Memo Exercise

Format Resources:

Be sure to review these resources before completing the Memo Assignment, below


Purdue Owl: Memo Writing Parts I, II, and III (YouTube) (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Matthew W. Ford (Northern Kentucky University) (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Attached PDF “KCI Memos”


Memos are an important part of our professional communications toolbox. This exercise will demonstrate your ability to compose an effective, short memo using the proper conventions and format of the standard business memo.


When writing to professional peers who are unknown to you personally, you must minimize the use of acronyms, jargon, or inside references that your readers may not understand. One approach is to imagine an individual reader as you draft your document. You should base your message upon either knowledge or intelligent speculation about answers to these questions:

• What can you reasonably assume this reader knows and does not know?

• What are the reader’s “hot buttons” (that is, key issues and phrases that stimulate the reader’s interest)?

• What information, questions, solutions, or action steps does the reader expect from your message?

• What is the urgency of your communication with the reader? Does your message require minutes, hours, days, weeks, or months for a response? Is it a “policy statement” that will endure for a long time?

• What is the main purpose of your communication with the reader — response to reader’s previous message? call to action? information? heads-up (warning)? suggestion? recommendation?

Answers to these questions will have a major impact on the length and style of your message.


Read the article on Engineering Scholarships at: (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Then, write a brief and properly-formatted memo to one of the Deans of the College of Engineering about this scholarship program. You should inform the Dean about the scholarship and encourage the Dean to work with companies in the Tampa Bay area to institute a similar scholarship on our campus. You should cite the benefits of this scholarship and perhaps mention some local companies that may be potential scholarship sponsors. You must also address a specific Dean who may be receptive to your memo. You do not need to actually present this memo to the Dean; this is an in-class memo intended to acquaint you with the conventions and format of memos in the business world.


Use MS Word or a similar word processor to create a single-spaced memo of around 350 words. Use 12-point type, 8-1/2” x 11” document size, with default margins (1.25” right and left, and 1” top and bottom) Use 12-point boldface, upper case for section headings within the body of your memo.

Follow formatting directions in this assignment, the Web links, and the sample memos in our text.

Post your completed memo to this Assignment area no later than the due date for this week’s assignments.