PROPOSALS and PERSUASION A Guide for Creating Effective Proposals Based on Anderson, Paul V. Technical Writing: A Reader-Centered Approach, 5 th ed. 2003.
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PROPOSALS and PERSUASION A Guide for Creating Effective Proposals Based on Anderson, Paul V. Technical Writing: A Reader-Centered Approach, 5 th ed. 2003 (533-553) and Markel, Mike. Technical Communication, 6 th ed. 2001. (483-515).
Proposal “A proposal is an offer to carry out research or to provide a product or service” (Markel 483).
Types of Proposals Internal –A request to carry out a plan within an organization (Markel 484) External –Solicited –Unsolicited
Deliverables 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 Summary Introduction Problem Statement Proposed Program Qualification and experience Budget Conclusion
Proposal Elements Summary –A summary provides an overview of the proposal’s contents Introduction –“The purpose of the introduction is to help the reader understand the context, scope, and organization of the proposal” (Markel 494)
Proposal Elements Problem Statement –What is the problem? –Who is this a problem for? –Why is this problem important to your target audience?
Proposal Elements Proposed Program –What exactly do you propose to do? –How do your goals/objectives create a solution to your problem/project? –How do you plan to do those things? What method will you use?
Proposal Elements Qualifications and experience –Are you qualified to undertake this project? –How?
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 Superstructure Introduction Problem Objectives, Product Method, Resources, Time Schedule, Qualifications, Management Costs Conclusion
Proposal Superstructure Introduction –Tell your readers what you are asking to do Problem –Provide background to the problem –Include a specific problem statement –Implications if problem remains unresolved
Proposal Superstructure Criteria –Provide features of a successful solution –State specific objectives of your project –Show how the objectives tie-in to the problem statement
Proposal Superstructure Product –Provide a plan for achieving objectives –Demonstrate through detail your proposed plan –Use persuasion to “sell” your idea
Proposal Superstructure Methodology –Show audience your plan for this project Resources –Describe what resources you will use (library, computer labs,...)
Proposal Superstructure Qualifications –Describe how you are qualified to complete this project Education Experience
Proposal Superstructure Budget –Provide detail of costs to propose –Provide costs to implement (if applicable)
Proposal Superstructure Conclusion –Restate problem briefly –Restate objectives –Restate request to work on this project
Persuasion A proposal is a persuasive document (see 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
Persuasion –Emphasize Benefits for your Readers Cost Benefits Time-Saving Measures Labor-Saving Devices Improve Public Relations
Persuasion 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
Persuasion Demonstrate Sound Reasoning –Use a logical organization –Support all claims with reliable evidence
Persuasion 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 Persuasion Each section of the proposal must be informative as well as persuasive Keep audience in mind throughout all sections Successful proposals “sell” ideas