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MEMORANDUM

A memorandum (abbrev.: memo) is from the Latin verbal phrase memorandum est, the gerundive form [1] of the verb memoro, "to mention, call to mind, recount, relate", which means "It must be remembered (that)...". It is therefore a note, document or other communication that helps the memory by recording events or observations on a topic, such as may be used in a business office. The plural form of the Latin noun memorandum so derived is properly memoranda, but if the word is deemed to have become a word of the English language, the plural memorandums, abbreviated to memos, may be used. (See also Agenda, Corrigenda, Addenda) A memorandum may have any format, or it may have a format specific to an office or institution. In law specifically, a memorandum is a record of the terms of a transaction or contract, such as a policy memo, memorandum of understanding, memorandum of agreement, or memorandum of association. Alternative formats include memos, briefing notes, reports, letters or binders. They could be one page long or many. If the user is a cabinet minister or a senior executive, the format might be rigidly defined and limited to one or two pages. If the user is a colleague, the format is usually much more flexible. At its most basic level, a memorandum can be a handwritten note to one's supervisor. Dean Acheson famously quipped that "A memorandum is not written to inform the reader but to protect the writer". Charles Peters wrote that "bureaucrats write memoranda both because they appear to be busy when they are writing and because the memos, once written, immediately become proof that they were busy."

Policy briefing note


A specific type of memorandum is the policy briefing note (alternatively referred to in various jurisdictions and governing traditions as policy issues paper, policy memoranda, or cabinet submission amongst other terms), a document for transmitting policy analysis into the political decision making sphere. Typically, a briefing note may be denoted as either for information or for decision.

Purpose
The primary purpose of a briefing note for decision is to support decision making to help (or sometimes influence) a decision-maker to make a better decision in a particular problem situation than he might otherwise have made without the analysis. Conveying Information Informing Decisions Making Request Issuing orders and Instructions Providing Response Providing Suggestions Presenting informal report Solving Problems Using as reference in future

Format
A memorandum is written using a specific format, usually a format accepted by the office in which the memorandum is to be used. The usual structure for a memorandum includes some or all of the following:
MEMORANDUM

TO: The person receiving the memorandum FROM: The person writing the memorandum DATE: Usually a formal manner of writing the date, for example 20 April 2004 SUBJECT: A short title descriptive of the topic in discussion in the memorandum

INTRODUCTION: Explaining why the memorandum has been written and what topic the memorandum will discuss. Body: Discussing the topic in detail--explaining what exactly and itemizing when possible.Organization features of a memorandum tend to vary according to the context. For example, one of the ways to organize a legal memo would feature an organization as follows: Heading A summary of relevant facts A discussion of law relevant to the legal issues, and application of that law to the facts A conclusion that is responsive to the legal issues. Conclusion: explaining what will or should happen next, when the follow-up will occur and why the date is important.

Parts of the Memorandum


There are three required elements of the memo: Title--The title typically consists of the company name and the word memorandum. Heading Block--The heading block should be double spaced. Sign your initials by your name rather than including a signature at the end of the memo as you would in a letter. The subject line should be capitalized as if it where a title and should succinctly describe the topic of the message. Body of the Memo Message--The body of the message should be single spaced with double spacing between paragraphs. In the "block" format, which is most common, every line begins on the left-hand margin, and paragraphs are not indented.

Organization of the Body


The body of the message should be organized in three parts: (1) a statement of purpose, (2) the details, and (3) a positive, friendly closing or next-step information. These three parts are usually presented in three separate paragraphs, though the details themselves may require several paragraphs in a longer, more complex memorandum. In general, organize so that the most important information comes first. Avoid making your reader wade through peripheral information before getting to the bottom line. The statement of purpose may well state the conclusion or recommendations as well as announcing the topic. The closing paragraph should be brief and to the point. Draw your conclusions, make recommendations, or define the next step; tell your readers what you want them to do. Whenever possible, close your message in a positive and friendly manner.

Formatting for Visual Effect


Help your reader move through the document quickly and easily by using formatting techniques that break it up into manageable packets of information and that visually illustrate the logic of your ideas: Use white space liberally Include instructive or topical subheadings Use bullet points or numbered lists Vary typographical elements such as the use of italics, boldface, and capital letters. REFERENCES:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/6823876/Memorandum http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorandum http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/cgreer/Business/MemoFormat.html