Use this section to explain the purpose of the memo and an overview of the document. For example: This memo summarizes the issues facing the University of Oregon in relation to climate change and the options for campus changes. In the following sections, I review climate issues relevant to the UO campus and the possible steps that can be taken. The final section presents three policy options for the University.
Context / Background [choose one appropriate heading]
Use this section to set the context or give the background for your boss or your audience. You may need to remind them of the task, background or how it relates to decisions they have to make. For example: At its June meeting, the UO Board of Trustees requested that the UO prepare a climate action plan. In response, the President appointed a Climate Action Team, and for the past several months this team has been working on this task…and so forth.
Information / Body / Analysis [choose one appropriate heading]
Present your information here and keep in mind some key rules:
· Keep it simple stupid (KISS): your goal is to summarize the highlights
· Your document should have a clear logic flow with connected points and themes
· Use paragraphs with a clear topic sentence for your main themes
· Use bullets and numbering when you are presenting lists (don’t replace paragraphs with bullets)
· Use references or other information to direct the reader to more detailed information
· Use selected charts or graphs if they do a better job of presenting complex information
Findings / Conclusions / Action Items [choose one appropriate heading]
This will vary a lot depending on the purpose, audience, and the task assigned to the memo writer. Information should be presented in a neutral or balanced manner with proper documentation of information. It is not an opinion or advocacy piece, but rather findings based on supporting evidence.
· No: Can you imagine a world where Oregon rivers are parched and the forests are burning…
· No: I think climate change is really important so the university should…
· Yes: Based on the information I have gathered, the major sources of university emissions are…
· Yes: The climate action team has identified several policy options for the university to consider…
Sources / Works Cited [choose one appropriate heading]
Use a standard reference system in your memo—either the author/date system (Daniels and Daniels 2003, 2-3) or a footnote system.[footnoteRef:1] Include a reference list –OR–footnotes.[footnoteRef:2] Examples of both are listed below: [1: Daniels and Daniels. 2003. Environmental Planning Handbook. Chicago, IL: American Planning Association Press, pp. 2-3.] [2: Ibid, p.5]
Daniels and Daniels. 2003. Environmental Planning Handbook. Chicago, IL: American Planning Association Press.