Details You Really Need to Know_Writing Informal, Memo-Style Reports

Details You Really Need to Know_Writing Informal, Memo-Style Reports

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Details You Really Need to Know: Informal, Memo-Style Reports Details You Really Need to Know about Writing Informal, Memo-Style Reports by Julia Helo Gonzalez, copyright © 2005 Once you gather the data for your Company Research Report, it’s time to start drafting your report. This document contains information you need to write an effective report. Read it before you do anything else with this assignment. Your report is to be an informal, memo-style report. “Informal” does not mean casual, lackadaisical, or unprofessional in any way. It takes into account the audience and the formatting style for your report. In this document, I describe in more detail what you need to know about your report: the audience, the format, and the content. Read on to find out more. Your Audience The audience for an informal report is usually internal – that is, someone within the same company or organization of which you are a part, rather than someone outside the organization. Your audience consists of four potential sets of readers: primary, secondary, nominal, and phantom. Primary readers are people who make decisions or take action based on the content of your report. Secondary readers are people who need to be kept in the communications loop but won’t necessarily take direct action based on the decisions made regarding your report. Nominal readers (in name only) are those who get copied on the report and has it more or less as a formality, or just in case. You’ve also got “phantom” readers to keep in mind. You might not know who they are now, but they are always lurking about. For this assignment, they could be future students, university administrators, accreditation boards, lawyers – who knows. These people are important because you want to provide information that they might need (such as including the roles of the writer(s) and reader(s), for example). The Informal Report Format Page 1
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Details You Really Need to Know: Informal, Memo-Style Reports The format for an informal report is memo-style. You start it out just as you would any memo, with the following elements: Your contact information (for this assignment, make yourself a nice looking letterhead with your name, address, phone number, and email address. Don’t use block letter style like some of the examples you might see in your textbook). To : The primary recipient (name and role ; for example, don’t just say “Jane Doe”; say, “Jane Doe, Biochemistry Student”) From : The author (name and role). Think a little bit about your role in this situation. In what capacity are you writing? You’re not just “Firstname Lastname, Student” – what is your role as the subject matter expert for this report? Subject : The subject of the report (10 words or less; precise and concise) Date : Use written style or numerals for month, day, and year Re : Same as Subject (they are interchangeable) cc : Copy (secondary and nominal readers: names and roles) xc : Same as Copy (secondary and nominal readers: names and roles).
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