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Inter-Departmental Communication

Memorandum

Suppose you are the head boy or head girl of your school. You are given the responsibility of organizing an exhibition. What is the first thing that you do? You will first try to note down all the tasks that need to be done. You will note down the details of the task and the person given respective responsibility. Also, you use formal communication to the principal, teachers and other people in position. Similarly, in business also we need to note down details and communicate to other individuals in the organization. This way of communication in business is memorandum. In this section, we will study memorandum.

Memorandum

A memorandum is a note or a record for future use. For an organization, it is very important to have an efficient way of communication. It is an intraoffice tool. It has a number of purposes.

In simple words, a memorandum is a written message or information from one person or department to another in the same business. It is less formal than a letter.

A memorandum is often abbreviated as a memo. Effective memos clearly state the objective in the first sentence.

Purpose of Memorandum

A person writes a memo with some purposes in mind. It is used

  • To inform.
  • To inquire.
  • One can use it to report.
  • To give suggestions.
  • To remind.
  • One can use it to instruct.
  • One can promote goodwill using a memo.
  • To communicate the ideas.

Advantages of Memos

Using memos has a number of advantages. Memos are

  • Memorandum is quick.
  • It is a convenient mean of communication.
  • It is inexpensive. Memos are used within an organization so one can use low-quality paper.
  • It helps in maintaining written records.

Parts of Memorandum

There are mainly five parts of a memorandum. They are

Heading Segment

The heading segment of a memo has four basic sections.

TO: Reader’s names and job titles

FROM: sender’s name and job title

DATE: Complete date

SUBJECT: Reason for writing a memo

Opening Segment

In this segment, one can find the purpose of the memo. The opening paragraph includes the reason or the motive of writing a memo. It gives a brief overview of the memo.

Context

It is the event or circumstance of the problem the writer is solving. One should clearly mention the context.

Task Segment

It is the segment one must include to mention the steps for solving the problem. One must only include the needed information. Do proper planning before writing a memo.

Summary Segment

If a memo is more than a page, one must include a separate summary segment. It is not necessary for a short memo. It helps the reader to understand the main idea of the memo. Also, it helps to take the required steps.

Discussion Segment

It is the longest part of a memo. It includes all the details supporting the ideas. Remember to start with general information and then go for more specific one. It includes supporting ideas, facts, and research.

Closing Segment

Always end your memo with courteous words. Make sure you make the completion of the task in an efficient and easy way. Try to lure the reader to make the positive action.

Necessary Attachments

One can also attach lists, graphs, tables etc. at the end of a memo. Make a reference for your attachments and add a notation for them.

The format of a Memo

Memorandum

Important Points to Remember

  • Always use a clear and specific subject line.
  • Do not waste the reader’s time by using lengthy memos. Be clear and concise.
  • Use the active voice.
  • Use the first person.
  • Be formal.
  • Avoids slangs and friendly words.
  • One should use a careful and logical arrangement of information.
  • Keep the paragraphs short.
  • One can use enumerations for the paragraphs.
  • One can use solid capitals and center indentation for important details.
  • Use of bullets to make points.
  • Always end the memo in courteous words.
  • Use text fonts and color to attract attention.
  • Avoid rude and thoughtless memos.
  • It does not need a complimentary close or a signature.
  • Proofread the content before sending.

Solved Examples for You

Problem: Which of the following is true regarding a memo?

  1. Lengthy and informal.
  2. Short and informal.
  3. Short and concise.
  4. All of the above.

Solution: iii. Short and Concise.

Problem: Which of the following statements is true in a memo?

  1. The entire document is single spaced.
  2. The entire document is double-spaced.
  3. Only the body paragraphs are double-spaced.
  4. Everything is double-spaced except for the body paragraph.

Solution: iv. Everything is double-spaced except for the body paragraph.

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