Sample Memo Format

Company Name
Company Address
Date of Memo




Recipient of Memo

Writer of Memo Writer's Initials*

Title of Memo in Initial Capitals

Engineers and scientists use memos to make requests, to give announcements, and sometimes to communicate reports. Memos that make requests or announcements are read quickly. For such memos, get to the point in the first paragraph--the first sentence, if possible. In other words, state what you want up front. In the format suggested here, you should single space your memos and use a serif typeface. Skip a line between paragraphs. The following link shows this format in a pdf display.

In memos that make requests or announcements, keep the sentence lengths and paragraph lengths relatively short. Sentences should average fewer than twenty words, and paragraphs should average fewer than seven lines. Also, keep the total memo length to under one page, if possible.

Sometimes companies use memos to communicate short reports (two pages or more). For these types of memos, the format changes, as shown in the following example. For instance, you often include illustrations, attach appendices, and break the memo's text into sections. If references arise in the memo, you include a list at the end. In memos that act as reports, the style changes as well. For instance, the sentences and paragraphs are typically longer than in memos that simply provide announcements or make requests.

For all types of memos, space your memo on the page so that it does not crowd the top. Also, send copies to anyone whose name you mention in the memo or who would be directly affected by the memo. Finally, remember that final paragraphs of memos that make requests or announcements should tell readers what you want them to do or what you will do for them.


Copy to:
Name to Receive Copy
Name to Receive Copy

*Initials should be written in ink

Last updated 05/2007