memorandum or memo has been borrowed from the practice of military correspondence.
It is the most common form of written communication in business and industry. Until
recent times, its use has been restricted to interoffice, interdepartmental or
interorganizational communications. However, it is now being circulated with greater
frequency out of the originating organization.
solve problems either by informing the reader
about new information, like policy changes, price increases, etc., or by
persuading the reader to take an action, such as attend a meeting, use paper, or
change a current production procedure. Regardless of the specific goal, memos are
most effective when they connect the purpose of the writer with the interests and
needs of the reader.
primary purpose of the memo is to save time for both the reader and the writer. The
reader is given direct, concise information and facts, with conclusions and
recommendations (as appropriate) to provide clear but ample background to arrive at
a proper decision and necessary action.
memos are divided into segments to organize the information and to help achieve the
writer’s purpose. The are: a) Heading Segment; b) Opening Segment; c) Summary
Segment; d) Discussion Segments; e) Closing Segment; f) Necessary Attachments. A
memorandum needs no return address, inside address, salutation and complimentary
heading segment follows this general format:
(readers’ names and job titles)
(your name and job title)
(complete and current date)
(what the memo is about, highlighted in some way.
purpose of a memo is usually found in the opening paragraphs and is presented in
three parts: the context and problem, the specific assignment or task, and the
purpose of the memo.
your memo is longer than a page, you may want to include a separate summary segment.
This segment provides a brief
statement of the key recommendations you have reached. This will help your
reader to understand the key points of the memo immediately.
discussion segments are where you get to throw in all the juicy detailed information
that you gave gathered to support your ideas.
are almost done. After the reader has absorbed all of your information, you want to
close with a courteous
ending that states what action you want your reader to take.
sure you document your findings or provide detailed information whenever necessary.
You can do this by attaching lists, graphs, tables, etc. at the end of your memo.
Board of Directors
Thomas H. Duley
December 15, 1998
Financial Report for November
earnings for the month of November were $12.4 million or $56 a share compared with
$13.8 million or $63 a share a year ago. Net earnings for the eleven months ending
November 30 were $125.0 million or $5.60 a share. That was an improvement of 124.6
percent over the $55.7 million or $2.26 a share for the comparable period last year.
interest income continues to make substantial improvements, up $17.7 million for the
month of November and $181,0 million for the eleven-month period. In addition, the
following significant items affected earning:
Earnings for the month of November included $2.2. million from the sale of loans and
investments, an amount well below the $8.5 million for November of last year.
The interest rate spread was 2.52 percent for the month of November and remained at
2.45 percent for the eleven-month period - an increase of 72 basis points over the
1.73 percent for the prior comparable period.
The insurance subsidiary contributed net earnings of $1.4 million for the month and
$12.5 million for the year to date with both figures more than double the totals of
equity was $1.015 million at November 30.
information will be presented at the December board meeting.
document the findings
частина для короткого викладу
на рівні частини
arrive at a proper decision and necessary action
правильного рішення і необхідної дії
throw in all the juicy detailed information
всю виразну детальну інформацію
How do the memos solve problems?
When are the memos most effective?
What is the primary purpose of
Why do you divide the memo into segments?
What are the standard memo segments?
What is the general format of the heading segment?
How is the purpose of a memo presented?
memorandum below was written by an employee in a company which provides seeds for
agricultural purposes. Read it and decide on the writer’s aim. Then decide which
of the following is the most suitable subject heading for the memo.
How We Can Improve our Methods of Storage for Seed Potatoes
Improvements in Methods of Storage for Seed Potatoes
certain times of the year, large quantities of seed potatoes are kept for up to
several months in Stores 3 and 4. They are stored in clamps and covered by dried
seaweed, hay and straw.
problems are regularly encountered with this method, the most important of which are
weight loss and sprouting. These two factors alone have caused the loss of 14 tons
seed potatoes in the last year.
currently being carried out in the United States suggests that these problems could
be resolved by adopting alternative storage methods, the extra cost of which would
be only 15% of the loss currently incurred. (A detailed description of this research
is therefore recommended that a pilot scheme should be set
up to evaluate these methods and if this is successful, that they should be
approval would be appreciated.
the following memo, the development section has been omitted. The missing
information is given below, but in the wrong order.
the missing information in a logical sequence. Put the sentences a) to h) in the
Main Workshop Supervisor
Wrongly Supplied Spare Part
memo refers to your Item No. 3 on the Air Cargo Manifest for Flight BA61 on 14.9.98.
are therefore requested to take the necessary action concerning this incident and
arrange to send us correct item without delay.
is hoped that such errors can be avoided in future.
f the item, it was found to be a liner instead of a complete
Repairs to an essential company vehicle were delayed.
It was discovered that no local supplier stocks a similar part.
This special item was ordered urgently on our material issue voucher dated
The vehicle still awaits repair and is unavailable for use.
On 16.9.98, attempts were made to obtain a temporary alternative part from
The item was fully described as a complete cylinder head (Part No. 631461) on
Company operations have been seriously affected.
the following memorandum, the paragraphs are in the wrong sequence.
them in the correct order. In addition, supply a suitable subject heading.
All Heads of Department
The practice of random parking is not only a nuisance to the general public,
but also impedes deliveries to the plant. Most serious of all, it could hinder or
even prevent fire engines and ambulances from reaching the scene of an emergency.
Therefore, all Departmental Heads are urgently requested to remind their
staff to use the official car parks and to inform them that, as from 10.1.98, cars
parked elsewhere will be towed away at the owner’s expense.
It has been brought to my notice that many employees are failing to use the
car parks provided by the company. Instead, they are parking around the perimeter of
the premises, on access roads and outside the main gates.
conclusions of the following memos have been removed. Read through the memos and
then complete them. If they have been well written, you will find that you will have
no doubt about what the conclusions should be. (If you have the opportunity, compare
your conclusions with those of other students doing this exercise).
Delivery of Materials
has been noted recently that some departments send their materials to R and D for
urgent on forwarding extremely late in the day, i.e. shortly before this section
closes at 16.00hours.
practice inevitably causes delays in the dispatch of these materials, due to
insufficient time for the necessary
packing and arrangements of transport. This process takes approximately one
in order to ensure that materials can be receive
and dispatched on the same day, it is recommended that
R and D: Receipt and Dispatch Section
sending materials on to other destinations
GS, Engineering Services
Delivery of Cylinder Heads, 22.8.98
close inspection of the consignment of cylinder heads recently delivered to us under
Indent No. 1654, it was discovered that 5 of them were severely pitted.
consignment appeared to be properly packed, and there was no evidence of damage to
the container. Furthermore, the remaining 5 pieces in the container were in perfect
would therefore be appreciated of you could
The cylinder heads were pitted means their
surface was full of small holes
the introduction and development sections have been constructed effectively, then
the conclusion of a memo should be extremely easy to write. In fact, by the time
that this stage is reached, the conclusions of the memo should by obvious, and the
reader should have a very good idea in advance of what this final section is going
to contain. If the conclusion holds any surprises for the reader, then the previous
sections of the memo were in some way faulty.
1 is a good example of a memo. It deals with only one topic. The introduction
immediately describes the background situation, and the development makes the
message totally clear. Your conclusion will therefore read something like this:
it is recommended that materials for urgent on forwarding should arrive at R and D
well before 1500.
Text 2, on the other hand, the conclusion of the memo is not immediately clear. It
could either be a general one:
would therefore be appreciated if you could ensure that all materials are properly
checked before being issued.
it could be more specific:
would therefore be appreciated if you could immediately replace the five damaged
it could be a combination of these conclusions, and yet other conclusions might also
be possible. Clearly, the writer of Text 2 is less successful at controlling the
information in his memo.
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