What is a memorandum?

Let me quote Wikipedia which says that "a memorandum (abbrev.: memo; from Latin memorandum est, "It must be remembered (that)...") is a note, document or other communication that helps the memory by recording events or observations on a topic, such as may be used in a business office". 
Another definition from a Mirriam-Webster dictionary says that it is "a communication that contains directive, advisory, or informative matter".
In our case, it is the latter description that seems the most helpful.
There may be different types of a memo with different purposes.


1. How do you start a memorandum? What is the role of the subject line?
The subject line indicates the topic of the memo.
2. What is the format and structure of a memo? How is it organised?
A memo should be divided into numbered paragraphs corresponding with the points from the instruction. It may be further divided into lettered subparagraphs.
3. How to start?
The first sentence of a memo may introduce the aim/purpose of the memo (like in the example below). It can also describe a context or a situation or present the outline of further paragraphs.
It may, but it does not have start with the phrase "The aim/purpose of this memorandum is …"

4. What information does each paragraph contain?

Each paragraph should contain the information required in the instruction. It usually has three points, so there should be three paragraphs in your memo.

5. What language style is used in a memo? What are its characteristics?

It should be written in a formal style. See here: FORMAL STYLE IN WRITING
6. What kind of information can be contained in a memo?
Depending on a type of memo, and they are often mixed, you may be required to:
give information
suggest solutions
give orders


Here's an example of an exam memo.

SUBJECT: Language training offer
1. The aim of this memorandum is to present the offer of a language training centre we received last week. Namely, the centre organises military English courses focused on specialised vocabulary as well as exam preparation courses in accordance with the STANAG 6001 norm. What is also convenient the courses are held both at the training centre premises as well as at the place of our choice.

2. Having analysed the proposal, I presume that it might be beneficial for us, especially in connection with the international exercise which will be held next year. Moreover, the price of the courses is competitive compared with other similar offers and discounts are offered in the case of a larger number of students. It is worth emphasising that the trainers are experienced in exam preparation and have conducted many similar courses in the past with satisfying results.

3. Therefore, it is highly advisable to consider sending some soldiers to the short-term training in order to assess its further usefulness. Consequently, if the course proves successful, it might be possible to continue the cooperation with this institution in the future. The cooperation might also become even more effective if we provide the centre with detailed requirements and ask for a specific proposal tailor-made for our needs.


And a task for you. Does anybody want to try? I'll give feedback to the first three people who send their memos to my  email: info@stanagexpert.com:

Your soldiers are going to train with new equipment. Write a memo in which you 1) announce the event, 2) appoint the person responsible for the necessary preparations, 3) inform about what needs to be prepared. Write at least 120 words.

You'll find more exercises and information about a memo in my book: ABOUT THE BOOK

You can buy the book here: BUY HERE

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to comment below ⬇⬇⬇ or contact me directly by email at info@stanagexpert.com 

%d bloggers like this: