Professional Proposals

A professional proposal is meant to persuade your audience to take action.  Proposals can be written to authorize a project, accept a product, support a specific plan for solving an issue, improve a situation and for many other purposes. In the business world a proposal may make or break your career when it comes to asking for funding.  Something any business major should keep in mind

In many fields proposal are written for decision makers.  A proposal should be specific for the audience and it should answer a few basic questions:

  • What exactly the problem is and why it is so important?
  • Why should time, money and effort spent on the issue?
  • What is the plan, and how do we know it will work?
  • Why should we accept all parts of the plan, especially those that are expensive?
  • What action should we take?

A proposal should be just that, a proposal. That is where negotiation comes into play. Think about your childhood.  When you told your Mother that you were going to stay up to midnight, the answer was quickly “no”.  When you explained to you mother why you should stay up to midnight, how you would promise to get up in the morning for school. Then explained your punishment if you didn’t get up on time.  Her answer was a little different, maybe a negotiation that 11 o’clock would be a better option.

There is no correct way to write “The Ultimate Proposal.”  Suggestions can be made for formatting, however each writer will have their own approach to getting the point across.   Below it a list of suggestions to include when writing a quality proposal:

  • Use the subject line to provide a clear forecast
  • Provide background information,
  • Define the problem and its effects
  • State the solution or plan
  • Use honest and supportable claims
  • Provide appropriate detail
  • READABILITY
  • Use proper citations

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