Writing a Writer’s Memo

The writer’s memo is essentially a reflective piece written after you’ve finished a writing project. Where your essay has its own specific purpose and audience, the memo gives you a chance to speak directly to your readers about that essay. Stepping away from the content of your analysis, you are free to discuss the process you followed in writing it, the choices you made, your sense of their effects, as well as your sense of the essay’s strong points and the areas you may have struggled with. This context can be especially useful for reviewers because it provides specific areas on which to focus their commentary.

The standard format for a memo includes these elements:

To [your addressee]

From [your name]


Regarding [the subject of your memo]

  1. Type this format into your GoogleDoc and make this memo the first page of your draft.
  2. Write one paragraph (roughly 3-5 sentences per paragraph) that addresses the three areas below.
    1.  Evolution: How did you develop your main question and select your literacy narratives/data? Which others did you set aside? Which part of the essay did you find easiest to write and which was most difficult? What sentence or paragraph do you think is most effective and why? What sentence do you find the least effective and why?
    2. Revisions: Discuss the revisions you made, for example, when moving from notes and reading questions to drafts (You’ll have a chance to expand this section when you complete your next draft).
    3. Constructive criticism: Which part of the draft do you think still needs work?What specific comments or feedback on your sketch would you find most helpful in moving towards the next draft? Where would you like your peer reviewer to focus his/her attention?