E-Mail and Memorandums

Writing Plans for E-Mail messages and Memos

  1. Information and procedures
  2. Requests
  3. Replies


 1. Information and procedures

  • Subject line: Summarize memo contents.
  • Opening: Expand the subject line by stating the main idea concisely in a full sentence.
  • Body: Provide background data and explain the main idea. In describing a procedure or giving instructions use command language (do this, don’t do that).
  • Closing: Request action, summarize the message, or present a closing thought.


2. Request

  • Subject line: Summarize the request and note the action desired.
  • Opening: Begin with the request or a brief statement introducing it.
  • Body: Provide background, justification, and details. If asking questions, list them in parallel form.
  • Closing: Request action by a specific date if possible, provide a reason. Express appreciation, if appropriate.


3. Replies

  • Subject line: Summarize the main information from your reply.
  • Opening: Start directly by responding to the request with a summary statement.
  • Body: Provide additional information and details in a readable format.
  • Closing: Add a concluding remark, summary, offer of further assistance, or request for further action.