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Overview. In this proposal, a student is using a situation at work in which a standards manual is needed and is seeking approval to develop it. As such, it is an internal, unsolicited
proposal. In our technical writing course, this proposal fills the bill
nicely: it proposes to desctibe corporate format and style requirements and then provide them in the form of a handbook.
Cover memo to supervisor. Notice that separate cover letter is used for this proposal. The proposal itself is a separate document. Notice that the cover memo states the topic and purpose of the proposed manual and then provides an overview of the contents of the proposal that is attached. Notice too that the writer reviews the rationale for such a standards manual.
Report format for the proposal. Notice that the proposal uses the standard report format with centered title on the first page along with headings, tables, and lists in the body. Notice how the introduction of the proposal repeats some of the information in the cover letter. That's not a mistake: the cover letter could get detached from the proposal; the proposal needs its own full-fledged introduction.
Proposal introduction. Notice how this proposal mentions the previous meeting with the recepient, provides an overview of the contents of the rest of the proposal that follows, and indicates why the writer is a good person to do the project.
Overview of the proposal contents. Notice the overview element of the introduction: it's just a quick list of the major topic to be covered.
Background on the need for the proposed project. Like many proposals, this one begins with a discussion of the need for the handbook. Because this is an unsolicited proposal, the writer must take extra care to explain the need for the project.
Benefits. Having explained the need for the standards manual, the writer now discusses the benefits to be gained from having the standards manual. Again, this is standard persuasion technique: get the readers concerned about a problem, propose a solution, then reveal the benefits. (There is nothing required about this sequence of sections: the writer could have combined the need and the benefits sections and called it "background.")
Process for the proposed project. Having presented the problem, the solution, and the benefits relating to the project, this writer now goes on to discuss how he will go about developing the standards manual—the process that he will use.
Description of the final product. In this section, the writer describes in rather close detail the physical characteristics and contents of the proposed standards manual.
Schedule. Like most proposals, this one provides a schedule for the proposed project, a list of dates for critical milestones in the project or a list of time frames in which each of the phases of the project will be completed.
Qualifications. Proposals typically contain "mini-resumes" of their authors. In this case, the writer lists his four main qualifications to do this work.
Cost. This writer estimates the number of hours he'll need to do the proposed project and then multiplies those hours by his hourly rate. Of course, this is only the cost of his services. Explaining that there is a wide range of vendor costs, he declines to estimate the cost of the printed and bound manuals. A better choice here might be to provide a high and low estimate of the printing costs, giving the reader some idea of that part of the total expense of this project.
Conclusion. This proposal like most ends with cordial words encouraging the readers to get in touch.
Missing elements. In terms of the standard assignment requirements, this proposal is lacking a tentative list of information sources and a tentative list of graphics. While these elements might be expected parts of "real-world" proposals, they enable an instructor to get a better sense of the writer's plans and to provide better guidance.
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