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Ten Minute Guide to Effective Business Writing by Steve Dennis, Paula Garrett

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Chapter 5. Give Your Reader Sufficient Background

In this lesson you learn what to include in the background section of your document to appropriately set the stage for the balance of your memo.

What Is the Background?

The background of a memo immediately follows the overview and provides the facts and assumptions relevant to the subject of your document. These facts and assumptions enable your reader to react to your recommendation or conclusions appropriately. After reading the background, your reader should …

  • Quickly understand the current or historical context necessary to evaluate your recommendation(s) or conclusion(s), regardless of the level of prior familiarity.

  • Clearly understand what portion of information included is based on data and ...

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