The memorandum pre-writing example case study

How to Write a Business Memorandum 1
Business Memorandum Guide
INTRODUCTION
Use this document as a guide when you develop and organize the content of your business
memorandum. The document has the following sections:
General writing instructions
Memorandum header
Memorandum body format
Memorandum body content
Appendices
General Formatting
GENERAL WRITING INSTRUCTIONS
â–ª Use the memorandum template provided. Use the provided memorandum template to
develop your memorandum. The template includes text boxes that become available when
you click on them. (Turn on the show/hide format function to see the boxes as dots.) Type
your text in the boxes. Refer to the memorandum pre-writing example and the memorandum
example as you complete the different assignments for a guide on the appearance of the
document. (As the example does not include specific content, it is NOT a guide for the word
count or length of the document.)
â–ª Use full sentences and paragraphs. Prepare your memorandum using full sentences and
paragraphs.
â–ª Use plain language. Frequently in your professional lives, you will need to present the work
you have done to audiences who do not share your technical expertise. Therefore, being able
to explain your work in language people without your expertise will understand is an
important skill.
â–ª Revise your content prior to submitting it. When you have completed developing your
memorandum, revise, then edit and proofread your document. I recommend that you use
editing software to check your documents. (One option that has a free version is
Grammarly, but there are many others available.)
â–ª Include your name in every location that says student and your last name in the file name.
MEMORANDUM HEADER
This section of the document provides a reader with introductory information on the
memorandum. While it may be structured differently by different organizations, it should
always be easy to identify and read. Readability is increased not only with wording but also
with layout. Things like indenting information to align important header elements, and
including lines between elements makes the parts of the header easy to find and read.
To:
What is the purpose and format of this part of the header? In this section, include the person(s)
to who the memorandum is addressed. The amount of information included for each is
dependent on an organization’s level of formality and the role of hierarchy in the organization.
National culture may also play a role in these decisions, as some may place greater importance
How to Write a Business Memorandum 2
on titles (such as Mr., Dr., or General). The person’s role title is often included, as it will dictate
what type of information they need from you. Finally, the location of the addressee can be
included, when it also suggests the type of information the document will include. When in
doubt, it is better to be more formal and include too much information than to find out it was
needed but not included.
For this document, follow the lead of the exemplar, use the person’s full name, position title,
and location. The person’s title and location inform the readers of the type of information the
document is likely to contain.
CC: (Carbon Copy)
What is the purpose and format of this part of the header? In this section, include the person(s)
to who the memorandum is copied. The information detail included should match what was
included for the primary address in the “TO” line.
For this document, emulate the level of detail in the exemplar.
From:
What is the purpose and format of this part of the header? In this section, identify the author
(as an individual or group) of the memorandum. The information detail included should match
what was included for the primary address in the “TO” line.
For this document, emulate the level of detail in the exemplar.
Date:
What is the purpose and format of this part of the header? The date of the document is
important for a reader to understand the currency of the document. For example, say a reader
knows something happened last night that will influence the issue addressed in the
memorandum. If they look at the memorandum and see it is three days old, they know
memorandum will not address the most current information and thinking on the issue.
For this document, use the due date of the final memorandum.
Subject:
What is the purpose and format of this part of the header? The memorandum subject line needs
to provide the reader with a clear indication of the topic of the memorandum. The amount of
information it needs to include, therefore, is dependent on the audience and what they need to
know to be clear on the document’s topic.
For this document, think about what is necessary to identify the topic of the memorandum, and
write an appropriate subject line.
MEMORANDUM BODY – FORMAT
Section Set-Up
â–ª The document is single-spaced and should have a blank line between sections.
â–ª Each section of the document has a title in bold font already included in your template.
Keep this title on a line above the text for that section.
â–ª For this assignment title the sections, do not use numbers.
How to Write a Business Memorandum 3
MEMORANDUM BODY – CONTENT
Include the following sections in your memorandum: summary, analysis, additional
considerations, conclusion, and addendum.
Summary
What is the purpose of this section? The summary is a very clear and concise presentation of
the key information, enough to let someone know what will be addressed in more detail in
the body of the document.
For this document, include:
• The context of the problem
• The problem
• What you have been asked to address relative to the problem
• How you will develop your response, that is, your method of statistical calculation
(in name only)
• What you know about the situation because of your analysis, in plain language,
â–ª Your recommendation
Analysis
What is the purpose of this section? The analysis is where you make your case or argument. It
is where your reader will get a clear understanding that the logical approach you used to
develop your recommendation is well-founded. To accomplish this, you should start with
the problem and outline step-by-step the thinking that got you to your recommendation.
(Caution: it is easy to forget steps in your own thinking that will be important for the
reader’s understanding!) Additionally, you must describe any technical elements in this
section in a way that the readers can understand. If you do this well, the reader will have the
information they need to be confident in your recommendation. You DO NOT walk
through the steps of your mathematical calculations; instead, you will show your
calculations in the appendix. As this is a detail rich section, it will be longer than the
summary and conclusion.
For this document, you will address (at a minimum):
â–ª The problem and what about it you have been asked to address,
â–ª The data you started with,
â–ª The method or approach to the analysis, and why it is appropriate for this issue,
â–ª What you discovered or recognized about the situation because of your analysis,
â–ª How the outcome of your statistical calculations informed your decision,
â–ª Your recommendation.
Additional Considerations
What is the purpose of this section? This section is where you have an opportunity to address
issues that you are aware of that might impact the decision, but are outside of the scope of
the evaluation you were asked to make.
For this document, you will address additional considerations and alternative solutions.
â–ª Your description here should not suggest that what you did was not well done or in any
way inadequate.
â–ª This input must move outside of the statistical analysis and relate to broader aspects of
this decision that could impact the profitability of this purchase.
How to Write a Business Memorandum 4
Conclusion
What is the purpose of this section? This section must clearly and concisely synthesize
everything that was addressed in the document, concluding with the recommendation. As
the book-end to the summary, it is important that you word this differently than the
summary. This section offers readers a final chance to be clear on what you have told them.
For this document, include:
• The problem
• What you have been asked to address relative to the problem
• How you approached determining your response, that is our method of statistical
calculation (in name only)
• What you know about the situation because of the analysis, in plain language,
â–ª Your recommendation
APPENDICES
What is the purpose of this section? The appendices in a document are reserved for content that
may be helpful to the reader but would interfere with the document flow if included in the main
text of the document. Documents may have multiple appendices, with each one addressing a
separate topic.
▪ Each appendix starts on a new page with “Appendix,” a sequential letter (starting with A),
and a descriptive title. (see Figure 2 at the end of this document).
For this document, include as an appendix a typewritten copy of your total calculations.
GENERAL FORMATTING
This section provides formatting information for your memorandum, with the assumption
that you are using the provided template. This section should be for information only.
▪ Page: 8 ½ x 11-inch plain white paper portrait (vertical) layout
â–ª Margins: one-inch margins on all sides
â–ª Paragraph Format: General setting – 0 indentations, Spacing – before 0, after 0, line
spacing – single. Do not add space between paragraphs of the same style.
â–ª Font Style: Times New Roman except for the Memorandum title (see below)1
â–ª Font Size: 12 point. (You may go down to 11 point if it helps you keep the last few lines
of a memorandum from ending on a page alone. Keep font size consistent in the
document unless otherwise specified.
1
It is widely accepted that serif fonts are easier to read in large blocks of text. Times New Roman and other serif
fonts are thus most commonly used in the body text of print documents. On the other hand, san serif fonts are often
used for titles and sub-titles in documents to make them stand out. San serif fonts are also more frequently used for
online information as they are seen as being more legible on screen.


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