What is a Proposal?
Proposals are documents designed to persuade someone to
follow or accept a specific course of action.
Proposals usually offer to solve a problem or to provide a service
or product and then suggest a specific plan for solving the
problem or for providing the service or product. It often lays out a
timetable or budget.
An effective proposal is persuasive; it convinces readers to
accept and possibly to pay for the work that it proposes.
Types of Proposals
Solicited Proposals originate when a person, an organization or
a government agency requests qualified organizations and
individuals to submit their qualifications to do work, to submit bids
to complete proposed work, or to submit proposals for
manufacturing equipment or other items according to
Unsolicited Proposals are not requested by the organization,
individuals or government agency that receives them.
Unlike solicited proposals, unsolicited proposals must convince
readers that a specific problem exists before explaining a plan,
cost, or qualifications.
If you write a proposal to someone within your
organization (a business, a government agency, etc.),
it is an internal proposal. With internal proposals, you
may not have to include certain sections (such as
qualifications), or you may not have to include as
much information in them.
An external proposal is one written from one separate,
independent organization or individual to another such
entity. The typical example is the independent
consultant proposing to do a project for another firm.
Find out about the Readers
Is the proposal solicited or unsolicited?
Are your readers internal or external?
If your readers are external, what positions do they hold in their
organization? What do they know about you or your organization? Have
their previous experience with your or your organization been positive? If
If your readers are internal, where are their positions in relation to yours
in the organizational hierarchy?
Will more than one group of readers read the proposal? If so, what
sections will each group read?
What do your readers know about the problem or need that prompted the
Prepare to Answer Readers’ Questions
See Figure 12.2
Common Sections in Proposals
Benefits and feasibility
Description of the proposed work
Method, procedure, theory
Costs, resources required
Special project-specific sections
We would be closely following..
This Online Chapter in Proposal Writing