Define a memo and describe the elements that constitute it.

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Memo is defined by the Cambridge English Dictionary as “a message or other information in writing sent by one person or department to another in the same business organization.” The word memo is a shortened form of the word memorandum, and has the same meaning. A memo is usually used to communicate information in a formal or official way, and is used when verbal communication will not suffice. Additionally, a memo may be used to communicate information that may need to be frequently referred back to (such as a change in procedure). Important components of a memo include the designated audience, date, subject, message itself, and sender information. Generally, a memo would be sent to a group of people rather than an individual. For example, a manager might write a memo to his employees to let them know that a dress code policy change has been implemented. Generally, a memo may read like a formal letter. Additionally, a memo is not usually sent from someone in a lower rank to someone in a higher rank. It would be highly unlikely for a subordinate to send a memo to their supervisor.

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Short for “memorandum,” a memo is a means of written communication among a closed group of participants in a project of some sort. Usually used in a business context (but also in academic or other contexts) it has a “To” line, in which the names or titles, along with addresses, of the intended members of the group are addressed; a “From” line, which identifies the sender of the communication (name or title); a ”Subject” line, which names the project or item for discussion; and a “body,” in which a speech-act is performed (a request, a reminder, an utterance of fact or news, etc. , along with information about a date of a meeting, or some such organizational detail), followed by some sort of social closing (“Thanks in advance,” “I’ll be available to explain,” Don’t forget to…,” etc.). The main function of a memo is to keep members of a production team equally informed of progress on a project.

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