Before setting out the guidelines, let me first point out one thing that sometimes throws some students off is this assignment being called a memo, because many students think of memos as being a short, concise one or two page document – which for most business memos is true. However, I am not asking for a business memo…I call it a ‘memo’ because I have had several students in the past who panic when it has been referred to as an academic paper or a reaction paper.
What I am looking for in your reaction/application ‘memos’
First, I am looking a summary of something you have read and/or watched. This is to help you to clarify what you read and/or watched and to enable me, as your instructor, to determine whether you have understood it.
Second, because a summary is limited to presenting others’ ideas, I have included a reaction element to the assignment, to find out what your opinion is. The reaction element of the memo usually comes after you have stated the author’s main ideas and main supporting evidence by stating your own responses to those ideas and supporting them with your own evidence and thinking. I am looking for analysis and recommendations. One of my main goals for this assignment is to help you develop and hone your critical thinking and written communication skills.
- General Guidelines for your Reaction / Application ‘memos’.
Your memos should be printed on standard, white 8.5” x 11” paper.
· Single-space the text of your paper, and use Times New Roman font. The font size should be 12 pt.
· Leave only one space after periods or other punctuation marks.
· Double space between paragraphs.
· The margins of your document should be 1” on all sides.
· Your memo should be long enough to provide a ‘summary’ that enables me to determine whether or not you have a robust understanding of the material assigned as well as your critical analysis and recommendations. Typically below average is fewer than 2.5 pages, average is typically between 2.5 to 3.0 pages, and above average is typically greater than 3 pages in length. However, this is not a hard-set guideline. To reiterate, an average memo long enough to provide a ‘summary’ that enables me to determine whether or not you have understood the material assigned as well as your critical analysis and recommendations.