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The elements of a memo are divided into three categories :
Optional lines for references and attachments
These lines ensure that any one looking at the memo will know who sent it , who the principal recipient is, the date the memo was written, its subject matter, who wrote and typed the memo, who receives copies and what attachments accompany the memo.
The word From followed by a colon and the sender’s name and professional title.
The word Date followed by a colon and the day, month, and year. All memos must be dated. This gives sender and receiver a record of their correspondence.
The word Subject followed by a colon and a line indicating the topic of the memo. The subject line should be as concise and specific as possible to catch your reader’s interest. E.g. Subject : Changes in Medical Benefits
Unlike business letters, memos are not signed by the sender.
Instead , the initials (in capitals) of the writer followed by a colon and the initials (small letters) of the person who typed or prepared the memo appear two spaces below the last line of the memo. E.g. SR:tsk
The “cc” line appears two spaces below the sender’s initials. E.g. cc : Paul Sherman
Optional lines include references to other documents and a list of attachments. You can place these lines either at the top of the memo before the subject or at the end of the memo following the initials or copies line.
To : Alvin Koria , Product Manager
From : Wallace Fuller , Corporate Secretary
Date : June 14, 2008
Reference : Contract #315
Josephson & Associate, Inc.
Subject : Final Amendments to Josephson Contract
Writing Strategy : use shorter, more varied sentences
Include only one or two ideas in each sentence
For e.g. instead of ,
The new air express delivery service should speed up our overnight mailings and give us an advantage over the competition in serving East Coast markets, which are starting to become more competitive….
The new air express delivery service will speed up our overnight mailings. Faster service should give us an advantage over the competition in serving our East Coast markets.
Watch for connecting and linking words to split or combine sentences.
Words like and, but, which, while, although, and however often indicate a natural break between sentences.
Look for them in your writing when you are dividing long sentences into shorter ones.
For e.g. instead of, The National Toy Manufacturers project is going well. I’ve made an appointment to see Grace Peters about working with us on the marketing survey, and Henry Iona told me yesterday he would be willing to pay for part of the research. Say, The National Toy Manufacturers project is going well. I’ve made an appointment to see Grace Peters about working with us on the marketing survey. Yesterday, …..
Vary sentence construction. When sentences are all the same type, the message appears emotionally cold and monotonous.
For e.g. We attended the housewares show in Rockford on May 12 and 13. Over 120 dealers displayed their products and gave demonstrations. We talked with two kitchen ware dealers interested in our packaging ideas. I will follow up these leads when I return to the office on Monday. Can be changed to : On May 12 and 13 we attended the housewares show in Rockford. Over 120 dealers displayed their products and gave demonstrations. We talked with two kitchen ware dealers who seemed interested in our packaging ideas. When I return to the office on Monday, I’ll follow up these leads.