Introduction Proposals

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					Introduction: Proposals
Jim Dubinsky English 3984

Principles of Writing
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Writing is unnatural, a skill one must develop Writing is a tool Writing is localized, evolving to serve particular purposes in particular disciplines and organizations Writing is primarily done by “non-writers” Writing is more than grammar

Proposal Writing is
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An art: capturing the essence or purpose behind proposed service A science: translating the purpose into costs, structure of services, and evaluation components (among others)

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A plan for acceptance Comes from Latin pro (“for” or “in favor of”) and the French poser (“to set forth”) Must be a positive statement in favor (for) something. Requires two parties, one of whom wants to be persuasive

Proposal  At the beginning of a project  Looks forward  Identifies a problem  Describes a plan for solving the problem  Hypothetical (“we will”)

Serves four main functions:  Program plan  A Request  A Promise  Persuasion May be solicited or unsolicited  Solicited--in form of RFP (request for proposals)  Unsolicited—in form of request/suggestion  Proposals in Context

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Inform: Proposals convey information, usually framed in a particular way to help readers understand how it fits within an interpretation or a course of action. Persuade: Proposals attempt to convince readers that a particular interpretation or course of action is sound.

Inform  Proposals tell people what will happen  Both genres sometimes tell people what they already know, but framed in a particular way Persuade  demonstrate that you know what you’re doing  argue for a particular course of action

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Grant: Sum of money given to an agency of individual to address a problem/need Proposal: Written document used to apply for funding Contract: Legal agreement that specifies services and the results expected in exchange for resources Steps Develop a clear program plan Research funding sources thoroughly Target proposal(s) carefully Write a concise, clear proposal Easy to read, free of typographical errors, and pleasing to look at In plain language Full of supporting data As brief as possible Energetic & positive

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Proposal as Genre
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Genre: A flexible set of habits that help people to construct and interpret communicative artifacts (documents, music, paintings, architecture, etc.) Genres aren’t sets of strict rules, but clusters of flexible, changing habits The proposal genre is flexible so that it can be used in a variety of disciplines

“Slots” in this Genre
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Situation: Understanding of problem/ opportunity Objectives: for solving problem/realizing opportunity Methods: for achieving objectives Qualifications: for performing methods Costs: Given methods and qualifications, here’s what it will cost Benefits: Given the above, you get ...

“Slots” Guide Proposal Logic

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These “slots” were collectively worked out a long time ago They describe a proposal logic that you should follow because o Readers expect this logic, in this order o Why reinvent the wheel? o But there’s always room for improvement and adaptation -- see the online example

Exercise: Examine a RFP
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Look at the first sample RFP (online) In groups of three, answer the following questions:
Who is the funding organization? What do they have to offer? To gain? Why are they giving money away? To whom do they give? How much? How often? What are the criteria for receiving funding? What are the deadlines? In writing this grant, what questions would you have to answer? What terms would you need to define more clearly? Funding Organization’s WWW site

Grant Proposal
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Work with a nonprofit organization in town Complete a sequenced series of proposals and reports

For Next Time
Read the following from the textbook:  Introduction  Chapter 1  Appendix A Read the following online:  Project 1: Bid Proposal & Grant Proposal  Course Schedule