Wednesday, March 4, 2009

How to- Memo Writing Tips

A memo is document, no longer than two pages, between coworkers. Make sure it is concise and clear; you do not want people to miss deadlines. Here is how you want to do it:

Be personal- use pronouns, such as I, you and we and write in the active voice not passive.

Be conversational- by writing the way you talk.

Be yourself- by avoiding technical and scholarly words unless necessary. It is easy to make the memo shorter if you write the way you speak.

Don’t use simple words with fancy endings- Stick to the root words and don’t add endings such as “tion,” “ance,” “ent,” “ment,” “ize,” and “ility.”

Check your facts- you do not want to get names, date or numbers wrong, because it may cause someone else to miss a deadline.

Don’t use overused statements- such as “please don’t hesitate to call.” Please say, “If you need help, I’m available.”

Put what you need done first not last.

Don’t give to many reasons why you need it done- six or seven reasons is enough.

Keep your paragraphs short- five lines or less.

In closing- if you need a response, mention it.

Next time I will be showing you what a memo looks like.

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