1. Use the company’s prescribed format. This usually includes the name and contact details of the Recipient and the Sender, the Date, and a descriptive and informative one-liner in the Subject heading.
2. Answer these questions (5 Ws, 1 H), as applicable:
- WHY? – Why are you writing the memo? What is the purpose?
- WHAT? – What do you want to say? What do you want to do?
- HOW? – Is there a procedure or process involved? Say so.
- WHO? — Identify the people involved. Who are the people who will get this done? Who are the people who will be affected?
- WHEN? – Is there a deadline? Is there a proposed period or schedule of action? State when.
- WHERE? – Where will this happen? Where in the organization is the subject of the memo applicable?
3. Finish with a call for action. What do you want the recipient to do after reading the
memo? If you’re the one replying, make a clear statement about the action you will take.
5. Have it signed then relax. It’s just a memo.
If my 5 steps are not enough and you want to be so anal about it, a good academic resource is available at http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/590/01/