7.2 Proposals

Proposals and progress reports are several of the most common varieties of reports you will certainly likely uncover yourself writing in the workplace. This reports are persuasive in nature: proposals effort to sway the leader to accept the writer’s propose idea; progression reports guarantee the reader that the project is top top time and also on budget, or define rationally why things might not be going follow to the early plan.

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A proposal, in the technical sense, is a paper that make the efforts to sway the leader to implement a proposed plan or provide a propose project. Most businesses count on efficient proposal writing to for sure successful continuation of your business and also to get new contracts. The writer tries to to convince the reader that the proposed setup or task is worth doing (worth the time, energy, and also expense crucial to perform or watch through), that the writer represents the finest candidate for implementing the idea, and that it will an outcome in tangible benefits.

Not that kind of proposal. <1>

Proposals are regularly written in response to a Request because that Proposals (RFP) through a federal government agency, organization, or company. The requesting body receives lot of proposals responding to your request, evaluate the it is registered proposals, and also chooses the best one(s) to walk forward. Their evaluation of the submitted proposals is often based upon a rubric that grades various elements of the proposals. Thus, your proposal must persuade the leader that your idea is the one most worth pursuing. Proposals room persuasive papers intended to initiate a project and also get the reader to authorize a course of action proposed in the document. These could include suggest to

Perform a task (such together conducting a feasibility study, a research project, etc.)Provide a productProvide a service

Proposals have the right to have miscellaneous purposes and thus take many forms. Lock may incorporate sections such as the following:

Introduction and/or backgroundProblem statementPurpose/motivation/goal/objectivesDefinition that scope and approachReview the the state that the artTechnical backgroundProject descriptionSchedule that work/timelineBudgetQualificationsConclusionFour kinds of Proposals

There are 4 kinds of proposals, categorized in terms of whether or no they to be requested, and also whether they space meant to resolve a difficulty within your own organization or someone else’s. From the adhering to descriptions, you will view that can they also overlap:

Solicited Proposals: an organization identifies a instance or trouble that it desires to boost or solve and also issues one RFP (Request for Proposals) asking for proposals on just how to address it. The requesting company will vet proposals and also choose the many convincing one, often using a comprehensive scoring rubric or weighted goals chart to determine which proposal best responds come the request.Unsolicited Proposals: a writer perceives a difficulty or one opportunity and also takes the to plan to propose a method to solve the problem or take benefit of the chance (without being asked for to do so). This can often be the most daunting kind that proposal to get approved.Internal Proposals: these are written by and for someone in ~ the very same organization. Because both the writer and also reader re-superstructure the exact same workplace context, these proposals are generally shorter than exterior proposals, and also usually address some means to boost a work-related instance (productivity, efficiency, profit, etc.). As inner documents, castle are frequently sent as memos, or introduced with a memo if the proposal is lengthy.External Proposals: these space sent outside of the writer’s company to a different entity (usually to solicit business). Since these are outside documents, they are usually sent as a official report (if long), presented by a cover letter (letter the transmittal). External proposals space usually sent out in response to a inquiry for Proposals, however not always.

If you are writing proposal assignments, determine the type of propose you space tasked through writing by placing them within the grid below. Offered the type of suggest you must write, what creates will you usage (memo, letter, report, etc.)?


Proposals created as an assignment in a technical Writing classes generally do the following:

Identify and also define the trouble that demands to be solved or the chance that can be taken advantage of. Girlfriend must present that you clearly understand the problem/situation if you room to convince the reader that you have the right to solve it. Rubrics that assess proposals typically place significant weight (~20%) ~ above clarity and also accuracy of the problem definition.Describe your proposed project, clearly defining the scope of what you suggest to do. Often, it is ideal to offer a general overview of her idea, and also then rest it down into an ext detailed sub-sections.Indicate how your proposed equipment will resolve the trouble and provide tangible benefits. Specifics indicate just how it will accomplish the objectives and abide by the constrains outlined in the problem definition. Give details examples. Show the details differences between “how things are now” and also “how they could be.” Be together empirical together possible, but appeal to all proper persuasive strategies. Emphasize results, benefits, and feasibility of your proposed idea.Conclude with a last pitch the summarizes and also emphasizes the services of implementing her proposed idea – yet without sounding favor an advertisement.

Additional Proposal aspects to Consider

Describe her qualifications to take on and/or lead this project; persuade the reader that you have the compelled skills, experience, and also expertise to complete this job.Decide what graphic to use to illustrate your ideas, current data, and also enhance her pitch.Include second research to improve your credibility and the toughness of your proposal.Choose format; is this a memo to an inner audience or a formal report come an outside audience? does it require a letter of transmittal?

All proposals must be convincing, logical, and credible, and to carry out this, they must think about audience, purpose and tone.

Irish and Weiss<2> advice readers to save the complying with in mind:

An design proposal is no an advertisement. It have to show, through objective language, clarity, and thoroughness, the the writers understand what they room doing and will successfully complete the project.

Sample Proposal Organization

Each proposal will certainly be distinct in the it must resolve a specific audience, in a details context, for a particular purpose. However, the following offers a reasonably standard company for many species of proposals:


Clearly and totally defines the trouble or chance addressed through the proposal, and also briefly presents the equipment idea; convinces the reader that over there is a clean need, and also a clear benefit to the proposed idea.

Project Description

Detailed summary of solution idea and also detailed explanation of how the suggest idea will boost the situation:

Confirm feasibility (is that do-able?) how will you discover out?

Explain the particular benefits that implementing the idea and the results of no doing it

Give a detailed description or explanation of your proposed idea or methodology, and also the resources essential to achieve goals

Address potential obstacles or objections; concede whereby appropriate


Establish writer’s qualifications and experience to command this project.

Timeline and also Budget

Provide a comprehensive timeline because that completion of project (use a Gantt graph to show when each stage of the project will it is in complete). Carry out an itemized spending plan for perfect the suggest project.


This is your last opportunity to to convince the reader; be persuasive!


List your study sources.

Language Considerations

Proposals are fundamentally persuasive documents, for this reason paying attention to the rhetorical situation—position that the reader (upward, lateral, bottom or exterior communication), the purpose of the proposal, the form, and also the tone—is paramount.

Clearly define your purpose and audience prior to you start to writeBe certain you have done research study so you understand what you space talking aboutRemain positive and constructive: you are seeking come improve a situationBe solution oriented; don’t blame or dwell on the negativeMake her introduction really logical, objective, and empirical; don’t start off sounding prefer an advertising or sound biased; stop logical fallaciesUse mainly logical and ethical appeals; usage emotional appeals sparingly

As always, adhere to the 7 Cs through making certain that your creating is

Clear and also Coherent: don’t confuse your reader with unclear principles or one illogically arranged structure.Concise and Courteous: nothing annoy her reader through clutter, unnecessary padding, unreasonable tone, or hard-to-read formatting.Concrete and also Complete: protect against vague generalities; give specifics. Don’t leaving out necessary information.Correct: don’t weaken your experienced credibility by neglecting grammar and spelling, or by including inaccurate information.

The Life bicycle of a project Idea

A great idea go not generally go directly from proposal to implementation. You may think it would be a great idea to construct a eco-friendly roof on optimal of the Clearihue building, but before anyone gives you the walk ahead for such an expensive and time-consuming project, they will require to know that you have actually done research to certain the idea is expense effective and will in reality work. Figure 7.2.1 breaks under the assorted stages a project can go through, and identifies few of the typical communications jobs that could be compelled at each stage.

Most concepts start out together a proposal to determine if the idea is yes, really feasible, or to uncover out i m sorry of several options will be most advantageous. So before you suggest the actual eco-friendly roof, girlfriend propose to study whether or no it is a feasible idea. Before you introduce a data warehouse system, girlfriend propose to research 3 different systems to uncover out which is the ideal one because that this specific situation. Her proposal presume the idea is worth looking into, convinces the reader that that is precious spending the time and resources to look into, and also gives comprehensive information ~ above how you propose to carry out the “finding out.”

Figure 7.2.1 Phases that a project and also some accompanying interactions tasks.<3>

Once a task is in the implementation phase, the civilization who space responsible for the task will most likely want consistent status updates and/or development reports come make certain that the job is proceeding top top time and also on budget, or to get a clear, rational explanation because that why the is not. Come learn an ext about development Reports, go to 7.3 progression Reports.

Image descriptions

Figure 7.2.1 photo description:

Once there is an idea, a task goes through a design procedure made up of 4 stages.

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Pre-project planning.Problem definition – identifying needs, goals, objectives, and also constraints.Define context and do research.Identify potential projects.Public engagement projects; Stakeholder consultation.Project Development.Propose a project (budget, timeline, etc.).Create or respond to a request for proposals, evaluate proposals.Develop or design solution concepts.Project administration plan.Feasibility Studies, reference Reports).Project Implementation.Write contracts and apply for permits for construction and also building sites.Progress reports, standing updates.Documentation the project.Continued research and also design improvements.Project completion.Final reports and also documentation.Close contracts.Ongoing Support: User Guides, Troubleshooting, FAQs.