- Polished, properly formatted, 2-page memorandum, that begins with a standard memo heading section that contains To, From, Subject, and Date
- 12-point Times New Roman font
- Single-spaced lines
- 1st or 3rd person point of view
WHAT: Write a 2-page memorandum (memo) addressed to your course instructor as its intended audience. The goal of your memo is to persuade your instructor to approve your strategies for constructing your Recommendation Report, where you will identify a problem within a specific company or organization and persuade a specific audienceto take action.
You must use the Rhetorical Structure outlined in the HOW section below.
NOTE: Rather than draft a shorter version of your Recommendation Report, describe what you intend to do to create your Recommendation Report as written below.
HOW: BRAINSTORM: Here are some suggestions from Contemporary Business Communications (Houghton Mifflin, 2009) to prompt your thinking about possible topics for the Recommendation Report as you develop this memo assignment (the term “ABC company” is a generic name and cannot be used for the assignment):
- implementing a dress policy for the ABC company
- buying / leasing computers at ABC company or university
- developing a diversity training program at ABC company
- encouraging the use of mass transit at ABC company or university
- establishing a recycling policy at ABC company
- evaluating a charity for corporate giving at ABC company
- recommending a site for the annual convention of ABC association
- starting an employee newsletter at ABC company
- starting an onsite wellness program at ABC company or university
- recommending the most appropriate laptop computer for ABC company managers who travel
RHETORICAL STRUCTURE: Use the subheadings in bold below in your memo.
- Description: What problem or challenge will you address in your Recommendation Report? Provide an overview in two or three sentences, explaining why the memo has been written. Why is the problem/challenge important to address?
- Objective: What should your audience know and do/change as a result of your Recommendation Report?
- Information: What evidence will you will need to gather to support your recommendations in the Recommendation Report? Where do you think you will find this information? How will this information help you persuade your reader of your recommendation? (Do not conduct any research for this memo assignment, just describe your research plans.)
- Audience: Who is the audience for your Recommendation Report (e.g.: your boss, a community organization, etc.) Why might your audience oppose your recommendation? If your audience implements your recommendation, what demands, pressures, and expectations (financial, social, political, personal, etc.) might your audience encounter as a result of your recommendation?
- Conclusion: What are the next step(s) in the development of your Recommendation Report? When will you complete the next step(s)? This section will probably be a single paragraph in length.
REVISE the entire document several times to ensure you have conveyed your thoughts clearly, you have developed your paragraphs with details, facts, reasons, examples or evidence, and you have shown logical transitions from one paragraph to the next.
EDIT: Print your essay and read it ALOUD to check your spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
WHY: This assignment strengthens your ability to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate main ideas. It demonstrates writing as a process that requires substantive revision, and it promotes communication skills aimed at a specific audience about a particular subject while advancing your understanding of your strengths as a writer of effective business documents.
Knowing how to write a professional memo benefits you in other ways, too.
- Employees often need a more formal document than an email or other form of communication. You develop your skills in brevity, clarity, and professionalism to communicate to supervisors and colleagues.
- Since much of our daily communication relies on body language and voice tone, two things unavailable via memo formatting, you need to develop skills in careful choice of words and presentation to communicate needs and ideas.