You’ve Got Mail… Memos and Proposals (Chapter 14)

Chapter 14 takes time to explain what you should and shouldn’t do when using written communication. This chapter talks about e-mail, memorandums, letters and proposals. There were different guidelines presented in chapter 14 for each form of written communication. I compiled lists of each group of guidelines.

The main guidelines for everything you write are:

  • Completeness- make sure what you write serves its intended purpose
  • Conciseness- be brief as possible, less is better
  • Correctness- make sure you write accurately
  • Courtesy- write personably but don’t go too far
  • Responsibility- think of how your reader will perceive your writing

Email Guidelines:

  • Use emails to keep up with events, make appointments, and review or edit documents.
  • Make your emails simple in appearance, always fill out the subject line, and avoid replying to all.
  • Use email language that’s formal yet conversational. Be sure to use standard English and abbreviations.
  • Always reread e-mails before sending them.

Memorandum guidlines:

  • Use memos to ask for information, supply information, confirm a verbal exchange, planning a meeting, remind and write almost any other message.
  • Distribute hard copies of memos even if they are sent in an email.
  • A memo should be a page or less in length.
  • Put the key message into the first sentence or first paragraph

Letters Guidelines:

  • The first paragraph should concisely atate the purpose of the letter or give the “bottom-line.”
  • Write letters on standard business stationery.
  • If you are unsure of the specific name you need, head your letter in the form of a memo.
  • The body should be four to five paragraphs.
  • Be sure to use spelling and grammer checks before sending your letter.

Proposal Guidelines:

  • Know the purpose of your proposal.
  • Know what your proposal will address.
  • A proposal may be a few or multiple pages depending on it’s scope.
  • Be sure to include sections in your proposal like: background information, goals and objectives, basic strategies, timeline of events, and a proposed budget. (There are other sections to use as well.)

 Now that you have some simple yet important guidelines to follow, you are ready to communicate through written language effectively.


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