Proposals written for English 205, English homework help
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will be worth 30% of your final grade in this course and will be due by midnight, Wednesday, January 21. For this assignment, you are required to
write about an actual or potential problem for an actual business; this
business could be a small/medium/large company, any religious institution (a
mosque, synagogue, church, etc.), any social service agency, any educational
institution, or any other company or agency that serves people in some
do NOT write about problems that involve large-scale problems that your proposal could not
reasonably resolve, such as problems you might find in politics and government
or that involve religious/ethical/moral beliefs. The type of proposal that
you’ll be writing needs to be similar to those written at companies, which tend
to focus on small/medium-sized problems that have concrete causes and effects
that affect one agency, company, or institution. The smaller the size of the
problem, the more convincing and effective your proposal will be.
identify problems in agencies, companies, or other institutions that you know
really well. For example, some students in this class are parents and have
written strong proposals about a problem at their children’s daycare centers or
schools; some students work part- or full-time and have experienced or observed
problems at those jobs; and some students don’t have children, work experience,
or other such connections in this area, but are able to identify problems here
at UWM or at a community college they attended in this area.
just a few examples of problems that have worked well in past proposals written
for English 205 are these (but try hard to identify problems on your own!):
- Shoplifting at a store has increased dramatically in
the past year
- The system of valet parking at a restaurant is
inefficient, leading to obvious customer discontent
- The long lines at a downtown lunch counter have
resulted in many potential customers turning away and choosing other
- The high fat content of food in a company
cafeteria is contributing to health problems among employees
- A school’s lunch hour is too short, leading to
many students not finishing their lunches in time, which in turn has a
negative impact on the attention levels in afternoon classes.
get the idea!
What are the main purposes of a Proposal?
professionals write reports of various types.
One of the most common is the proposal.
A proposal can be in the form of an email, a lengthy memo like the
Ethics Packet memo to the boss, or a formal report. For this assignment, you will write a
proposal as a formal report with required sections in it.
typically has three central purposes:
- To convince the reader that a problem actually
- To convince the reader that this problem is
- To convince the reader that this problem has had a
serious negative impact on the company, or might have fairly soon.
proposal that you will write will need to fulfill all three of these purposes
in order to receive an A-level grade.
the reader that a serious problem actually exists, you will write a fairly
lengthy Problem section that fulfills the first two purposes listed above. There, you will need to describe the problem in considerable detail, including what
gave rise to the problem, what the problem looks like now (its scope, its
nature), and the problem’s actual or potential negative impact on the company.
As you describe the causes, nature, and negative effects of the problem, you
will need to pull in detailed description and examples, but also some research
evidence to support your claims that the problem exists and is serious.
This research evidence might include interview quotes, survey statistics,
data/statistical trends from company records, and your own observations or
experiences with the situation. Note that there is no need to make an emotional
appeal in a typical business proposal; instead, the combination of your
description, argument, and evidence/examples will convince the reader
the reader that your proposed plan is feasible and has a strong chance to
either minimize or eradicate the problem, once again you will need to
describe all aspects of your plan in some detail and to pull in evidence that backs
of your claims. This research evidence
can include everything listed in the previous paragraph or comparative data,
such as evidence that the same plan has worked really well at one or more other
companies, or a comparison of this plan and other possible plans that
demonstrates that this plan is superior and ought to be approved and
What if you
can’t gather enough research evidence from actual companies within the tight
time frame of this course? Please do
your best to gather some evidence from the company that is experiencing the
problem: even if all you can do is conduct one interview and look at annual
company reports from the past three years, that would be a strong effort! However, for this particular assignment, I
will also accept the following types of research:
- You might find descriptions of the same problem at
another company and the successful implementation of a solution that
resolved it—that comparative data would work well in the proposal.
- You can also do some memory searching and write
down what you remember noticing or experiencing yourself when you worked
at a company or attended a school, etc.
- Some magazines and newspapers publish descriptions
of problems/solutions and you might be able to locate those types of
articles with the help of a reference librarian at the UWM Golda Meir
Library or at a community library, or find them on the Internet.
- And finally, given the tight time frame of this
course, I will give you permission to fabricate (make up, invent) some
research evidence to support your claims; just as an example, you can
invent an adverse statistical trend over the past five years that give
evidence of a problem hurting the company’s profit margin. Important: even
though some evidence in your proposal can be fictional, be sure that most
evidence that you use in your proposal is real. And whether the evidence
is fictional or real, write citations at the end of your report, including
imaginary citations for the fictional evidence and actual citations for
the actual evidence that you found and used in your proposal.
This proposal will be written for an actual person or group who would make the
final decision whether to approve the proposed plan. You
will not actually submit this proposal to that audience, unless you want to do
so, but aim the entire proposal to that individual or group.
Length: This proposal should be between 5
and 10 pages, single-spaced, not including the Cover Page and Executive Summary.
Visuals: You are required to include at
least two visuals in your proposal, which can include actual photographs,
tables, charts, flow charts, or other types of visual aids that can help
readers understand a problem and solution and can back up your claims.
Sections: You are required to use the
page. On this
page, place a relevant photograph or other professional looking visual, in
addition to the title of your report, the name of the reader and company
(you could write, for example:
“Submitted to:” followed by the name of your contact at the company
and that person’s job title), your own name and job title (again, you
could write “Submitted by” followed by that information), and the month/year
Summary. This is a half- or full-page section in
which you provide a brief summary
of the most important points of your report. Use headings such as these: Problem, Proposed Plan, Feasibility, and
Benefits. In each section, just briefly summarize the main points in your
proposal in one or a few sentences. It is also acceptable to include one
or a few vertical lists in these sections.
- Problem. This is one of the main sections and
needs to begin on a new page. In this section, provide a thorough, fairly
detailed description of the problem that the organization is experiencing
and give evidence that it exists and is serious to the organization. Describe its probable or actual causes,
the scope and nature of the problem right now, and its actual or probable negative
effects (or impact) on the organization. If you want, you can create subsections
in this major section, such as Causes of the Problem, Nature of the
Problem, and Negative Impact of the Problem – or How did the problem
arise? What does the problem look
like right now? How has the problem hurt our company?
Plan. In this section, describe your proposed
plan fully and in detail, and objectively so that the reader will be able
to see very clearly it has the potential to resolve the problem or fulfill
the need. Within this section, please create subsections that you can
call, for example, What is the Proposed Plan? How is the Proposed Plan
Feasible? How will this Plan Benefit the Company?
ideas for making this section especially persuasive and convincing:
using comparative data anywhere in this main section that shows, convincingly,
that your proposed plan has worked well (was feasible and had benefits) at
another company or at a group of companies.
- It’s effective to provide an
overview of what the plan consists of and then propose that the company
approach the plan as a pilot and then decide, later on, if it wants to
make it permanent; you can then, for example, describe the pilot plan in
terms of stages: planning, implementation, and evaluation. While
describing those stages, provide specific dates – for approval of the
plan, planning, implementation, evaluation, and then making a final
decision regarding the plan. Also
provide specific steps that will be taken for each stage.
- When discussing Feasibility,
include subsections covering personnel (who will do what/their
qualifications), resources (what equipment or other tangible items will
be needed/whether those are available or affordable), and budget (the
costs/whether the plan is cost-effective and affordable for the company)
- When discussing Benefits, be
focused and either list benefits for the company or describe them in
Thoughts. You can also call this conclusion,
“Closing Remarks” or “Conclusion.” In this section, make a final “pitch”
for approval of your proposal; focus on those original three purposes and
ask the reader to remember that this problem exists and is very serious
and your proposed plan can either minimize or resolve the problem, is
feasible, and is worth approving due to the benefits it will have for the
References. If you used any references from
the Internet or elsewhere, be sure to list these in a final section called References. Also, as I mentioned
earlier, if you used fictional evidence that you made up yourself, include
fictional citations in this section. Use any style you prefer for listing the
References; I usually begin each entry with the first author’s last name and
list the references alphabetically.
If you used
primary sources, such as people you interviewed, create two subsections: Published sources and Primary sources. In the
Primary sources subsection, you can begin each entry with the last name of the
person you interviewed and list those entries alphabetically.
be asking at this point, can you show me a model of this proposal? The answer, sadly, is that I’m not able to do
so. For the past 15 years, I have assigned a Recommendation Report and not a
Proposal, so I don’t have a model of a Proposal. All I ask is that you do the following:
- Structure and format this report by following the
instructions from this file VERY carefully, and
- Apply to this project what you have learned in
this course about writing effective business documents – for example,
begin each major section and each subsection with a quick introduction or
overview; use a set of subsections if you have quite a bit of information
to present but use a list if you don’t have that much information; and so
any questions you might have and wish you great luck on your Proposal! Best, Rachel
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