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PROPOSALS and PERSUASION. A Guide for Creating Effective Proposals Based on Anderson, Paul V. Technical Writing: A Reader-Centered Approach , and Markel, Mike. Technical Communication, 9 th ed. 2010. (432-453). Proposal.

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proposals and persuasion


A Guide for Creating Effective Proposals

Based on Anderson, Paul V. Technical Writing: A Reader-Centered Approach, and Markel, Mike. Technical Communication, 9th ed. 2010. (432-453).

  • “A proposal is an offer to carry out research or to provide a product or service” (Markel 432).
  • “In a proposal, you make an offer and try to persuade your readers to accept it” (Anderson 619).
types of proposals
Types of Proposals
  • Internal
    • A request to carry out a plan within an organization (Markel 433)
  • External
    • Solicited
    • Unsolicited
  • What will the proposal deliver to the client?
    • A request to research will deliver information about a problem
    • A request to provide goods or services will meet a client’s need for those products
proposal elements
Proposal Elements
  • Introduction
    • “The purpose of the introduction is to help the reader understand the context, scope, and organization of the proposal” (Markel 441)
    • “Briefly, we propose to … (Anderson 622)
proposal elements6
Proposal Elements
  • Problem
    • What is the problem? (clear statement)
    • Who is this a problem for? (client and others’ affected)
    • Why is this problem important to your target audience? (show the benefits to your client(s))
proposal elements7
Proposal Elements
  • Solution(s) / Proposed Program / Plan of Work
    • What exactly do you propose to do?
  • How do your goals/objectives create a solution to your problem/project?
proposal elements8
Proposal Elements
  • Methodology
    • How do you plan to do those things? What method will you use?
    • What is your plan for completing this project? What is the division of labor?
  • Resources
    • Do you have the materials you need? (Internet, library, experts, questionnaires, surveys?)
proposal elements9
Proposal Elements
  • Criteria
    • Provide features of a successful solution
    • State specific objectives of your project
    • Show how the objectives tie-in to the problem statement
proposal elements10
Proposal Elements
  • Qualifications and experience
    • Are you qualified to undertake this project?
    • How?
      • Education
      • Experience
  • Look back to your job materials for useful information (skills, course work, employment)
proposal elements11
Proposal Elements
  • Budget
    • What will it cost to propose this project?
    • What will it cost to implement this proposal? (Do you need to estimate this in the proposal?)
    • How will you explain and justify these costs?
proposal elements12
Proposal Elements
  • Conclusion
    • Restate problem briefly
    • Restate objectives
    • Restate request to work on this project
  • A proposal is a persuasive document (Markel 437 & Anderson 534).
  • To be successful writers must do three things
    • Demonstrate they understand the readers’ needs
    • Convince the reader that they are able and willing to fulfill their own promises
  • Emphasize Benefits for your Readers
    • Cost Benefits
    • Time-Saving Measures
    • Labor-Saving Devices
    • Improve Public Relations
  • Target Readers’ Concerns and Objections
    • Look at proposal from readers’ viewpoint
    • Provide details your audience needs
    • Anticipate possible objections
    • Counter those objections with strong arguments
  • Demonstrate Sound Reasoning
    • Use a logical organization
    • Support all claims with reliable evidence
  • Use Organization to Create a Favorable Response
    • Direct Pattern
      • State main point directly
    • Indirect Pattern
      • Holds off main point for the end
  • Organization depends on purpose and audience
proposals and persuasion18
Proposals and Persuasion
  • Each section of the proposal must be informative as well as persuasive
  • Keep audience in mind throughout all sections
  • Successful proposals “sell” ideas
  • Handbook (“p” for proposals)
  • Markel (447)