ProposalsAsking for stuff, (hopefully) Getting stuff
Proposals are Everywhere (even academia)Two New CoursesNew Computers for English LabA Tech Literacy Workshop for Department FacultyNew Video Cameras and Editing Software for DepartmentInternship Field Trip for English MajorsKeeping T-Shirt Money in the Budget for Department ConferenceEven my own Tenure BinderBusiness Proposal ScenariosA nonprofit organization focused on a particular issue wants an expert consultant to write a handbook or guide for its membership. A company has some sort of problem or wants to make some sort of improvement. It sends out a request for proposals. You offer to come in, investigate, interview, make recommendationsand present it all in the form of a report.Some organization wants a seminar in your expertise. You write a proposal to give the seminarincluded in the package deal is a guide or handbook that the people attending the seminar will receive.You want to write a business prospectus for the kind of business you intend to start up.Some agency has just started using a fancy desktop-publishing system, but the documentation is giving people fits. You receive a request for proposals from this agency to write some sort of simplified guide or startup guide.
Not requested by readers but pitched to an audience with the ability to take action.SOLICITED PROPOSAL
Requested by readers and given to you as an initial task to complete of a larger project.Modified Outline From BookFront MatterIntroduction (sometimes called executive brief)Current SituationProject PlanQualifications (think of as YOUR ethos building)Costs and Benefits (think feasibility and result)ConclusionBack MatterFeel free to use these as major headings (ala our response letter & tech description) or write the proposal as an un-sectioned letter as long as I can tell these sections exist. Up to you.More Intros with Sub-OutlinesDefine what the proposal is aboutState the purpose of the proposalState proposals main pointStress the importance of the subjectForecast the organization of the proposal
Do tell them the class or person youre considering in the intro. This isnt information to be saved as a surprise in the plan section.Current SituationDescribe the problem or situation currently facing UVU and how it effects the involved parties
Backing this up with research shows you did your homework and helps with persuasiveness
Create sympathy and emotion in this section to make solution more appealing
UVU does not have enough healthy eating options.Project PlanExplain the planWho you want to inviteWhat class should be createdGive detailsWhat should the class includeRelevant background on the guest speakerAgain, show researched knowledge whenever possible
Jamie Oliver. Professional chef, nutrition expert, Food Network star, healthy school lunch advocate.
QualificationsExplain why you are making this suggestion and what qualifies you to be believed that its a good one
Explain your personal connection to new class, the speaker, or the issue the speaker will addressLetter Writer. Life-long healthy eater. Diagnosed with Celiac disease. On campus for 8-10 hours a day.
Costs & BenefitsFocus mostly on benefits of this action, as you probably wont know costs. What will change/be made better and how?
Instead of cost, think of feasibility. How is this proposal realistic?Who could teach the class (name names)How could this speaker be convinced UVU is worth his/her time?
Promotion of health and well-being on campus. Students will have more positive feels about UVU. Jamie Oliver already does similar speaking events.
Contexts to Consider & Address For Your ProjectEthical & Political Contexts
Controversial FiguresInter-Department TurfContexts to Consider & Address For Your ProjectPrimary ReadersDepartment ChairPresident Holland
Secondary ReadersEntire Department Faculty/People Who Teach That Kind of ClassVice President/Student Body President
Tertiary ReadersOther Departments/Parents of StudentsJournalists/Local Organizations Visual DesignProposals come in many designs and formats. For our project (mainly due to time) we will focus on a simple business letter format (similar to your response letter to me earlier in the semester), though Word styles can still be used to provide a little flair.
Final TipsSpecific people are involved use I and YouTry to see the whole situation from the readers points of view and accommodate for thatCommunication over impressivenessMaximum PC-ness, even if you dont believe in thatFind the sweet spot between too short and too longRealize that in the real world, the project plan and costs and benefits sections might be the only ones that get read or focused on