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Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke Memos? What’s that? Look at textbook index under “memos” to see all the very detailed info that this slideshow briefly.

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Presentation on theme: "Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke Memos? What’s that? Look at textbook index under “memos” to see all the very detailed info that this slideshow briefly."— Presentation transcript:

1 Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke Memos? What’s that? Look at textbook index under “memos” to see all the very detailed info that this slideshow briefly summarizes Engl 2311

2 Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke What’s a memo? This slideshow gives an overview of the major and minor parts of a full-on formal memo This slideshow will help you if: You need a detailed generic outline and organization tips to create a formal memo that has all the organization and formatting elements of a typical professional memo

3 Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke elements of a Formal MEMORANDUM A formal memo has these major sections: Identifying Information Statement of Purpose Summary sentence(s) (or several ¶s for long memos) Background info and an ORGANIZED discussion Concluding Summary, Recommendations, etc.

4 Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke the Identifying Information To, From, Date, and other Header Information The exact formatting varies from one organization to another ALWAYS include a “subject line” This is the Re: line on a memo or Effective subject lines are UNIQUE and SPECIFIC QUICKLY tell people if the memo is informative for them

5 Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke Identifying Information helps people stay organized For example, this info REALLY helps me to organize paperwork from 70+ students in two different courses: Date Handed In: Jan 1, 2001 From: Pandora Dog, eng To: Dr. Art Fricke Re: “Job Application Rough Drafts HW”, due 1/1/2001

6 Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke the Statement of Purpose Opening sentence of a memo Say exactly what the memo does in ONE sentence “This memo requests...” “This memo explains...” “This memo describes...” Helps your reader to evaluate the memo very quickly It should be BRIEF, very CLEAR, and to the point “The purpose of this memo is to...” is a WASTE of WORDS

7 Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke the Summary For short (1 page or less) simple memos A few focused sentences after the statement of purpose Describes why the audience should read the memo Tells the audience your conclusion AT THE BEGINNING For long (2-3+ page) memos One or two or more SHORT paragraphs that work like a cheat sheet  describe why the audience should read the memo  summarize the conclusion &/or recommendations  highlight the main points  describe how later detailed info will be presented

8 Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke the Body Organize complex memos by using section headings  “Background”, “Discussion”, “Recommendations”, are generic headings that won’t apply to specific situations  Use DESCRIPTIVE headings like “The Current 2311 Syllabus”, “Potential Syllabus Changes”, “Advantages of These Changes”, etc  Headings help readers quickly scan and save time TOPIC SENTENCES work as paragraph headings  First sentence of EVERY paragraph should be a mini-summary  Each following sentence should provide detail SPECIFIC to the opening

9 Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke the Conclusion What do you want the reader to DO?  Be more INFORMED (informative memo)  Hold an OPINION (analytical memo)  Take ACTION (recommendation memo) Whatever you want the memo to do, SAY THIS VERY CLEARLY at both the beginning and the end

10 Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke Remember the basic Memo Types based on function INFORMATIVE or “informational” Communicate information Help people to understand a subject or issue ANALYTIC or “analytical” Describe and justify a particular conclusion Argue for a particular point of view on a subject or issue RECOMMENDATION or “proposal” Argue for a particular course of action Convince people to do something about a subject or issue

11 Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke And always use CLEAR wording! A memorandum is only effective IF EACH and EVERY sentence is clear, concise, and informative  It’s not an essay, so don’t use needlessly complex essay-like grammar and wording  AT BEST, needlessly wordy or complex wording will confuse readers or waste their time  AT WORST, it will cause readers to perceive you as unprofessional and ineffective IF you want to be effective, THEN use practically simple, clear, plain everyday wording for memo writing

12 Hey, what about letters? Formal business letters are just memos in a different format. Look at the business letter formatting advice and examples in the textbook. Follow the examples for formatting the address blocks, salutation, and signature block. For the body, just follow the general advice for ANY effective general business writing. Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke


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