Students may already be familiar with some kind of letter format. If not, students should see
Appendix B to see the possibilities available. Many times students will ask which format is the
“right” one. It’s important for students to realize that any could be correct but that their
companies may dictate format.
Early emphasis was on a stilted word choice (the “old language of business”). Now the emphasis
is on selecting an e/ective structure and strategy and on using wording that will build rapport
between the writer and the reader. You may want to ask students to bring in direct mail le#ers
or another type of letter for analysis during this class or the next.
Slides 2-12, 2-13
Memorandums are internal le#ers. Email has taken over much of their function; however, even
though students may think that everyone in a workplace has access to an email, this may not
necessarily be the case. For example, in one local hospital, housekeepers, custodial sta/, nursing
assistants, and some nurses do not have access to email other than in a lounge with a general
access computer. In some manufacturing firms, line workers may not have the need for email.
These employees are not likely to check their email as they work throughout the day or even
regularly before or a2er work or on breaks.
A memo posted in a highly visible location would be a be#er communication channel for these
employees than email. In addition, some memos are actually reports.
Also, some companies will consider more serious information, such as that concerning changes
in company policies or recent layo/s, more appropriate for memo than email form.
Typically they are arranged in this form:
“Memorandum” or “InteroCce Memo” at the top.
Date, To, From, Subject headings
(Sometimes) Department, Territory, Store Number, Copies to