Memorandums are part of the correspondence, they are a kind of letters that are carrying messages inside an organization (from an office to another one). Their target is to confirm a conversation, to clarify a previous message, to request an information or to supply it, to congratulate someone, to announce changes in a company's policy, to report meetings, to transmit documents.
If they are in a printed form, they should have some paragraphs presented in a clear and well organized way; have small words, short sentences, they should maintain your attitude and avoid clichs. Often the person who gets a memo knows everything about a situation but the position the boss has adopted towards it for that moment. The memo does not give any explanation, it comes directly to the point. A memo has an introductory part that is to be presented:
FROM: Peter Hening (Manager, Hanover)
David Walsh (Warehouse Manager, Southold)
SUBJECT: delayed deliveries
Number of pages: I
The memo has the paragraphs and has no salutation formulas; only the capital letters of the writer's name are added. Having in mind these general rules, write a memo on the following subject:
Europart Ltd., of Unit 26, Frilford Industrial Estate, Southolt SJ4 7DB,
distributes parts for motor vehicles from its branches through
We 've got problems with our delivery dates. You know we guarantee delivery of any vehicle part to the shop here within 48 hours of a customer placing an order - the customer gets 20% discount. That's one of our main selling points. Well we 've been having to offer a lot too many discounts on parts we
have got from Southolt - they often take 3 days, sometimes even a week to get here. It's not too good enough.
Could you find out what's going on? Write a memo under my name. Send it by fax to David Walsh, the Warehouse Manager at Southolt. Tell him what problem we have and ask him what he's going to do about it. But be tactful. He is usually very good - and 1 know it's not easy to handle about 50,000 different parts. See if there are any problems at his end that he 's sorting out - or if there's anything we can do to help. Is our ordering clear enough? Or perhaps he should charge his express courier. But get him to say when we 're going to get a normal service. We're not the only people distributing vehicle parts - there's a plenty of competition if our want to look elsewhere.
Im off to a conference today, and I'll be away for a week. Tell David that if he wants to discuss anything, he can talk to you, or he can wait until I get back
So this is the text that is to be changed into a memo and sent to David. Before writing it, do the following
Read the questions twice at least: get the general idea what it is about; study it into details.
What exactly are you asked to do? WRITE A TACTFUL MEMO TO A MEMBER OF THE STAFF
Layout, correctly, a memo. ON THE TOP, you are supposed to write:
FROM: (sender's name and/or position in the
TO: (addressee's name and/or position in company)
DATE (the date the memo is written)
SUBJECT (very briefly, what the memo is about)
If you are sending the memo by fax, you should also indicate the number of pages .AT THE BOTTOM, you may put the sender's initials but NEVER a signature.
Decide on the correct tone of the memo. Peter Henig is not satisfied with David's work. He wants the problem be solved but he doesn't want to hurt Peter. The sender is quite angry but a tactful memo will produce a better impression than an aggressive one.
Relevant material should be included in a memo. Decide what relevant, leave out all the unnecessary elements is.
Make a list of the points that are going to be present in the memo. Order the points logically in paragraphs; take into account all the points that appear in the question. If you use your answer book to make your list, neatly cross it out the point when you have finished referring to it.
Write your answer
Read your memo right through! Make sure that you have included all the problems
Check your work for accurate English! If you discover any errors, neatly cross them out and add the correction.
Obeying all these rules, we may have the following memo:
FROM: Peter Hening (Manager, Hanover)
TO:David Walsh (Warehouse Manager, Southolt)
SUBJECT: Delayed deliveries
I am sending this by fax because I am off to a conference today and will not be able to call you before I go.
The problem is this: many of our orders from Southolt are arriving late .In fact, some take a week to get here. That means we are having to give our 20% discount to a large number of customers - and some of them may soon start looking elsewhere.1 know it is not a simple thing to stock so many parts, and your warehouse usually performs very well indeed. But we need to sort this out Are there any problems at your end at present? Is your courier working normally ?Or is there anything we can do to help? Do please contact (write your own name here) if there are any points you
wish to raise this week.Otherwise, I will be happy to talk things after my return.
Comments on the model:
a) layout, all the headings required in a memo
b) content and effectiveness:
- it is tactful (Walsh is not responsible for late, arrival of parts, Henig praises his normal performance)
logical order of the points
the opening paragraph explains, without wasting the words, why Henig is writing to Walsh and not trying to call him
MAIN POINT OF THE MEMO: late delivery
possible reasons for late deliveries are given
finally, Henig suggests a talk on his return from the conference
Once the problem of Peter Henig is solved, some other exercises are offered. Here they are:
Your Office Manager says to you:
I want you to write a Memo, under my name to staff. I have received complaints from the Canteen Supervisor about the way the staff leave the canteen after lunch break Many of them do not return their trays to the canteen staff, and cigarette ash and paper wrappings are left on the floor and tablecloths. Last Friday, there was a large burn in a tablecloth - obviously caused by a cigarette - but nobody reported it. The canteen staff are grumbling about this -1 sympathize with them. Tel! staff that must keep their canteen clean: it doesn 't take much time. 1 hope 1 do not have to remind them about this again. By the way, if there are any accidents in the canteen, staff must report to the Canteen Supervisor.
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