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Write confusion-free memos

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in Office Communication,Workplace Communication

When writing a memo, address the five “W’s” and one “H” of the topic. If your memo is clear and thorough, you will ensure that recipients read it and know exactly what to do next. Include the following information:

  • Whom does the memo affect? Be sure it goes to anyone to whom it may be relevant.
  • What is the information that recipients need to know? Use concise language to inform them of any changes or updates.
  • When does the information apply or go into effect? List a clear effective date.
  • Where does your information apply? To what circumstances or situations?
  • Why is the information relevant to each reader? Why is the change or update being implemented?
  • How will readers use the information? What is their role in it, and how should they proceed?

— Adapted from “12 Tips for Better Business Writing,” Dustin Wax, www.lifehack.org.

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