Memo Guidelines

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This page is to help you write good memos. The memo below suggests a common style of memo writing for multi-paragraph memos. Other styles, such as styles with greater use of sub-headings and less numbering, can also be used (see examples).

Read the guidelines below, then do the activity.

Memo Guidelines


To:  All Managerial and Secretarial Staff
From: Samantha Ng, Office Manager
Subject:  Memo Writing Guidelines 
  1. The purpose of this memo is to provide company guidelines for all member of staff who need to write memos.
  2. Pre-printed memo paper should be available but if not, plain paper can be used as long as it is clearly headed with the word MEMORANDUM or MEMO. Other headings usually include To, From, Subject and Date.
  3. The use of names and titles depends on the formality of the memo and the relationship between the writer and receiver.
  4. The date must be written in full.
  5. The subject of the memo must be immediately obvious and should be written as a noun phrase.
  6. A memo is not presented like a letter so there is no need for greetings such as 'Dear Mrs. Wong' or endings like 'Yours sincerely'. However, colleagues who know each other well may add handwritten names to maintain a human touch.
  7. Each memo should only deal with one subject.
  8. Paragraphs should be numbered.
  9. The language of the memo should be short and simple.
  10. The organisation of a memo should be:
    • paragraph 1 – purpose of the memo
    • paragraph 2 – states the details
    • final paragraph – states clearly what action is required
  11. The memo must be signed.
  12. Please refer to these guidelines in future to maintain a consistent style and content of all company memos.

Samantha Ng


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To: Samantha Ng

  1. Thank you for your message about how to write memos. As I am a new member of staff, it is very helpful to know our company style.

  2. I wonder if you could help me with one aspect of memos: subject headings.

  3. Thank you.





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Last updated on: Monday, March 26, 2012