what is the best way to construct a business related memo

Instruction Message:

You will prepare an instruction (or procedure) memo outlining a business-related issue (see scenario below). Procedure messages should utilize the direct approach by stating the main idea concisely, dividing the instructions into steps, and presenting a closing thought. The writing plan for your memo is as follows:

  • Subject line – Summarize the content of the message.
  • Opening – Expand the subject line by stating the idea concisely in a full sentence.
  • Body – Divide the instructions into steps. Be sure to begin each step with an action verb.
  • Closing – Reinforce the importance of the memo, and include contact info.


  1. Memos should be written using the direct approach.
  2. Memos should be ½ to 1 page in length and should adhere to the Instruction Messages guidelines provided on pp. 162-164 of the textbook. Do not submit more than one page.
  3. Memos should adhere to the memo formatting guidelines on p. 126 of the text. This is an important step! Please look at p. 126 carefully and format your memo just like the example there (i.e., the guide words, salutation, and complimentary close). Hint: you must use bullets!
  4. Information provided in the memo should be accurate, concise, and grammatically correct (1/2 point will be deducted for each error so make sure you’re proofreading!).
  5. Writing will be evaluated according to the standards outlined in the rubric provided below.

Your Task: As director of human resources, draft a memo to employees. Provide brief background data and explain the main idea. You will list clear fire instructions. In the closingparagraph, provide your name, title, and office phone number and/or email address if receivers want more information.

The Scenario: You are concerned about fires and safe evacuation in your office building, so prepare a set of procedures for employees to follow in case of fires.

It’s important if someone sees a fire, that person should pull the alarm and call the fire department. The number of that department is 9-911. If the fire is small, the employee can attempt to extinguish it with a fire extinguisher. The supervisor is probably the one who should size up the situation and decide whether the building should be evacuated. You then begin to think about the evacuation process. What to do? Should employees close all doors and secure their workstations, or is this using too much precious time while there’s a fire? You decide what information is important to include.

If employees are evacuating, they should go to the nearest exit in an orderly manner. In addition, it’s very important that everyone remains calm and helps with visitors and those with disabilities. At the predetermined gathering places, employees should wait for instructions from floor monitors. It’s also important that employees not reenter the building until given the all-clear. When they are outside, they should stay out of the way of fire department personnel and equipment.

**Please note: When thinking about writing fire instructions for employees, what are the most important points to list? Those instructions are the ones you will list in your memo. Additionally, do not copy my words verbatim. Use your own words!

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