How to Write a Writer's Memo

Type a memo about your assignment.

The writer’s memo accompanies a student’s written assignment as the cover page. The memo is addressed to the instructor and serves to inform the instructor about the student’s experience with the assignment. Depending on the instructor’s direction, students write memos that describe the effort that went into the assignment, the difficult parts of the assignment and the parts they are most proud of. They also assess their work and request specific assistance on future drafts.

Construct the memo using standard headings: To, From, Date, Regarding.

Orient the reader by stating the topic as well as which assignment the memo is addressing. Briefly address your purpose and individual slant on the subject. This will be the first paragraph of your memo.

Describe the process you followed to complete this draft of the assignment. Note hurdles and discoveries and indicate resources that you found helpful. Indicate what draft you are working on—first, second, final—and describe what you like best about this version. If it is an early draft, indicate what continues to need work. This will be your second paragraph.

Indicate several specific aspects of the paper on which you’d like your instructor’s assessment. These might include organization, content development, quality of the research or style. You can also invite a certain style response from your instructor, such as encouraging, direct or critical. This will be the closing paragraph of the memo.

Patricia Harrelson is a retired college English instructor who began writing in 1987. She writes about education, communication and theater in publications such as the "San Francisco Chronicle," "California English" and "Central Sierra Seasons." She specializes in Web content, including blogging for businesses. Harrelson has a Master of Science in speech pathology, and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Antioch University.