How to Write a Cover Memo

by Andrea Della Monica

You can write a cover memo for a report or publication that gets to the point. It is an important indicator of your efficiency in the workplace. A cover memo provides a quick synopsis. It gives the readers a sense of what they are in store for when they receive the full package. Your colleagues should be able to scan the memo quickly, and understand the topic. With practice, you can learn how to write a cover memo that sparkles.

Write to whom the memo is intended for, from whom the memo originates, the subject matter and the date in the memo's header.

Single space and justify to the left of the page the next two or three paragraphs where you will discuss the subject matter of the memo.

Indicate specifically and precisely the memo's purpose. For example, the memo could begin with, "Attached is the Preliminary Planning Report for 2008 for the Town of Islip."

Indicate in capitals if the material is for internal distribution only or embargoed for release.

Avoid any subjectivity in the memo. It is not a position paper. It should state the company or organization's objectives.

Keep the format of the memo as a template for future use and maintain a copy.


  • Proofread carefully. The memo provides a snapshot of what is to follow.

About the Author

After receiving her journalism degree from Long Island University, Andrea Della Monica worked for daily and weekly newspapers in the New York metropolitan area. As a winner of George Polk award, Della Monica has been interested in advancing press freedoms. In recent years, she has successfully pursued public relations work for major community activist organizations and special interest publications.

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