Instructional memo format

Memo format

Most business memos are informational, and chances are if you are writing one, you will be writing an instructional memo. Here are some pointers for writing this kind of memo.

What is an instructional memo

An instructional memo is a mini how to guide that gives its readers basic directions on how to do something. This could be something as simple as using the photocopier machine, or something more complex such a code of conduct for dating in the office. It could be the summary of some major procedures that have just been implemented, or provide some rules or guidelines about after hours security.

Here are some tips for completing instructional memo

Most of your message will focus on the directions or tasks that you are instructing your reader on. So,

  1. divide the instructions into small steps
  2. list the steps in the order you want them completed
  3. arrange the steps using bullets or numbers
  4. begin each step with action verb

There, I just modeled the meat of your instructional memo because each of these points starts with an action verb

Structure of your instructional memo

Your instructional memo will have three parts:

1. The opening (why are you writing this)

2. The instructions (written with active verbs) or in the imperative mood

3. The close: this is the wind down that ends the message on a note of good will and asks for any feedback from the reader.

Memo format

Your memo, of course, should be in memo format. If you use MS Word, you can find many templates to help you set up your memo. Memo format usually has four tags:

To: (Sender's name/position)

From: (Your name/position)

Date: (Today's date)

Subject: (Also known as re: )

Memo opening

Template courtesy of MS Word
Template courtesy of MS Word

Instructional points

Active verbs

Instructional memo on You tube

Check out the video below. All the points I have made are there. I have also included the full instructional memo example.

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