There can be proposals for safety measures, proposals for process improvement, proposals for cost savings, etc. Still, there are some common guidelines that apply for all kinds of proposals to make them convincing and captivating. We have tried to put those together in this how-to guide. So, the process of shaping a firm and straightforward proposal can be broken down into the following stages and steps: STAGE 1.
Understand who your audience are. Before you start writing your proposal, you need to have a clear picture of who your proposal is aimed at. You should realize who these people are and what may appeal to them. Moreover, it will be entirely right to assume that the people reading your proposal are busy people, so the proposal has to be very brief and concentrated, and you have to remove all the unnecessary bits of information. You should ponder about what your reader already knows about the topic, and avoid mentioning that in your proposal.
The only information that should be in your proposal is the new information. To sum it up, here is a checklist of questions that you have to answer about your proposal: Who is going to read it?
How familiar are they with the problem already? What information they want to hear about it and what information you can omit in your proposal? What do they want to hear? What do you want these people to learn from your text? How do you motivate them to make the necessary decision upon reading your proposal? Step 2. Clarify the issue In a perfect case scenario, the issue that you are proposing to solve is evident to you.
You know the drawbacks of the current state of events and why it needs to be improved. But is it just as clear to your audience? And — more importantly — do they believe that you are the one who can take care of it? So, you should realize that your task is not only to convey the situation to your audience.
You need to convince them that you possess sufficient expertise and authority to deal with the issue properly. This has to do with the classical persuasion methods suggested by Aristotle in his time: pathos, logos, and ethos. When putting together a proposal, writers often concentrate on logos — the one that appeals to rational thinking and operates facts and logic. While it is quite important, it must not overshadow the other effective persuasion methods: pathos — the one that appeals to emotion, and, of course, ethos — the one that is meant at establishing you as someone who possesses just the sufficient authority on the subject.
In case of a proposal, you should employ ethos to convince the reader that you understand the issue better than anybody, so you should be the one to deal with it. You are welcome to learn more about these persuasion technique — ethos, pathos, and logos — from handbooks and guides in rhetoric. This is essential for coming up with a firm proposal.
Step 3. Suggest a solution Once again, always keep in mind that your reader is a busy person who will not give your proposal a thorough and thoughtful reading at a relaxed pace. No method is perfect so you need to describe where you believe challenges may exist in obtaining data or accessing information. It's always better to acknowledge this than to have it brought up by your reader.
Preliminary Suppositions and Implications Just because you don't have to actually conduct the study and analyze the results, doesn't mean you can skip talking about the analytical process and potential implications. The purpose of this section is to argue how and in what ways you believe your research will refine, revise, or extend existing knowledge in the subject area under investigation.
Depending on the aims and objectives of your study, describe how the anticipated results will impact future scholarly research, theory, practice, forms of interventions, or policymaking. Note that such discussions may have either substantive [a potential new policy], theoretical [a potential new understanding], or methodological [a potential new way of analyzing] significance.
When thinking about the potential implications of your study, ask the following questions: What might the results mean in regards to the theoretical framework that underpins the study?
What suggestions for subsequent research could arise from the potential outcomes of the study? What will the results mean to practitioners in the natural settings of their workplace? How might the results contribute to the solution of social, economic, or other types of problems?
Will the results influence policy decisions? In what way do individuals or groups benefit should your study be pursued? What will be improved or changed as a result of the proposed research? How will the results of the study be implemented, and what innovations will come about? The purpose is to reflect upon gaps or understudied areas of the current literature and describe how your proposed research contributes to a new understanding of the research problem should the study be implemented as designed.
Conclusion The conclusion reiterates the importance or significance of your proposal and provides a brief summary of the entire study. This section should be only one or two paragraphs long, emphasizing why the research problem is worth investigating, why your research study is unique, and how it should advance existing knowledge. Someone reading this section should come away with an understanding of: Why the study should be done, The specific purpose of the study and the research questions it attempts to answer, The decision to why the research design and methods used where chosen over other options, The potential implications emerging from your proposed study of the research problem, and A sense of how your study fits within the broader scholarship about the research problem.
Citations As with any scholarly research paper, you must cite the sources you used in composing your proposal. In a standard research proposal, this section can take two forms, so consult with your professor about which one is preferred. References -- lists only the literature that you actually used or cited in your proposal. Bibliography -- lists everything you used or cited in your proposal, with additional citations to any key sources relevant to understanding the research problem.
In either case, this section should testify to the fact that you did enough preparatory work to make sure the project will complement and not duplicate the efforts of other researchers. Start a new page and use the heading "References" or "Bibliography" centered at the top of the page. Cited works should always use a standard format that follows the writing style advised by the discipline of your course [i. This section normally does not count towards the total page length of your research proposal.
Develop a Research Proposal: Writing the Proposal. Office of Library Information Services. Teresa Pereira and Caroline Tynan. Graham Butt, editor. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, , pp. Nigel Gilbert, ed. Use headings, lists, and visuals to make reading and cross-reference easy. And employ a concrete and precise style to show that you have chosen a feasible idea and can put it into action.
Here are some general tips: Start with why your idea is worth doing its contribution to the field , then fill in how technicalities about topic and method. Critiquing the statistics: discussion of Chance article and relevant articles in The Bell Curve Debate. The historical context for The Bell Curve.
What have I learned from all this? Conclusions Example 3 The essay topic I have selected is the link between childhood leukemia and alcohol consumption of the mother during pregnancy that was reported in the Minnesota Star Tribune on Jan.
The full text of the article is available online, and reports that researchers found that drinking is associated with a fold increase in the risk of developing acute myeloid leukemia and a 2. The study was published in the January 2nd issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, and I plan to base my essay on that article. Since I don't know what relative risk is, or how the analysis was carried out, I will need to refer to some articles or textbooks on statistical methods in medicine, which I can hopefully find in the references to the JNCI article.
I will also need to find some basic medical information on what acute myeloid leukemia and acute lymphoid leukemia are, and whether there are any other known risk factors for these diseases.
I will look for most of the information on the world wide web. A tentative outline is the following: Introduction: summary of the newspaper article Summary of the article in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute: methods, data collection and conclusions.
Technical notes on childhood leukemia and its causes. Technical notes on observational studies, relative risk, etc.
A simple poster or a series of photographs or drawings assembled neatly together by the student will be about as resourcefully demanding as this project gets. When describing the methods you will use, be sure to cover the following: Specify the research operations you will undertake and the way you will interpret the results of these operations in relation to the research problem.