How to Write a Memorandum in APA Style

Written by marguerite lance
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How to Write a Memorandum in APA Style
APA style allows you to effectively cite your resources for memos. (Burke/Triolo Productions/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Memorandums are one- to two-page written communications. Though memos have a general standard format, the APA style calls for a specific format heading and method of citing resources. Such resources may include journals, websites, books, reports and other traditionally cited documents.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Computer

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  1. 1

    List the information you need to include in your memo. Note what information came from written sources and must be cited. Write down the titles, authors, publication dates and page numbers of this information.

  2. 2

    Open a new document in a word processing program, ensuring that the program is set to be left justified and will have no spaces between paragraphs. Set your font to Times New Roman 12 or another serif, 12-point font.

  3. 3

    Create a header, capitalised and double spaced. Include the recipient, the writer, the date the memo was written and the subject. The header takes the following format:





    Include the relevant information for each portion of the heading after the colons.

  4. 4

    Write a first draft on paper on a computer, referring to your notes. The first paragraph, the Abstract or Summary, functions as an introduction. Include the memo's purpose and briefly highlight any pertinent information that will be included in the rest of the memo. This paragraph should provide the reader with a quick summation of what is included in the rest of the memo.

    The following short paragraphs, the body of your memo, include the information your memo communicates.

    The final paragraph restates the information presented in the first paragraph.

    Do not indent paragraphs. Leave a blank line between them.

  5. 5

    Insert the citations for your references. Write the main first and second author's last name or names, a comma and the year the information was published within parentheses. For example, (Dow and Ellens, 1999).

    Attach a list of citations to your memo in alphabetical order. Write the first author's last name, the first author's first name, the second author's last name, the second author's first name, & third author's last name, the third author's first name (the date of publication). Title of the book, report or article. Title of journal or periodical, volume number (issue number), pages.


    Abe, Donald, Boris, Katherine & Campbell, John (2010). How to Write a Memo. Business Writing 12 (3), 4-6.

    If your source was online, include "Retrieved from" and insert the website URL.

    If your source was a personal communication, such as another memo, cite this information within the memo: (John Jones, personal communication, January 2, 2011)

  6. 6

    Reread your memo for grammar, spelling and content, and to ensure that your citations are accurate. Write a second draft, incorporating your corrections.

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