Memos Overview

Learning Objectives

Module 4: Memos

  • Learn the purpose of memos
  • Learn the format of memos
  • Learn the types of memos
  • Learn to write memos

 

In this unit we will discuss types of memos and memo format.

Memos are a common  method of communication within a specific business, company, or institution. The successful operation of a company depends on memos for communication between the employees of the company. Types of memos include: inquires, recommendations, problem-solution, status updates, and generally short messages geared at keeping members of the organization up-to-speed on current information..

A memo’s format provides employees with clear and easy access to information. The message is direct. Unless directly related to the message, references to company structure and operation are eliminated in a memo. However, a memo follows a specific format for easy access to information. A memo includes a heading block that identifies the recipient, the sender, the date, and the subject of the message. The order of the parts of the memo heading block and location of specific part of the block varies, according to different companies’ expectations.

However, the message has three parts, each of which is identified by a specific heading. The three parts are the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. The introduction references background information Memo Bookand informs the purpose of the message. The body is the message. The body can be one simple paragraph or multiple paragraphs. The conclusion expresses what you expect the recipient to do. The conclusion could be one paragraph or several paragraphs, or the conclusion could be a simple sentence that asks for the recipient to contact the sender if there are questions.

Consider the following scenario: You are a consultant for a construction company. The project manager of the company has charged you with following the progress of a job that the company has contracted. To keep the project manager informed of the progress of the job, you may send him/her one of 3 types of memos: A Projection Analysis Timeline Memo, which is sent before the job begins and details the expected beginning and ending  dates of the job; a Progress Memo, which is sent during the progression of the job and details the progress of the job, and a Period Report Memo, which is sent after the completion of the job and details the completion dates of all phases of the job.

 

Examples of all 3 types of memos can be viewed in the following attachments.

Projected Analysis Timeline Memo:  https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/oerfiles/technical+writing/Example+Memo+Projection+Analysis+Timeline+with+Gantt+Chart.doc

Progress Memo: https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/oerfiles/technical+writing/Example+Memo+Progress.docx

Periodic Memo: https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/oerfiles/technical+writing/Example+Memo+Periodic.doc

Other sections of this module will discuss memo formats for different situations and audiences.