I'm sure there are other ways, but that way seemed the neatest. Basically, a characteristic subgroup is a subgroup which is fixed under automorphisms,

then

.

Examples of characteristic subgroups are the two boring subgroups, the center, the commutator subgroup, and the frattini subgroup.

If you take a cyclic group, then every subgroup is characteristic.

Now, you can think of conjugation by an element as an automorphism, and so such groups are normal. However, the characteristic subgroup of a normal subgroup will be normal in the big group, and this is what I would have utilised.

For the first part, if another prime divided the group M then take the largest q-group in M. As your group is abelian this will encompass all the q-ness of your group (q will not divide the order of M/Q). Therefore, you would have a characteristic subgroup, which will thus be normal.