Writing Routine Memos and Emails

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Memos convey messages in house and sometimes beyond to clients and customers in other companies are usually exchanged between people who have already established contact and are getting further business done on a project

Memo Format Basic format for workplace memos:1. Memohead 2. Heading 3. Memo text

1. Memohead

MMT ConsultingDATE: Current

Inter-office MEMO

2. Heading


Kim Johnson, Corporate Communications Tim Rudolph, CEO DEVELOPING STAFF E-MAIL POLICY

Please draft a policy outlining appropriate e-mail use for employees.

We need such a policy because I have received reports of misuse including defamatory statements, pornography downloads, and even gambling. Here are a few points that the policy should cover:

3. Memo text

Email is for business only. Email messages may be monitored.

No pictures or other attachments should be sent without valid reason. Email should not be used to discuss personnel matters. Please submit a draft to me by October 1 since we hope to have a policy completed by November 1. Call if you have questions.

Electronic Mail (Email) Email has become the preferred form of communication for almost all tasks

Advantages of EmailEmail... is commonly used is quick and efficient is unintrusive is inexpensive/paperless provides a record can be sent to multiple people simultaneously can be used to collaborate

Disadvantages of EmailEmail... requires computer proficiency lacks the personal element can lead to an overload of information can be misinterpreted is unsecure

Types of Emails Personal, brief notes Used for non-business related purposes

Memo style Used for informal, internal messages

Letter style Used for formal, external messages

Formatting Email Messages All email programs include two major elements:1. the header and 2. the body

1. Header

2. Body

Use full block format

1. The header To: From: Date: Subject: Cc: Bcc: Attachments:

Use effective subject lines Be concise yet informative Max. 50 characters

Sum up the message Put the most important info first Use key words and action verbs Make sure the message wont be confused with spam


2. The body Greeting Message Close

1. Greeting 2. Message

3. Close

Structuring Email Messages How to structure formal email messages:1. Opening 2. Body/Discussion 3. Closing

Decide between the direct or indirect plan

DirectMain idea Evidence

IndirectEvidence Main idea

Eager Interested

Direct Indirect


NeutralDispleased Uninterested Unwilling

How to organize routine messages: 1. Opening Clearly state the main idea or the request Introduce the topic of the message Ask questions immediately (if sending a request) Begin with the most important question or use a polite command

Be specific and direct

2. Body Include all the background and details Arrange information logically Order information according to importance and pay attention to paragraph coherence

Enhance readability Use short sentences, short paragraphs, and parallel construction

Supply graphic highlighting Provide bulleted and/or numbered lists, tables, or other graphic devices

3. Closing Close cordially and state the specific action that you desire Include a summary (if the message is long) a specific request a deadline (if applicable) information about how you can be reached an expression of appreciation or goodwill Avoid clich endings (e.g., Thank you for your cooperation)

How the Indirect plan for routine messages differs: OpeningGenerally refer to the topic of the message/preview its contents

ClosingClearly state the main idea/request