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The Mayfield Handbook of Technical & Scientific Writing
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Section 2.1


Memoranda are brief, informal reports used to establish a record. They generalize the communication process by transmitting the message from one or more authors to one or more recipients. E-mail messages typically take the form of memoranda.

The memorandum is among the most versatile of organizational documents. From brief research reports and progress reports to trip reports and thumbnail proposals, the memo form is widely used to communicate technical and administrative information. Memoranda are written for numerous internal purposes--for example, to request information, to make announcements, to outline policies, and to transmit meeting minutes. Thus, in most organizations, memos play a crucial role in establishing a record of decisions, requests, responsibilities, results, and concerns.

The Memo Heading

The distinctive element of the memorandum is its heading, which is used to frame the message in a very accessible and transparent manner.

[Image: Memorandum Heading Example]

This information sets out the context of the message and should be detailed enough to make the context very clear.

The Memo Body

Generally, organize the topics of the memorandum in order of importance, with the key statements first and the details further on. The memorandum should normally begin with a brief summary statement, in one or two sentences, identifying the key topic and the scope of the memorandum.

Memorandum Example, page 1

Memorandum Example, page 2

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## Memoranda ##
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