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Overview. In this proposal, the writer is a student seeking to develop some supporting materials for a particularly difficult class. Her aim is to make available these support materials for other students. With these characteristics, it is an internal, unsolicited proposal.
Cover letter. In standard business letter format, the writer provides an overview of the proposal's contents and explains the need for the proposed guide.
Report format. This proposal uses the report format, which means it's a separate document with headings and all the other elements of a formal report. The writer could have combined everything into the business letter format, but, as with other examples here, probably decided that the proposal was too long for that.
Proposal introduction. Notice that the introduction to the proposal repeats some of the content in the cover letter. Write the proposal as if the cover letter or memo were not there. Imagine that the cover letter or memo could get detached from the proposal—then there would be no complete introduction, no context to help readers understand the rest of the proposal.
Overview of the contents of the proposal. As in all well-written professional documents, this proposal contains an overview of the contents to follow.
Need for the proposed project. This section provides a simple set of reasons why the proposed project needs to be done. Stop for a moment and imagine how else this writer might have established the need for the guide: survey of student opinion? review of test scores?
Benefits of the project. Sometimes, the benefits section sounds a great deal like the needs section—if that's the case, just combine them into one section. Is this benefits section sufficiently different from the needs section just preceding?
Audience description. Notice how this writer defines the audience: according to courses they have taken. Notice too that she does not promise to enable all students to succeed.
Plan to develop the guide. This writer has thought through how she will develop the guide and how it will be used. In almost any proposal, you must describe the finished product and discuss how it will be used.
Graphics to be included in the guide. Although this a technical-writing instructor's requirement for inclusion in the proposal, you could imagine why a section like this might be useful. If you are producing a handbook or guide, your clients might want this additional descriptive information about the finished product.
Schedule. A very simple schedule of milestones here—can you think of other milestones that might be useful to include?
Qualifications. Again, a rather simple set of qualification—could any of this be more specific?
Costs. Free work?
Outline. A good two-level outline for this proposed project. Proposal reviewers need to see something like this to get as clear a picture of the finished product as they can.
Sources of information. Again, a section that is here because of instructor requirements—notice the nonpublished items such as lecture notes.
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