Proposals Prof. Z. Lewis
Proposals • We begin every writing assignment by asking “Why would I want to do this?” • The purpose of writing a proposal is to present your ideas and plans for your readers’ consideration. • Almost all projects begin with proposals.
Categories • Proposals fall into different categories as follows: • Internal proposals are used within a company to plan or propose new projects or products. • External proposals are used to offer services or products to clients outside the company.
Solicited vs. Unsolicited Proposals • Proposals are also classified as either solicited, or unsolicited, depending on whether they were requested by the readers or not. • Solicited proposals are proposals requested by the readers. For example, the TAMIU Health Center may have seen some of the brochures for first aid that you recently created, and requested a proposal for you to create additional brochures. This would be a solicited proposal.
Unsolicited Proposal • Unsolicited proposals are proposals not requested by the readers. For example, you created a brochure on how to treat a bloody nose, and thought it would be beneficial for all students on campus. Consequently, you sent an unsolicited proposal to the TAMIU Health Center offering to create and deliver 1,500 two-color brochures to the Health Center. This is considered an unsolicited proposal, because the Health Center did not ask you to submit a proposal.
Grant Proposal • Researchers and nonprofit organizations prepare grant proposals to obtain funding for their projects For example, in one of my graduate courses, I wrote a grant proposal seeking funds to improve computer literacy in my local community. • Many cities and states offer grant money to those interested in provided neighborhood services. • PLEASE NOTE: YOU WILL NOT WRITE A GRANT PROPOSAL FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT.
Planning and Researching • As always, 5W-1H applies. Define the rhetorical situation. • Begin by asking yourself: • Who will be able to say yes to my ideas? Who are the secondary, tertiary, and gatekeepers? • Why is this proposal being written? • What information do the readers need to make a decision? • Where will the proposal be used? • When will the proposal by used? • and How will the proposal be used?
Additional Questions for 5W-1H • What is the economic context of this proposal? In other words, will the current economy affect the likelihood that your proposal will be approved, or not approved? • What is the political context of this proposal? Will the current political climate affect the likelihood that your proposal will be approved, or not approved? • What is the ethical context of this proposal? Are there any moral issues that may prevent your proposal from being approved? • If you believe that economic and political contexts are not affected, please state “We do not anticipate any ethical, economic or political issues affecting approval of this proposal.”
Planning, Cont’d. • Research by collecting information and creating content. Do background research to fully understand the problem you are trying to solve. Use Internet, print sources, and interviews to find as much information about your subject as you can.
Basic Features of Proposals • Introduction (SPAM) Subject, Purpose, & Main Point • Description of the current situation • Description of the project plan (Step by step) • Review of qualifications • Discussion of costs and benefits • Graphics • Budget • Keep in mind that this pattern can be changed depending on your audience and their needs.
Subject/Purpose • Subject: Define exactly what your proposal is about. What information do readers need if they are going to say yes to your ideas? • Purpose: Clearly state the purpose of your proposal in one sentence. What do you want your proposal to achieve? • Use action verbs: to—persuade, convince, provide, describe, argue for, advocate, present, propose, offer, suggest, recommend, support. • Main Point: What is the main point of your proposal? In other words, what is it that you propose to do?
Your Mission • Each member of your team will suggest one idea for an internal solicited proposal and will present that idea as an elevator pitch • Each member will create a concept map that shows the problem in the center, and the major and minor effects of the problem being proposed • The concept map must also show the benefits of what you propose • Begin to search for background information on the problem. • Go to www.pearsonhighered.com/johnsonweb4/8.9 to see documents that analyze problems.
DeliverablesDue 10/31 at beginning of class • Write a memo addressed to me wherein you state that you have been given a mission to propose a project that will benefit the local community or the TAMIU Community. • The Subject Line of your memo will be “Request Approval for Proposal to _____________” (fill in the blank) • State the project you are proposing and the major and minor benefits of the project. • In the memo, state that a concept map is attached. • Present your elevator pitch before the class in 2 minutes or less.
Deliverables Cont’d. • Please assure that your memo does not have any typographical errors. • If working on a team, please state the names of each team member, and the team name. If working alone, you will write one memo that states the three topics and also states the benefits of each proposed topic, along with a concept map for each. • Each team member must give the memo and concept map to me after the presentation. There will be no dropbox.
Parameters • If working in teams, there is a 4-person maximum allowed. • Your proposal must be either TAMIU or local community based. • You must work within a $25,000 budget. • PLEASE NOTE: The memo you submit IS NOT a 5W-1H Memo. The 5W-1H Memo will be submitted with your final paper.
The Approval Process • After I have consulted with the Proposal Approval Committee I will notify each person whether their proposal topic is approved. • If your team receives more than one topic approval, you will decide which of the proposal topics you have chosen, and will notify me of your choice via Discussion Board.
Team Dynamics • You will be asked to complete a team-member survey during various stages of the proposal assignment. • The ratings and comments you make for each of your team members will determine that member’s final grade for the assignment. Consequently, if you are experiencing any difficulties with members not doing their share of the work, failing to complete assigned tasks, etc., you should discuss these issues as a team and decide how you will handle the problem. • If have tried to work the problems out to no avail, and have documented your efforts to do so—you can consult with me to determine how to proceed.