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What are some tips on keeping minutes according to Robert's Rules?

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Quick Answer

To keep minutes according to Robert's Rules of Order, the secretary should follow the specific format, sign the minutes and approve the record at the next regular meeting. The record should use unpretentious language that simply reports the facts.

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Full Answer

Robert's Rules specifies that the first paragraph of the minutes must include the type of meeting, the name of the organization, and the date, time and location where it occurs. This paragraph should also note if the normal presiding officer and secretary are present, and, if they are not, the people who take their place. This paragraph is also the place to note the reading of the previous minutes. If those minutes require correction, the paragraph notes their acceptance with corrections, but the actual corrections take place in the original set.

The body of the minutes includes all main motions and the member who makes each motion. The secretary does not include the name of the person seconding the motion or withdrawn motions in the report. The secretary includes the final wording of each motion, the type of vote and the results. Unless otherwise directed, the secretary does not include the full wording of reports or the proceedings of a committee.

Minutes do not become official until the body approves them. If the secretary supplies printed copies of minutes before the meeting, he should stamp them "draft." Upon their approval, he notes any corrections and stamps them "approved."

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