The Proposal


Format: Assignment #1,4, and 6 are rather tricky because you have to craft them for two different audiences: me and the person within the organization you are working on that can do the most for your situation.  Keep that in mind, but for the first assignment, to stall confusion, you will address me in the form of a letter to me to seek my approval for a topic of research for your final report.  As far as audience analysis, think of me as someone who wants to be sure that you choose a project from which you can learn a great deal and on which you can do a good job.  While I am willing to consider a wide range of topics, you must convince me that you have chosen a worthwhile topic that you are capable of handling well (for your sake as well as mine). 

Introduction: Your intro should tell me why you are writing and what the letter is about.  It should have a clear sense of who the audience is, why you are writing to this audience (reader centered purpose statement), and what you intend to accomplish within the scope of your proposal.

Problem statement: In the problem statement, there are three parts: the Ideal, the Real, and the Consequences.  


Research Section: The research portion of your proposal convinces me that you know: what kind of information you need, where you can find it, and how long it will take to do all this.  First, do you know who you need to talk to, what kinds of secondary sources you will need to consult, what kinds of surveys and/or questionnaires you will have to come up (and who to administer them to) with to fit the bill for your particular problem?  Secondly, do you know where to go to find the people, contacts, and books/websites/magazines that will help you immeasurably in this pursuit of solutions.  Thirdly, construct a chart that shows when you will accomplish all these tasks.  This should be a comprehensive chart including the whole semester and all your final and rough drafts of assignment #4 and 6.  Of course, you probably won't stick to this schedule as new things come to light, but you should have some kind of idea how long things will take.  

Qualifications: This part is one of the most important parts of your proposal.  In this section, you tell me why you are the right person for the job.  Do you have an intimate knowledge of the business/organization in question?  Have you worked in similar circumstances?  Did you take classes in a certain discipline that make you an expert on certain problems?  Do you have access to books/ magazines/ experts in the field (hint, hint: you all do) that will make your job of finding info easier?  Then list these things.  Don't just say you're qualified, convince me. And, for goodness' sake, don't list things that are important to you, but aren't important to your audience.  Keep your audience in mind throughout the entire process of writing.

Conclusion: Summarize in a confident and audience centered closing.  Say thank you, give contact info, and sign with a complimentary closing.   


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