Quite simply, a proposal is a persuasive document that sells the idea or service you are proposing.
Proposals may be unsolicited or requested (i.e., a RFP ? Request for Proposal), internal or external.
A good technical writer knows the characteristics of a persuasive proposal:
? Summarise your proposal [the abstract] briefly but completely; we are a nation of ?skimmers,? not readers;
? Organise your proposal clearly (use a Table of Contents), and if you?re using more than five visuals, include a List of
Illustrations or Figures. Unless instructed otherwise?include the following elements:
1. Title page
a. Title of proposal
b. Name of company, writer, writers, submitting proposal
c. Date on which the proposal was completed
2. Table of contents
a. Provide complete, clear listing of contents
b. Gear your Table of Contents (TOC) to meet the needs of different audiences
3. List of illustrations
a. Include below the TOC or on a separate page
b. Provide enough detail so that the reader can determine the content of each illustration or figure
4. Abstract (or Summary)
a. Limit your abstract to three to ten sentences
b. Briefly focus on i) the problem necessitating the proposal, ii) your suggested solution, and iii) the benefits derived when
your proposal is implemented
5. Introduction (Purpose and Problem)
a. Purpose ? in one to three sentences, tell your readers the reason for your proposal (explain why you are writing and what
you hope to achieve);
i. Highlight the importance of your proposal.
ii. Clearly state the problem (and reveal your knowledge of the situation)
iii. Note: Spend more time explaining the problem than on stating the proposal?s purpose.
6. Discussion (the body of the proposal)
a. Sell your product, service, or suggested solution.
b. Provide any of the following components as applicable:
i. Technical descriptions of mechanisms, tools, facilities, or products
ii. Technical instructions
iv. Managerial chains of command (organizational charts)
v. Biographical sketches of personnel
viii. Cost charts
a. Sum up your proposal and provide a sense of closure
b. If appropriate restate the problem, your solution, and the probable benefits
a. In a proposal going to a multi-level audience, provide a glossary that explains any technical terms you?ve included
b. Make sure your glossary is in alphabetical order and is easy to read
9. Works cited page
a. References to research articles
b. Make sure to use standard citation format consistently and accurately (e.g., APA referencing version 6)
a. Used to include additional information (e.g., surveys, previous report findings, etc.)
b. The information in an appendix should not be of primary importance (if it is, it should be in the body of the proposal). The
appendix is designed for extra or supplementary information.
? Write a formal proposal arguing the benefits of a website (intranet or internet) for your company. Your primary
audience will be the company president, Ms. Courtney Blair, who does not see the need for the website. Other
members of your audience include the Board of Directors, and other administrators and managers within the
company. Although your proposal will be directed solely to Ms. Blair keep the attitudes and interests of your entire
audience in mind.
? The type of company you are working for and the type of website you are proposing will be of your choice. You have
some freedom in your website project.
? Please write website proposal in a doc/docx file and submit it in Turnitin. Please DO NOT submit in PDF format.
? Include all the formal elements of the proposal outlined above with the exception of items you may not need, such as
a List of Illustrations, Glossary, or Appendix. While I do not expect (or want!) you to produce a 20-page proposal,
please write a 4-6 pages (1000-1500 words) proposal and try to make your proposal as persuasive, believable,
complete, and professional as possible.
This assessment item covers Extract 7 (Organising and preparing reports and proposals). It is designed to facilitate your
meeting of the learning outcome:
? Be able to practise, develop, refine and demonstrate written language skills so students are able to write clearly
correctly and concisely.