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11.25 Writing of minutes

An organization should use the format prescribed in its rules or regulations. If no restrictions exist, a standardized format should be adopted. Word processing simplifies the task greatly. Once a format suited to the needs of the organization has been developed, it can be used as a template and stored on disk.

The minutes should normally follow the order in which the business was conducted, even though this may differ from the agenda. They may include the items listed below:

  • nature of the meeting (especially whether regular or special), date, time and place;
  • identification of the person chairing the meeting;
  • the names of participants and of the organizations represented, and of persons who should have attended but were absent;
  • identification of the person taking the minutes;
  • the agenda, if short and if not distributed beforehand;
  • body of the minutes, following the order of business; the motions, their adoption or rejection, and the names of their originators; the names of persons responsible for taking action on the decisions reached may be given in a column at the right-hand margin;
  • motion to adjourn or close the meeting;
  • time of adjournment or closing of the meeting;
  • signatures of the person who presided and of the person who took the notes;
  • distribution list.

Reports from officers and committee chairpersons are sometimes appended to the minutes, as are motions.