Proposals are planning documents that are intended to persuade. Figure 13.2 shows types of proposals. The proposal might be as short as a line item in a budget request with a short explanation to one that is hundreds of pages in length. Solicited proposals follow specific instructions by the company or funder. They are often in response to a request for proposal, more commonly known as an RFP (see Figure 13.3 and Figure 13.4 on page 521-522). Unsolicited proposals may recommend a new product or service that might benefit a company; they often are written by salespeople. Grants are common proposals for agencies, communities and schools offered through the government or private foundation.
As you begin the assignment, pair together the handout with the example in the textbook. The handout discusses each part of the proposal and gives specific details and hints. Your progress letter and major report are based on the proposal you turn in. You may chose to complete the assignment individually or work with other classmates. If you work as a group, you only need to turn in one proposal, making sure all names are included.
First, choose a local business, personal, or family problem/issue that needs to be resolved and narrow down the topic. Students have written papers about furniture purchases for an office; iPads for six-graders; family vacations; motorcycles; degree choices, career paths, jobs, or graduate school; a company’s holiday party; eye surgery vs contact lenses; insurance; apartments; remodeling a credit union for safety deposit boxes; redecorating a home bathroom, bedroom, or patio; weekend businesses; renting vs buying textbooks and where; advantages and disadvantages of purchasing a used vehicle, electric cars, or insulin pumps; wedding cake flavors and design; venues for weddings; fear of speaking; and performance of baseball bats or golfing equipment.
Some primary research students used for these topics include price comparisons, budgets, test drives, taste tests, measurements, flower and plant inventory, survey of employees, and preferences for room colors or amenities.
Pick a topic and research you can accomplish in two months. Your major report is due April 18.
Then write your proposal in a memo that describes how you plan to research the topic. Use headings that appear in the example. An interview is required. Include only interview questions with your proposal; interview responses will be included in the progress letter that is due March 7. If you have chosen a questionnaire for your second primary research, attach it to the proposal. Include at least seven potential sources, which include the two primary sources. The major report will not be accepted without an approved proposal. Submit your proposal through Blackboard no later than February 7.
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