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The Business Memo, College of Humanities and Natural Sciences, Loyola University New Orleans


The memorandum, usually called a memo, is a common form of internal communication in business and academia. Memos have many purposes, including informing employees, giving directions, outlining procedures, requesting data, supplying responses, and confirming decisions. But essentially there are three basic reasons to write a memo:

  • To persuade to action (we should do this)
  • To issue a directive (do this)
  • To provide a report (here’s what was done, or here’s what we found out)

Every good memo includes:

  • A clear statement of purpose, stated upfront: I am writing because . . .
  • Information about what the reader needs to know: The facts are . . .
  • Statement of any action requested, ordered, or undertaken: I will, or I propose that you . . .

General points to remember . . . .