How to Write a Memo to the Department Head

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The memo is one of the most common ways to communicate with your coworkers and superiors. Getting your point across in a clear and concise manner and using the proper tone are the most important things to take into account when writing a memo. Sometimes the tone you use on inter-office memos will change depending on the person you are writing to, but memos to department heads should always maintain a serious and respectful tone.

Create your heading. The heading of a memo is a four-line section that includes a "to" line (write the name of your department head and her job title), a "from" line (your name plus your title), a "date line" and a "subject" line. All memos use this type of heading.

Write the opening to your memo. This is an overview of what the memo is about. Tell why you are writing the memo, any specific action your memo suggests and the context of whatever caused you to write your memo in the first place.

Write the body of your memo. This is where you expound on the information you touched on in your opening. You will want to include any information that supports the main purpose of your memo.

Write a closing. A memo closing succinctly summarizes the memo as well as talks about the possibility of a follow-up meeting.

Add any attachments. On emailed memos, you can attach any needed materials electronically. On paper memos, you will want to physically attach any extra materials. Make sure to mention your attachments somewhere on your memo. You can include an attachments section at the end of the memo if you wish.


Some memos can be very short. Let the specific situation dictate how much you write. Always remember your audience when writing memos. In this case that audience is your department head. Don't write anything you wouldn't say to one of your superiors.