BA 324
Memo/E-mail Format

For Hard-Copy Memos

Memo Example

1. Set one tab to line up all entries evenly after Date, To, From and Subject lines.
2. Leave two blank lines between Subject line and first line of memo text.
3. Handwrite your initials after your typed name.  Memos do not have a signature at the bottom
4. If memo is over 1 page, use a second-page heading that includes the addressee's name, page number, and date.
 

For E-mails

E-mail Example

1. Same basic format as a memo.  E-mails should be no more than 1 page.  Longer messages should be attached as word documents.
2. In e-mails sent to only 1 person, include a brief salutation at beginning consisting of the receiver's first name or Mr/Ms last name followed by a comma.  More formal e-mail messages may begin like letters with Dear Mr. Smith:
3. End an email with a courteous close and your full name.  Typical closing statements include "See you soon"; "Have a nice weekend", etc.  More formal e-mails may close like letters with "Sincerely".  You may also want to include your title, department, and phone number.  This is especially important if your e-mail address does not include your full name and helps make sure your reader knows who sent the message and to provide feedback or ask questions if needed.
4. Never send an e-mail with a blank subject line, e-mail screening software may not allow it to your receiver's mail box and/or receivers may not open it.  E-mails sent to me during the semester MUST include BA 324.xx (your section number) in the subject line. 
 

Format and content tips that apply to both e-mail and memos

Single space all memos and e-mails

Subject line
Summarize the central idea. Make the subject line read like a newspaper headline - brief, but clear. Use an abbreviated style. Omit articles (a, an, the), and do not try to make the subject line a complete sentence. Omit an ending period.

Opening
State the purpose for writing. Include the same information that's in the subject line, but expand it. Ask questions immediately and/or supply information directly (explain later in the memo).

Body
Explain details, arranging information logically. Enhance readability by using short sentences, short paragraphs, and parallel construction for similar ideas. Use graphic highlighting. Provide bulleted and/or numbered lists, tables or other graphic devices to improve readability and comprehension.  Remember to focus on developing reader benefits.

Closing
Request action. State specifically what you want the reader to do. Include a deadline, with reasons, if possible. Summarize the memo or provide a closing thought.

Overall
Be cautious. Remember that memos and e-mails often travel far beyond their intended audience. Never write and e-mail when you are angry, or if you write it, don't send it until you have had a chance to reflect on your wording and its consequences once your emotions have quieted.

Includes material from Ch. 8 in the Guffey text