to the structure. The opening paragraph should restate the memo's purpose indicated in the subject line. Subsequent paragraphs should build on this opening statement and explain the memo's purpose in detail. Unnecessary information should be removed, and word choice should remain straightforward and professional.

Memo Example 1: A General Office Memo


To: All Staff

From: The Manager

Date: May 27, 2010

Subject: Inappropriate use of time on Google Doodle games


It has come to my attention that many in the office have been spending time on the Google home page microgames. This memo is a reminder to use your work hours for work.

According to a recent article, the estimated daily cost of people collectively playing these games instead of working is over $120 million—which is calculated based on the daily average increased time spent on the Google home page (36 seconds).

If these estimates are applied to our 600 office employees, this results in a nearly $700 weekly loss.

This is a conservative estimate considering the extensive discussions that occur about beating the office's current high score. The extra cost quickly adds up.

Of course, we don't want you to view our organization as a place of drudgery and draconian rules. I encourage a fun and competitive environment, and I recognize that we certainly won't be profitable if you are unhappy or dissatisfied with your jobs. This is just a reminder to be careful with your use of company time.

Thank you,

The Manager


Wright, Tony. (2010). The Tragic Cost of Google Pac-Man – 4.82 million hours. Retrieved May 26, 2010 from: http://blog.rescuetime.com/2010/05/24/the-tragic-cost-of-google-pac-man-4-82-million-hours/

Memo Example 2: A Departmental Memo


To: Computer Programming Division

From: Vice President Lumbergh

Date: February 19, 2016

Subject: Attaching cover sheets to TPS reports

This is to remind the division that, starting today, we are now filing all Testing Procedure Specification (TPS) reports with new cover sheets.

The reason for this change is simple. In addition to a new format, the cover sheets provide a summary of the report as well as the updated legal copy. The new cover sheets also include Initech's new logo.

Though this change may initially seem like a headache and an extra step, it is necessary to include the new cover sheets due to their updated information. Failing to do so will result in a confusing and inaccurate product delivered to our customers.

Please be sure to follow this new procedure.

Best regards,

Vice President Lumbergh


By following these memo examples and addressing your audience in clear, concise language, you'll be able to effectively communicate with your coworkers in all your correspondence.

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There may be occasions when it's appropriate to write a memo or a brief, succinct message to your boss. Depending on your internal corporate.

How To Write an Effective Memo

steps to write a memo

A memo, or memorandum, is a written document business use to communicate an announcement or notification. While memos were once the primary form of written internal communication in a business, they are now commonly sent in the form of an email.

In this article, learn more about how to write a memo with tips you can use to ensure your memos are clear, concise and effective.


What is a memo?

A memo is a short message that's typically used to communicate official business policies and procedures within a company. Memos are usually meant as a mass communication to all members of an organization rather than a one-on-one personal message.


When you should write a memo

For the most part, the purpose of writing a memo is to inform. However, memos can occasionally include a call to action or a persuasive element.

A few examples of when a memo might be useful include:

  • Informing employees about company policy or process changes
  • Providing an update on key projects or goals
  • When making an announcement about the company, such as an employee promotion or new hire
  • To remind employees about a task that needs to be completed
  • To make a request of all employees
  • When you're communicating a message that employees will refer to more than once, such as a detailed proposal or recommendation

Memos are also an efficient way to communicate brief but important messages to a wide audience within the business. This can include product changes, meeting schedules, procedure changes, policy additions, summaries of agreement terms and reminders. Additionally, you can send a memo when you want your audience to print or save the information contained in the message in some way for later reference.


Types of memos

There are a few main types of memos you can write depending on your needs and the content of your message. Below are some of the most common types of memos.

  • Report memo: Typically sent to give an update or progress report.
  • Request memo: Submitted as a request to a certain person or team. Persuasive language works well in request memos.
  • Confirmation memo: Written to confirm an agreement made between two parties.
  • Suggestive memo: Usually sent by management requesting input from employees on how to solve a certain problem.


How to write a memo

While each memo should be written to address its unique needs, there are a few steps you can follow to create a clear, highly readable document. Like many other professional business documents, memos will include an introduction, body and conclusion.

  1. Start with a header that clearly indicates that the communication is a memorandum, the intended recipients, the sender, the date and the subject.
  2. Write an introduction uses a declarative sentence to announce the main topic of the memo.
  3. Include a body paragraph has discussion points that elaborate or list the main ideas associated with the memo's topic. To make your memo easier to read, write in short paragraphs and break the information into smaller, more manageable chunks. Since the recipients will likely be scanning the memo, you should also use subheadings and bulleted lists when possible.
  4. Conclude your memo with any remaining information following the body paragraph. This is a summary of the memo and should clearly inform the reader of any actions required.
  5. Close with your name, email address and phone number in case anyone needs to contact you.

If your intended recipients will need to refer to other information, such as a graph, image or chart, you can include it as an attachment below the end of your memo.


Tips for writing an effective memo

Here are several tips to consider to improve your memo:

  • Always consider your audience when writing a memo. While an acronym or abbreviation might be commonly used in the marketing department, it could be unknown to the IT department. If you're writing a memo for the entire company, use clear and concise language accessible to everyone.
  • Use professional language and tone. When sending a company-wide, you are speaking for the organization. Use business formal language with easy-to-understand words and concepts.
  • Write a subject that is straightforward and clear. For example, if you need to send out a memo announcing the observance of a holiday, include the name and date of the holiday in your subject line. Send your memo at least a week before the event or due date so people have time to adjust their plans accordingly.


Memo template

The following is a sample memo you can use as a guide for your next document:


To: Names of intended recipients
From: Your Name, Title
Date: Month Day, Year

Subject: Subject of the memo

Begin the memo with a sentence that describes the reason you are writing. It should be very short—about one or two sentences in length. The introduction should clearly state the purpose of the memo so the reader immediately understands what it is about. If the memo is meant to respond or follow up on a certain topic or situation, include that in the first paragraph.

  • Bullet point to list important information.
  • Bullet point to list important information.
  • Bullet point to list important information.

Use the last few sentences to conclude your memo. Make sure you include a request for any action you need people to take after reading your memo.

Thank you,
[Your name]
[Your email address]
[Your phone number]

Attachment: Attachment of image, graph or chart that your intended recipients might need.

Memos are an important form of communication within a company. Now that you understand the memorandum definition and you have some clear tips on how to write a memo, you can create memos that will effectively communicate what you need people to know.

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WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: Writing a Clear Business Memo

In this post, we will teach you how to correctly format a memo. A memorandum is an important business document for internal comunication.

steps to write a memo
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