A memo has a distinct structure that makes this style of paper stand out from other forms of writing explicitly because of the memo’s purposes as a type of formal writing. A memo usually identifies a problem and draws the attention of concerned parties to make recipients aware of problems, establishing the need for the issue to be addressed. However, memos have to provide solutions to addressed problems. Therefore, an analysis of components that make up a memo is presented to show variations and possible structure of memo examples.
Parts of Memo
There are two main parts in a memo: Heading and Body. The heading segment is usually the first part of memo samples. The information contained in the heading segment is usually related to the memo’s origin, content, and desired audience. Moreover, the body of a memo usually follows just after the heading segment, and this part contains a detailed but brief presentation of problems, solutions, and recommendations. Hence, each of these elements has general formats. In turn, writers organize memos in slight variations to general formats to accommodate institution-specific memo structures, achieving the intended purpose of that particular memo.
Headings Used in Memo Examples
The heading segment contains two distinct parts: a company’s header and a descriptive section that includes information concerning recipients, the memo’s origin, and hints toward body paragraphs. Therefore, company headers are usually institution-specific.
Each word in headings has a specific purpose. For
Company headers usually identify institutions to which memos belong. For example, headers, depending on the institution’s preferred formats, may either be at the top left, the center, or top right of documents (“Memos”). However, institutional headers used in memos are usually shortened versions of headers used in formal letters. The company’s header usually lacks the detailed contact information and address but instead just contains the logo, and, in some cases, a short caption line below the logo. Choices of how headers will look fall solely on institutions. As a fact, institutions use memos for internal communication. However, since companies have many departments at different physical locations, writers may include logos to show institutional affiliation.
Descriptive segments consist of “To,” “From,” “Date,” and “Subject.” In particular, it aligns to the left margin. For instance, the word “To” provides platforms for listing all the names of intended recipients in memo examples (“How to Write” 2). The names provided usually include the first and the last name of recipients together with titles of departmental affiliation. In cases where all the recipients are aware of each other’s identity, for example, within a department of fewer than ten employees, members use the first initial followed by the last name (2). Also, writers list recipients either alphabetically or according to ranks in institutions, although it is better to use rank arrangements. Additionally, senders may use departmental sorting of names.
Sample Heading of a Memo
From: Alex Turner, Writer
Date: November 21, 2019
Subject: Guides on Memo Samples
At times, writers may not list all the recipients’ names in the “To” position due to a large number of recipients. To remedy this challenge, the words “See distribution list” are filled in the “To” area, and a distribution list is written at the end of memo samples (2). “From” provides the area for a listing of author’s or authors’ names accompanied by initials. Hence, the ordering of names for multiple authors is similar to that for multiple recipients. Moreover,
Body of Memo Samples
The body of a good memo elaborates further on subject topics identified in heading segments. In particular, a memo body includes four major parts: introduction, statement of facts, argument, and conclusion.
The introduction part works to establish the memo’s context. A basic introductory paragraph includes memo’s purposes and any additional information that is relevant to help recipients to remember exact events referred to memos, for example, reference numbers to a letter and a brief outline of the remaining part of the body (“Writing Memos” 3). Hence, depending on the intended memo plan style chosen, the length of the introduction paragraph changes accordingly. For a one-page memo, paragraphs should be roughly 4-6 sentences long.
Statement of Facts
The second part of the memo or statement of facts illustrates specific points related to problems or issues addressed by memo examples. Providing evidence, data, cases, and valid arguments elaborates more on the memo’s subject.
The argument part provides evidence and explains the relevance of the facts mentioned in previous sections (“How to Write” 3). Also, this feature shows relations between suggested solutions and problems addressed.
Conclusions summarize the memo’s content. For instance, summaries may include stating recommendations or specific courses of actions for memo’s recipients. Writers take this situation in the specific case, and an indication of future actions is based on the memo’s findings.
Different Structures of the Body Part in Memo Examples
The body of memo examples can take various structures. The kind of structure taken depends on factors, such as the type and the content. The next part is the memo’s type. For example, a lengthy memo has a longer and more detailed body as compared to a short memo. Additionally, memo samples, presenting outcomes of particular activities, might use subheadings while this feature may not be necessary for straightforward content, such as informing employees to attend meetings (“Writing Memos” 2). Nevertheless, the memo’s body should be brief and straight to the point. There should be no additional statements that add no value to the content. Conclusions should be obvious for readers because of processed information. If possible, concluding segments should not be presented in long, complicated sentences (see Conclusion Examples). Thus, the memo’s body holds all the subject content under discussion. In turn, a sample of midterm memo for English 101 class is provided below:
General Formatting of Memo Samples
Most memo samples are usually short one-page documents. In this case, writers organize documents to portray great readability. For instance, spacing is usually at the author’s discretion but is restricted by a few guidelines (“Writing Memos” 4). Therefore, there should be no spacing that holds no significance to memos. Hence, one should not place unnecessary spacing to fill pages. Spacing should permanently break body paragraphs into logical sections for readability. Writers cannot have memo examples with one single paragraph. Moreover, senders should use a suitable font and font size to enhance readability. Thus, the presentation of a memo is crucial, resulting in the document’s readability.
Discussion segments of the memo’s structure should provide adequate information for anyone. Memo examples have two main parts: Body and Heading. The particulars on each of these parts have been scrutinized. Hence, employers and employees should master memo writing as a skill as they can use such a piece of knowledge in various institutional settings.
“Memos: Purpose and Format.” Courses Lumenlearning, 2019, courses.lumenlearning.com/technicalwriting/chapter/memos_-purpose-and-format-2/.
How to Write an Effective Memo. Kean University, 2019, www.kean.edu/~cpdonova/HowtoWriteaMemo2.pdf.
Writing Memos. Blinn College-Bryan Writing Center, 2008, www.des.ucdavis.edu/faculty/handy/ESP171/Writing_Memos.pdf.