WRITING MEMOS:Communicating with Co-Workers ENGR 120/240
What is a Memo? • Memo is short for Memorandum • A memo is a form of internal communication used within an organization • It can be used for a variety of purposes and sent to a variety of audiences; it is a very versatile document form.
Why write a Memo? • To introduce the transmittal of internal documents • To provide information and updates on new policies, procedures, meetings, confirmation of projects, decisions, directives, etc. • To inform audience about an issue or problem • To create a record • As short internal reports (proposals, progress reports, etc. Messages within these memos may contain headings and graphics)
Memos vs Letters • Memos differ from letters in that they are “in house” communications • They can be somewhat informal • Use “you” and “I” and contractions • But avoid slang and colloquialisms
Memo Format A Memo has 3 formatted sections: • Letterhead/logo of the business or organization • Header: To/from/date/subject block • Message
1. Logo/letterhead • You can Use UVic or ENGR letterhead, or make up your own hypothetical workplace logo. • Logo is generally centred or placed on the right side of the page • You do not need a logo
Set margins about a 1/4 inch past the longest line (subject) so all text items are left justified and aligned 2. Memo Header Typically Bold; may be ALL CAP or just first letter in upper case Subject line should be short, but Specific. You can Capitalize key words or not, as long as you are consistent: ie: Engr. 120 project proposal TO: Engr. 120 Students FROM: Suzan Last CC: Ann Onymous DATE: Jan. 18, 2013 SUBJECT:Engr. 120 Learning Plan Proposal ------------------------------------------------------------------- Line separates header from message
3. Message • MEMO • To: Engr. 120 students • From: Suzan Last • Date: Jan15, 2017 • Subject: Engr. 120 Learning Plan assignment • ___________________________________________ • Your Learning Plan is due on ______. I would like you to submit this in the form of a Memo written to me. Your memo will include • -what you want to achieve • -how you plan to achieve it • -and why (in a conclusion) • You will display your learning goals, strategies and resources in a three column table, and explain the table in the text of your memo. • I look forward to reading your memo and helping you achieve your goals. • Suzan Last • Message should be left justified, aligned with the header • leave ragged right margin • Traditionally, memos had a handwritten signature at the bottom. Now, electronic signatures are common
Message Content • The Message of the Memo typically has a 3 part structure: • Opening paragraph clearly indicates purpose of the memo. The reader should be able to answer: why do I have to read this? • The middle paragraph(s) give the specific details that the reader needs to know • The final paragraph indicates what action is expected of the reader: what do you want me to do now that I have read the memo?
Memo style guidelines Use your best informal writing style in terms of grammar, spelling, word choice, punctuation, sentence structure, etc. • Informal means you can use “I” and contractions, but avoid slang, inappropriate tone, and colloquial expressions) Make sure paragraphs have clear topic sentences and are coherent