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Overview. In this proposal, an employee
of a large state agency wants to propose the study of a wellness program
for that agency. Thus, it is an internal, unsolicited
proposal. In our technical writing course, this proposal fills the bill
nicely: it proposes to do some research and then write up the results of that
research in the form of a report. (This proposal proposes, in part, to write
Memo to the instructor. This writer explains to the teacher who the hypothetical audience is, what that audience's background, position, and interests are.
Format. Note that a memo format is used because the document is internal. Note that the main text of the proposal follows right along within the memo. This writer could have had a cover memo with a separate proposal, which would need to have a centered heading and an introduction that would state the purpose, background and overview (even if that were repeating what was in the cover memo).
Purpose statement. Notice that the introduction states right away what the purpose of the document is -- no beating around the bush here!
Overview. Notice too that the introduction to this proposal provides an overview of the contents that follow. You must give readers a sense of what's coming -- a kind of road map of what lies ahead.
Background: needs/problem. Like many proposals, this one begins with a discussion of the need or a problem -- which the proposed project will address.
Benefits section. Also like many proposals, this one states what the potential benefits of the project will be. Emotionally and rhetorically, the proposal first generates concern in the reader, then alleviates that concern by proposing a solution to the problem.
Proposed project. What's missing here is a succinct, precise statement of what the writer proposes to do. A good touch would be to have a heading -- something like "Proposed Project" -- and then a brief paragfraph on exactly what the writer is proposing to do. This section would come between the need section and the benefits section; it would complete the logical sequence of problem --> solution --> benefits.
Audience section. This section is almost unnecessary -- the writer needn't tell the reader that the audience is that very selfsame reader. This section can be useful in proposals where the audience of the proposed document is different from the audience of the proposal -- for example, a proposal for a software user guide where the audience of the guide is users while the the audience of the proposal is the management of the software company.
Qualifications. This section is rather thing; normally you'd want to see a mini-resume with relevant qualifications listed vertically.
Schedule. Nice delineation of the schedule here. Some proposals don't cite specific dates just numbers of days to complete each phase of a project.
Costs. Rather flimsy section on costs. Obviously, an internal project like this one does not involve real monetary payments. But still it requires a certain number of hours which most organizations have some system for coding and billing.
Graphics. This section needs to indicate the type of graphic for each item. A two-column list would be a good touch here.
Outline. Great outline! Try to get to the third level (the 1, 2, 3 . . . in this one) like this outline does.
Information sources. This is a great list of information sources. Remember that, unless your instructor tells you otherwise, your final report must use external information sources and cite them. Also, you must include a tentative list of those sources here in the proposal.
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