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Memorandum Format

November 20, 2018

Memorandum Format

The memorandum is usually used within a company or project team. Unlike a business letter, a memorandum is less formal and, as a rule, shorter. It usually does not have a greeting and final wishes. The memorandum has its own specific format. There are several meanings of this concept:

  • a diplomatic document, which sets out in detail the factual side of the international issue, provides an analysis of certain provisions, provides justification for the position of the state;
  • a letter with a reminder about something (in trade);
  • a service certificate;
  • a document containing information for a potential investor.

Memo Examples

In other words, a memorandum is a document which content is modified depending on the scope of its use. In the framework of office work and the organization of a particular legal entity, a memorandum is a semblance of an official letter. In the framework of trade relations, a memorandum is a document reminiscent of financial obligations or obligations under an agreement concluded. An insurance policy may have it as one of the additions, a document listing the circumstances under which insurance payments will not be made and revealing their essence. Memorandums are most often attached to insurance policies for shipping. Investment memo, as a kind of legal documents, contains information for potential investors. Such documents are also drawn up by lawyers during the legal evaluation of documents and contracts. In this case, they are a kind of written consultation. Thus, the concept of a memorandum falls under a wide range of legal documents used in various fields of activity.

Purpose

The memorandum may be external and internal. The external memo, as you can guess, is sent to third parties. The internal memorandum is addressed to all or individual employees of the organization within which it was created; it is stored inside the company and is not intended to be read by third persons. Memorandum "solves problems." Usually, it either informs about the changes or offers to take part in something. The most effective memo associates the author’s goals with the interests of the addressees, then problems are solved. Memorandums can be written by everyone, from junior performers to the heads of companies.

Audience Analysis

Usually, the memo is written to colleagues, but sometimes it can be addressed to employees of other departments or even companies engaged in a common project. When writing a memorandum, it is important to take into account exactly what information the addressees already possess, and what they need to provide.

Memo Structure

There are three main types of memorandums. 

Direct. Write about the most important things first, and then describe the details. It is usually written to inform about current affairs or news.
Reverse. The context goes first, and then the conclusions appear. Write about something unusual if you want to interest the addressee and bring him or her to the right conclusions.
Combined. Use it to inform about the bad news.

Tone

You may not be very formal. However, be sure to ask yourself how your boss will react to this document. If something confuses you, it is better to return to the formal style.

Volume

As usual, the memorandum is a short document (no more than 1 page). It is better to use all facts that can lengthen the memorandum as applications.

Formatting

A standard memo has 1-inch margins on all sides. The text is aligned to the left. Paragraphs can be formatted in two ways either by indent to the left, or spaces between paragraphs. Do not use both of them at the same time. Heading should be separated from the main text by a line.

Important Recommendations

Think about your audience and be attentive to it. The memorandum should be easy to read and understandable. Make sure you understand the people for whom you are writing this document. Avoid complex sentences. Follow the principle: one sentence – one thought. Observe the format of the memorandum, discard the introductory and final parts. Always reread your memos before sending or ask someone to do it. As you can see, writing memorandums is a fairly simple task. Find good memo templates on the Internet and try your hand at creating such documents.

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