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Chapter 10 Proposals: Formulating and Solving Problems
Chapter overview • This chapter looks at the genre of proposals. They are a form of problem solving, and the introduction mentions several common forms, such as the grant proposal. • The chapter presents readings, discusses components of proposals, and presents them as a form of persuasive writing.
Proposals have a dual purpose: • They describe a plan of action. • They try to persuade the readers that these plans should be implemented. • This means that the proposal must inform readers about a problem and propose (argue for) a solution.
Many examples in real life • Business & Industry • Government • Education All share a problem-solving mindset: • Gather data, look at options, and determine the “best” choice
Your own life What are you going to do this weekend? • Eat out? Go to a concert? Rent videos and get pizza? Help a friend move? • You will need to gather data and makea decision.
Sample Proposals, Gelbspan • Ross Gelbspan, pages 320-322, “Rx for an Ailing Planet” on climate change. • Analysis follows on page 322.
Sample proposals, Trimbur • Lucia Trimbur, pages 323-328, on Amateur Boxers and their Trainers. • Analysis follows on page 329.
Sample proposals, Botstein • Leon Botstein, pages 329-331,“Let Teenagers Try Adulthood” • Analysis follows on page 331.
What is a research proposal? • In a sense, whenever a teacher asks you to write a short memo or e-mail, and attach a list of sources that you intend to use in a paper, it is a research proposal. • This serves as a starting point for discussing your ideas, your sources, and your overall plan for writing the paper.
Public Campaigns • Student Labor Action Project, page 332, “2006 National Student Labor Week of Action” • An example of a public campaign organzied over the Internet • See the full proposal at http://www.jwj.org/projects/slap/week.html
Visual Design • See The Be Green Neighborhood Association’s “Proposal for a Neighborhood Street Tree Program” on page 333. • Compare the combination of visuals and text used by The Be Green Neighborhood Association with the essay form of Gelbspan and Botstein and the fieldwork form of Trimbur.
Writing Assignment • Write an essay proposing a solution toa problem. • Your instructor will let you know if your class will be doing this particular assignment, and provide you with additional guidelines. • See page 339 for options and details.
Invention strategies Lists five steps, page 340. • Take inventory of issues. • Identify positions for issues. • Think nationally and internationally. • Narrow your choices down to three promising ideas, and then choose one. • Decide on your audience.
Analyzing background research • The text analyzes a problem, breaks it down, and looks at possible solutions • The text suggests using a simple chart. • It presents a list of four question. • It suggests five steps to look at the proposed solutions.
Analysis of sample essays • Looks at the way that the readings in the chapter presented the problem and explained the proposed solution. • In the case of the boxing proposal, about one-third is concerned with presenting the problem, and about half consists of explaining the solution. In contrast, Jenkins uses 80 percent of his essay to describe the problem and only 7 percent to the solution.
Developing an outline • See the guidelines for developing a working outline, pages 343-344. • Statement of the problem • Description of the solution • Explanation of reasons • Ending • You can’t do this sort of paper without a plan, and an outline will keep you organized.
Drafting and peer review • Use the outline to write your first draft. • Be sure to define the problem and link the proposed solutions in a “logical and compelling way” (page 344). • Then exchange drafts with a classmate, using the five questions on pages 344-345 to guide you in giving feedback to each other.
Revising your draft Once you have received feedback, revise as necessary. The chapter gives an example of an early draft, and points out two things: • The proposal spends an equal amount of time on the problem and the solution. • The draft doesn’t separate the problem from the solution.
Sample proposal • See pages 380-382 for a student sample; this was actually written by three students working together. • It includes a discussion of the problem as well as a proposal for a solution, cites sources, and uses headers. • It’s done in APA style, so the list of sources is called References, not Works Cited.
Student’s commentary • The three students comment on their draft on page 350. • It presents three questions, page 351. • It suggests that you have a meeting to evaluate your work, if done collaboratively.
In conclusion • Pick a problem that interests you. • Use a variety of sources: print, people, and Web. • Work from an outline to draft your essay.
Student Companion Website • Go to the student side of the Web site for exercises, chapter overviews, and links to writing resources for this chapter: http://college.hmco.com/pic/trimbur4e