Memos and Worklplace Letters Guidelines
Memos and Worklplace Letters Guidelines 10872
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This 11 page Class Notes was uploaded by Hannah Smith on Thursday January 28, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 10872 at University of Toledo taught by Robert Beckwith in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 24 views. For similar materials see Technical Communication in Foreign Language at University of Toledo.
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Date Created: 01/28/16
Chapter 15 Memos the most traditional everyday workplace correspondence Memos give directions, provide instructions, relay information, and make requests typically used internally in a workplace and not to people outside the company Organizations rely on memos to trace decisions and responsibilities, track progress, and recheck data be sure your memo includes the date and initials or signature information contained in a memo must be specific, unambiguous, and accurate Considering Audience and Purpose o Identify the various audience members that will receive it o Be sure the purpose of the memo is clear Memo Parts and Format o A standard memo has the word “memo” centered at the top of the page o Includes a heading (flush to the left margin) Identifies recipients, sender(and senders initials), date and subject o At the bottom of the memo include a distribution notation if copies are to be sent to anyone not listed in the “To” line o The Body Copy(main text portion) should focus on one topic should be compact yet providing all information readers need organized start with a short introduction a paragraph or two to address the main issue conclude by suggesting course of action or asking readers to follow up Memo Tone o What memo recipients want to know: What are we doing right, and how can we do it better? What are we doing wrong and how can we improve? Who’s doing what, and when, and where? o Memo topics involve evaluations or recommendations about policies, procedures, and ultimately the people with who we work People are sensitive to criticism tone should be thoughtful and respectful Common Types of Memos o Can be used for distributing short, informal reports o Transmittal Memo Accompanies: a package of materials, such as a long report, a manuscript, or a proposal Purpose: to signal that the information is being sent form one place to another, to introduce material and to describe what is enclosed May be a simple sentence or a paragraph with a bulleted list describing the contents of the package o Summary or Followup Memo Provide a written record of a meeting or conversation, or just a recap of a topic that was discussed but not resolved Insure that each recipient has the same understanding of what was decided o Routine Miscellaneous Memo Covers an infinite variety of topics May Contain: announcement or update, request information or action, reply to an inquiry, or describe a procedure These memos are typically sent through email Chapter 17: Workplace Letters A workplace letter is appropriate in situations similar to these: ~to personalize your correspondence, conveying the sense that the message is prepared exclusively for your recipient ~to convey a dignified, professional impression ~to represent your company or organization ~to present a reasoned, carefully constructed case ~to respond to clients, customers, or anyone outside your organization ~to provide an official notice or record often has a persuasive purpose proper tone is essential for connecting with the recipient Four common letter types: Inquiry letters, claim letters, sales letters, and adjustment letters Considering Audience and Purpose o What is your relationship with the audience? o What do you want the recipient to do after reading your letter? Letter Parts, Formats, and Design Elements o Standard Parts Many organizations have their own format for letters, some parts of letter may appear in different locations Heading and date if stationary has a letter head include date a few lines below the letterhead flush against the right or left margin When you use personal address omit your name because it will appear at the end of the letter Inside Address two to six line spaces below the heading, flush against the left margin When possible address a specifically named recipient and include the person’s title; using “Mr.” or “Mrs.” Before the name is optional Salutation two line spaced below the inside address, begins with dear and end with a colon If you don’t know the person’s name use the position title Only address the person by their first name if that’s the way you would address that individual person When addressing an organization eliminate the salutation by using an attention line Text begin your letter text two line spaces below the salutation or subject line What to include: o A brief introductory paragraph(five or fewer lines) that identifies your purpose and connects with recipients interest o One or more discussion paragraphs that present details of your message o A concluding paragraph that sums up and encourages action Complimentary Closing two line spaces below the last line of text, should parallel the level of formality used in the salutation and should reflect your relationship to the recipient, align the closing with the letter’s heading Signature type your name and title on the fourth and fifth lines below and aligned with the closing, sign in the space If signing for a company, type company’s name in full caps two line below complimentary closing o Optional Parts Some letters have one or more optional parts Attention line use when writing to an organization and do not know your recipients name but are directing the letter to a specific department or position Drop two spaces below the inside address and place the attention line either flush left or in the center Subject line typically used with memos, but if the recipient is not expecting your letter a subject line is a way of catching their attention, place below the inside address or attention line with one line space before and after Typist Notation if someone else types your letter for you, your initials in CAPS, a slash, and you typist initials in CAPS appear below the typed signature, flush with left margin Enclosure Notation if you enclose other documents in the same envelope, indicate this one line space below the typist notation flush against the left margin; state number of enclosures If enclosure are important documents state them in the notation Copy (or distribution notation) if you distribute copies of your letter to other recipients indicate by inserting the notation “copy” or “cc” followed by colon, one line above the previous line Postscript draws attention to a point you wish to emphasize or adds a personal note, do not use a postscript if your forget to mention a point in the body of the letter, place two line spaces below any other notation and flush with left margin o Format and Design Features Letter format although several formats are acceptable, two most popular formats are modified block and block Digital templates predesigned letter formats that allow you to insert you name, company name, and your message; some provide background artwork, when using make sure it is appropriate for audience and purpose Quality Stationery 20 pound bond, 8.5” x 11” stationery with minimum fiber content of 25% Uniform Margins and Spacing when stationery does not have a letter head form letter with 1.5 inch top margins and 1.25 inch side margins and 11.5 inch bottom margins, use single spacing within paragraphs and using double spacing in between Headers for subsequent pages head each additional page with a notation identifying the recipient, date and page number, align header with the righthand margin The envelope usually a number ten envelope should be the same quality as your stationery, place recipients names and address centered, place your own name and address in the upper left corner, singlespace these element Letter Tone o Establish and maintain a “You” Perspective A letter displaying “you” puts the reader’s interest and feelings first To convey a “you” perspective put yourself in the place of the person who will read your correspondence and ask how they will react o Be Polite and Tactful If you must express criticism do so in ways that convey goodwill and trust o Use Plain English Avoid letterese, the stuffy, puffedup phrases Be natural, write as you would speak to someone in a classroom or office o Decide on Direct or Indirect Organizing Pattern Direct Puts the main point in the first paragraph followed by the explanation, be direct when you expect the recipient to react with approval or when you want to convey immediately the point of your letter Indirect Give explanation before the main point If you expect the reader to resist or to need persuading or if the person is from a different culture Global and ethical considerations o Relationship building is essential often more important than topic being discussed o learn all you can about the letter recipient’s culture and preferences before corresponding o international cultures expect a more personalized introduction the compliments the recipient and inquires about family, and dwells on personal details before discussing topic Common Types of Letters o Inquiry letters, claim letters, sales letters, and adjustment letters Inquiry Letters ask questions and request a reply, may be solicited (brief and to the point) or unsolicited (consider your request, collect the information, and write a response) keep requests reasonable and state purpose clearly, apologize for any impositions Claim Letters request adjustments for defective goods or poor service or they complain about unfair treatment Routine claims typically take a direct approach because customer’s claim is not debatable Arguable claims present more persuasive challenge because they convey unwelcome news and are open to interpretation; indirect approach Sales letter written to persuade a current or potential customer to buy a company’s product or try its services, letter must get to the point quickly and engage the reader immediately, describe the product and explain its appeal, conclude by requesting immediate action Adjustment letters written in response to a claim letter from a customer, typically omit an explanation of issue because the issue is obvious; if claim is unreasonable the recipient will refuse the request
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