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How to Write a Technical Memo

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Accuracy and details are the hallmarks of a well-written technical memo. Industry jargon is the norm. A technical memo directs the order of operations and is used somewhat like a blueprint for an accompanying report, set of instructions or laboratory assignment. Unlike other memos, it is longer and can include illustrations, figures, graphs and a legend.

Address the memo to readers who are skilled in, or at the very least familiar with, the field of study. Use specifics whenever possible and avoid background or unnecessary context. In other words, write succinctly.

Type the memo single-spaced, using one-inch margins in an unadorned 12-point standard type face. The memo should have a readable, professional look.

Include any schematic diagrams in the body of the memo, with arrows pointing to relevant information, labeling any parts. This can be hand drawn or cut and pasted with a word processor.

Make a heading for each section of the memo in bold: Introduction, Method/Analysis, Discussion and Conclusion.

Add references at the bottom of the technical memo to show your audience where you drew your source material. It should read like a mini-bibliography.

Attach supporting information as appendices and provide a bound copy for submission. The technical memo should be the cover.

Tip

Double check for format requirements, which can vary based on the industry.

About the Author

After receiving her journalism degree from Long Island University, Andrea Della Monica worked for daily and weekly newspapers in the New York metropolitan area. As a winner of George Polk award, Della Monica has been interested in advancing press freedoms. In recent years, she has successfully pursued public relations work for major community activist organizations and special interest publications.

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