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Lesson 3. Framing Your Thinking > Recommendations and Summaries - Pg. 10

Framing Your Thinking 10 Recommendations and Summaries The most common business documents written are recommendations and summaries. Use a rec- ommendation when you're asking the reader to take some action or to approve your taking some action. Use the summary to convey information to the people who need it. Both follow a similar framework. For the purposes of this book, we call this framework the "standard memo framework." The Standard Memo Framework The standard memo framework consists of the following five sections: the Overview; the Back- ground; either the Recommendation or the Conclusions, depending on whether your memo is a recommendation or a summary; either the Rationale (for a recommendation memo) or the Key Findings (for a summary memo); and the Next Steps. The contents of these sections are: · Overview:Two or three sentences that provide a synopsis of the entire memo, including a brief statement that summarizes your conclusions or recommendation. · Background:One or two paragraphs describing the business situation relevant to why the rec- ommendation is being made or the conclusion is being given. · Recommendation:A brief description of exactly what you want to have happen. This would typically include what needs to be done, what it would cost, and how quickly it could be done. · Conclusion:A brief description of your interpretation of a business analysis, research analysis, or other information analysis. · Rationale:Three to five paragraphs, each of which provides a reason for the reader to agree to your recommendation, and the support needed to back up each reason. · Key Findings:A list of facts obtained from business analysis, research analysis, or other infor-