Tips and Guidelines for Proper Memo Writing: A memo, as it is popularly called, serves as a means of internal communication. It enables workers within an organization to exchange official messages. The messages may be to inform, remind, or direct the original receiver to behave in a specific way for effective operations.
Formal Features Of a Memorandum
1. Heading: This comprises the name of the organization/institution from which the memo is sent, the title “Interoffice memo/memorandum,” Reference number of the memo, To, From and subject. These items may be already printed on a letter head or listed on a plain sheet boldly. The date and ref number serve as a chronological record for future reference. The” TO line” announces the main target reader or addressee. His name, title, or both is written. The “FROM LINE” gives the name, title of the writer and other information that may help to identify him, especially in big establishments.
From: Richard Brown, Lecturer, Journalism Department
The” SUBJECT LINE “forecasts the purpose of the memo and the contents to orient readers to the subject. It also aids filling.
2. Body: The body contains the message being conveyed. It is developed in short paragraphs. If a number of subtopics or specific points are discussed, they are given headings or numbered to enable a reader to locate information easily.
The body is usually written in a block style, except in instances where the institutions have their peculiar styles. Ideally, the paragraphs are not indented and spacing is single for sentences and double for paragraphs. However, if the message is very short, sentences may be double-spaced and paragraphs triple spaced for a neater balanced appearance.
3. Signature: The writer is not required to write his full name if that has been taken care of in the FROM line. It is conventional for writers to append their signature as the writer’s name is already in his hand: the handwriting is part of an individual identity, A writer may also write or type his initials at the end if his full name has appeared on the FROM LINE.
4. Notation: If copies are sent to people not listed on the TO line, a copy notation is written or typed two spaces below the signature line. The names or titles of the general recipients are listed hierarchically. The notation cc (carbon copies) introduces the list.
Below is a sample of a Memo showing these organizational elements.
NTA TELEVISION COLLEGE
27 ATIKU STREET RAYFIELD,
TO: ND 1 Student.
DATE: 20 April 2020
SUBJECT: Screening of Students
The screening exercise for ND 1 students has been scheduled for Monday, 26 December, 2020. The exercise will commence at 10 am in the College Auditorium.
All eligible students must tender:
1. Evidence of fee clearance obtained from the bursar
2. Original copies of relevant credentials
Failure to comply with these directives results in the exclusion of the student’s name from the matriculation register.
Attendance is Mandatory.
Dr. Versh Jonathan
Dean’s of Schools
Heads of department
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