How to Write a Business Memorandum 1

How to Write a Memorandum for Litigation 2

Paragraph Set-Up § Set up your document single spaced. § Set up your paragraphs left-justified with no indentation. § Remove extra point spacing before and after paragraphs. Manually add an extra line

between paragraphs, between paragraphs and titles or subtitles and between titles and subtitles.

Font Style and Text Size § Use an easy to read and familiar font such as Times New Roman or Calisto (or other clean

serif font). You should avoid unusual, unfamiliar, or difficult to read fonts that may make it harder for the memorandum’s audience to read the document.

§ Use 12 point font size, as it is a good size for readability of business documents. You may go down a point size if it helps you keep the last few lines of a memorandum from ending on a page alone.

§ Keep font size consistent in the document unless otherwise specified. Document Title § Start a business memorandum document with the title “Memorandum” or “Memo”.

Use “Memorandum” for more formal communication, when communication is going to people you work for or their bosses or those outside your organizational group. You may use “Memo” as a title for less formal communication, such as within your working group.

§ Center the title horizontally. § Use a bold, clean san serif font (i.e. Ariel Bold or Helvetica Bold) in a point size or two

larger than the rest of the text. This is the only part of the document that may have a different font style. This title may have lines above and below to accent the title (see Figure 1). If you use lines you must extend them margin-to-margin.

Section Titles § Start sections of the body of the memorandum with titles on their own lines. Makes the

titles easier to see by making them bold and/or underlined. § If sections need subsections title them is ways that are visually distinct, but less so than

the main titles (i.e. italicized) Widows and Orphans § Widows and orphans are terms used in document formatting. You need to be aware of

these as you should NOT have them in your finished document. § Widows refers to titles at the bottom of a page where the information after them starts

on the next page. § Orphans refers to one or two lines of a paragraph left at the bottom of the page with

the rest of the paragraph on the next page. § You may set this up as a word rule but should also review your document after it is

completely written and edited to make sure there are no widows and orphans.

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