Proposals Chapter 20 – Technical Communication in the 21st Century
What’s a Proposal? • Not what first comes to mind • Business document that outlines your plan for solving a problem. • PLANis the key word • Proposals sell you and your ideas
Sell Me and My Ideas? How? • Proposals show you as expert problem-solver • Proposals show how, if PAID, you’ll go about solving the problem. • If you’re qualified and your idea/plan is solid, your proposal to solve the problem is accepted!
So…An Example? Parking at SPSU is bad. You write to Parking Services, outline the problem as you see it, and offer to research the issue and make recommendations on how to improve parking. You’re qualified because you’re a student. Parking Services accepts your proposal.
It’s Good that My Proposal is Accepted?? • The answer is YES! • You can now do the research and produce the final report with recommendations. • Also, you get paid big consulting dollars!
It’s That Simple? I’m done? • Yes and no…mostly no. • There’s different types of proposals and different situations • Need to understand the breakdown of types/situations in order to proceed effectively
So…tell me about it • Internal vs. External • Formal vs. Informal • Research vs. Goods and Services • Solicited vs. Unsolicited
Let’s Clarify The photocopiers at work are all old and slow. You write your boss and propose the company buy new copiers. You explain why they’re needed and how you’ll research the best model(s). • What kind of proposal is this?
And the Boss Says OK • You’ve got the OK, a budget, and a quantity (10), so you phone Xerox and Toshiba. • You give them your details and ask for proposals on models, $$, etc. • Xerox and Toshiba send you proposals. • What kinds of proposals are these?
Back to Parking • The parking example • You saw and identified a problem • You wrote up your investigative plan to clarify issues/solve the problem • You stated your qualifications, the cost of your time and how long it would take. • What kind of proposal is this?
Structure of Proposals • We will cover the general proposal structure • Know that other structures exist and can be required in specific situations • Proposals range in size from a 2-page memo to formal documents that are hundreds of pages long. • It all depends on what you’re doing
And the Structure is… • Front Matter • Introduction • Proposed Program • Qualifications / Experience • Budget • Schedule • Conclusion • Back Matter
Doesn’t Sound Too Tough • No, it doesn’t but…students have a hard time with proposals because: • they’ve never written one before • they’re unfamiliar with the genre • they have trouble with persuasion • they don’t think of audience well • they want to write like it’s ENGL 1101 • they want to solve the problem in the proposal
But I Can Do This?? • Absolutely!!! • Read Chapter 20, especially the examples • Ask lots of questions • Get lots of feedback