14 Formatting Business Memorandums Information

About memorandums

Memorandums (sometimes abbreviated memos) are internal communications within a company. There are other internal communication methods such as emails, but this lesson is on memorandums. Often a company has the form already setup with the heading and guide words. Different business has different formats. However, for this class, you are to use the format described here.

Guidewords

  • There are four “guidewords” used in a memorandum: To, From, Date, Subject. The order of these words can be different among companies. They can be initial caps (only first letter capitalized) or all caps (every letter is capitalized). The guide words are ALWAYS followed by a colon. (See Completed Heading for reference)
  • The “To:” portion is the person receiving the memo.
  • The “From:” portion, in this case will be the student.
  • The “Date:” for this exercise will use the current month (spelled out), day, and year (just as you would on in a formal business letter).
  • The “Subject:” (sometimes stated as “RE:” meaning “regarding”) is a brief explanation of the contents of the memorandum.

See sample below.

Setup of Memorandum Heading

  • At the top of the page, type the word ‘MEMORANDUM” in all capital letters on the left margin.
  • Press the [ENTER] key four times.
  • Following the guidewords and the colon, the TAB key is pressed to create space for the information that follows the guide words. (This Tab key is found on the keyboard above the CAP LOCK key on the left side of the keyboard. It moves information to the right five spaces each time it is pressed.) When used correctly, the information following the guide words is left aligned by the first letter. See example on below.

EXAMPLE:

Setup

TO: [Tab] [Tab]                         Individual’s name receiving the memo

FROM: [Tab]                             The one sending the memorandum

DATE: [Tab]                              Month spelled out, day, and year (Example: September 1, 2017)

SUBJECT:[Tab]                        A brief statement

On the next page, see what the heading looks like.

COMPLETED HEADING

MEMORANDUM

TO:                     John Doe

FROM:              Fran Wells, Professor

DATE:               September 1, 2017

SUBJECT:        Learning about guide words for a memo

FINAL STEPS

  • Following the SUBJECT line or RE line, [ENTER] four times before typing the message.
  • Paragraphs are left aligned as they are in a business letter
  • Press the [ENTER] key three times after completing a paragraph, even the last paragraph.
  • There is no “closing” on a memorandum because the sender’s name in in the “FROM” section.
  • Reference initials are used indicating who typed the memorandum. However, if the “From” person typed the memo, no reference initials are used.
  • Instead of an enclosure notation as in a formal business letter when other documents are referenced, the word ATTACHMENT is used for additional documents accompanying the memorandum. Usually the attachments ARE stapled to the memorandum. The word Attachment is two [ENTERS] below the reference initials. If there are no reference initials, then the Attachment notation is two [ENTERS] below the last paragraph.
  • Note: In the illustration below, the (X) notation indicate the number of enters following each line. For example, you are to [ENTER] four times after the word MEMORANDUM. You will see three (X) even though you are to [ENTER] four times. The fourth [ENTER] is the position where you would type the next line of information.

ILLUSTRATION

MEMORANDUM (X)
(X)
(X)
TO:                        Mail Delivery Department. (X)

FROM:                 Fran Pierson, CEO(X)

DATE:                  September 20, 2017(X)

RE:                       Mail processing forms (X)
(X)
(X)
Attached is a new form that has been developed by the planning committee to be used when mail comes through your office. (X)
(X)
Please take a few minutes and review the form. Then send me a memo about any concerns you might have when using this form. (X)
(X)
Thanks for your help. (X)
(X)
fbw (the typist’s initials) (X)
(X)
Attachment (1)

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Introduction to Word Processing by Lumen Learning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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