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Writing Guide

Letters & Memos

Business Letter

Business letters are often used the communicate with an group outside of an organization such as clients, customers, or other companies.

Business letters include:

  • Your return address
  • The recipient's address
  • A greeting
  • The Body (the content of the letter)
  • A closing (such as "sincerely")
  • Both your handwritten signature and your name typed

For advice on writing a professional letter, you can find several examples in our ebook collection. Once in an eBook database, in the search box, try typing in "professional letter" or "business letter."

You may also find it helpful to work with a tutor in Tutor Match. For the topic, select Writing/Research and for the subject, select Writing Assistance

Our Optimal Resume software also provides business letter templates.

*Don't forget - If you are using research in your letter, you need to use APA to cite your resources. Visit the APA Guide for help. 


Watch the short video below for instructions on how to navigate the Letters & Memos page:
 

Memo

A memo (or memorandum) is a short communication typically used within an organization.  Memos are often used as a tool to share new information.

APA does not provide guidance on formatting and writing memos, so font, font size, spacing and so forth are up to you or your instructor.

In terms of content, Cengage Learning's Online Study Center offers the following information on writing a memo: 

  • A memo consists of two parts: the identifying information at the top, and the message itself. At the top, identify for whom the memo has been written, who is sending it, the subject, and the date. The subject line serves as the memo's title.
  • The style and tone you use in a memo will be determined by your audience: You can use a casual tone in a memo to a coworker you know well, but you should use a more formal tone in a memo to your boss.
  • It's important to organize your memos well. Most longer memos consist of an introduction, a discussion, and a conclusion. In the introduction, tell readers what prompted you to write (such as a problem or question about a specific procedure or policy), and provide any necessary background information. In the discussion section, or body, indicate what changes are necessary to address that problem or question. In the conclusion, state specifically how you want the reader to respond.

Take a look at this example: 

If you are new to writing memos, use Microsoft Word's memo template (see below). You can also try creating a memo from scratch

For additional memo resources, click here and explore the links at the bottom. 

You may also find it helpful to work with a tutor in Tutor Match. For the topic, select Writing/Research and for the subject, select Writing Assistance

*Don't forget - If you are using research in your memo, you need to use APA to cite your resources. Visit the APA Guide for help. 

Business Plan

A business plan can be described as "an essential roadmap for business success. This living document generally projects 3-5 years ahead and outlines the route a company intends to take to grow revenues." This description came from the U.S. Small Business Administration website where you can also find a variety of business plan examples. 

Watch this short video to get you started with writing a business plan.

For additional business plan resources and examples, click here

You may also find it helpful to work with a tutor in Tutor Match. For the topic, select Writing/Research and for the subject, select Writing Assistance

*Don't forget - If you are using research in your business plan, you need to use APA to cite your resources. Visit the APA Guide for help. 

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Resources for Letters & Memos

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Paper Review (Brainfuse Writing Lab)

The Writing Lab Rubric

Use this rubric as a first step to self-assess your assignment.  After determining which column you think best describes your work, use the resources to the right to improve your work.  Refer back to it each time you feel you are near completion of the assignment to help you stay on track.  This is also the same rubric that the Writing Lab staff will use to provide feedback and resources suggestions.

Video: How to use the Rubric 

Submit to the Writing Lab (in Brainfuse)

Writing is a process. It helps to have feedback from others as you go through that process.  You can submit your work for review to the Writing Lab. Just make sure you have time before your submission deadline (it takes 24-48 hours).  Here's the process:

      After using the rubric to self-assess where you're at in terms of your assignment and you've made changes using the resources provided, you can opt to submit your assignment to the Writing Lab in Brainfuse for feedback and suggestions.  Once you're logged into Brainfuse, click on the Writing Lab. How to use the Writing Lab.

Using the Writing Lab

  1. Choose the file you'd like to submit.
  2. Add any comments about the assignment that would be helpful the reviewer to know.
  3. Upload your assignment and click Submit.
  4. In 24-48 hours, go back into the Message Center in Brainfuse and find your reviewed paper.  You may find suggested specific resources for you, one of which may be a tutor appointment.  How to make an appointment with a tutor
  5. Revise your paper using the resources suggested.  If you have any questions, make an appointment with the tutor using Tutor Match  How to make an appointment with a tutor
  6. After you have made your revisions, use the rubric again to self-assess.  At that point, you may feel your assignment is ready to submit to your instructor.  If that is the case, do so. If you think your assignment needs more work, you may resubmit your assignment to the   How do I use the Writing Lab?
  7. When you feel your assignment is ready for submission to your instructor, submit it using the assignment drop box within your course
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