Writing minutes and agendas
The notes taken at a meeting are referred to as 'minutes'. Below we provide information concerning the contents of meeting minutes, and for a list of meeting-related terms, see:
Ways of writing minutes
Depending on the context, the way in which meeting minutes are written varies in terms of style and detail. Generally speaking, to be effective, they need to be clear, accurate and impartial.
Minutes from, for instance, board meetings, usually follow a template, whereas meetings from staff or project group meetings, for instance, may be written in a less formal style. However, whatever the style and format, meeting minutes will often contain information about the following issues:
When and where was the meeting held?
For ways of writing dates in English, see
What kind of meeting?
The minutes should state whether the meeting happened for a specific purpose or as part of a regular series of meetings.
Who attended the meeting?
Meeting minutes list the names of those present and those absent, and any apologies for absence that were received before the meeting.
What was discussed in the meeting?
For each item on the agenda, the following information is usually included:
- what was discussed and if anything was suggested/proposed
- what decisions were made and whether the decision was unanimous
- if some item on the agenda was tabled for a subsequent meeting
Meeting minutes also often record the following matters:
- if relevant: the approval (or amendment) of the minutes of a previous meeting
- time of next meeting