Memo style reports are appropriate for short documents (less than 10 pages) that will be distributed inside your organisation. For example, sales reports and project analysis documents are both good candidates for the memo format. Memo style reports don't require all the pomp and prefatory parts that formal reports do. This is especially true if reports are distributed weekly, monthly or quarterly. Nonetheless, you must take the same care to plan, write and complete a memo style report as you would any company correspondence.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Outline the topics the report will cover. Take the point of view of your readers and make sure to include all the information they need or desire.
Research your report. Gather all the relevant data necessary to cover the topics from Step 1.
Create visual aids that will illustrate the data you've collected. Give each pictorial a relevant title and caption.
Analyse your research and decide what headings you wish to use to divide and present your report. Report format and contents will dictate section titles. For example, it makes sense for a sales report to include a section for each sales region or product line.
Plan the Report
Write the body of your report, keeping your reader in mind. Insert the visual aids where appropriate.
Write an executive summary that offers readers a brief overview of the report's important points.
Create a table of contents detailing where specific sections begin.
Create a table of illustrations that lets readers know where they can find each graph, picture or chart.
Write a memo of transmittal. If your company uses printed memo forms or a memo template, use them. If not, create your own, sticking to a simple memo format. Make sure to include the headings: To, from, subject, and date.
Write the Report
Assemble the completed report, placing the parts you've created in the following order: memo of transmittal, table of contents, list of illustrations, executive summary, report body.
Have a colleague or friend you trust proofread the report for errors.
Make any necessary corrections.
Complete the Report
Tips and warnings
- If your report is going out to multiple recipients, you can create a distribution list instead of including all the names on the memo of transmittal. List names alphabetically or place the names of important individuals at the top.
- Write your memo of transmittal as if it were a cover letter to a resume Write what you'd say if you were handing the report off to your reader in person.
- Popular report headings include: Introduction, Problem Analysis, Goals, Recommendations, Trends, Project Timeline and Milestones, Alternatives, Methods and Cost.
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