Twc Chapter 14 Proposals



Chapter 14 deals with the components of and how to write proposals. At some point in our lives, we will be required to propose something (as we recently did with our elevator pitches), and this chapter provides us with the necessary information needed to convey professionalism and believability in our proposals.

The chapter begins by identifying some very basic questions that you should be asking yourself when you are about to write a proposal. Although this might seem to be common sense at this point, the book suggests that you begin by asking yourself the five w and how questions (who, what when, where why, how) in order to plan out your reasons for writing your proposal. What I found particularly interesting was the book’s discussion as to who will be reading this document. As the book says, there is a strong possibility that the primary reader of the document (the person you intend to write it for) will not be the only person looking at this document. There could also be secondary readers (such as advisors) and tertiary readers (such as evaluators) who could end up reading your proposal. Even in our class, although we might have structured our elevator pitches to persuade Andrew that we had a valuable idea for our midterm project, we should also consider our other classmates as evaluators who could offer us potential feedback when we think of the audience of our work.

As a general guideline, the book provides us with a standard model for structuring a proposal. The book suggests beginning with an introduction, following this with a description of the current situation and project plan, and then discussing your qualifications and the costs and benefits related to this proposal. Clearly this guideline should not be followed exactly in each scenario (as the context of each proposal varies from proposal to proposal), but I feel that this is a relatively reliable model for writing a proposal, especially in the workplace.

In writing the introduction, I feel it is most important to state what the proposal is about and why it is important using some background information to convey this point. The introductions in our class elevator pitches could have been as simple as stating our topic idea and why we chose it.

In the current situation section, it is ideal to state what the need is to look into the proposed idea. You could also discuss what could happen if the proposed idea is not looked into, which could potentially produce a stronger response from your audience. The use of visual graphs and tables could prove to be very fruitful if used properly in this section. In our elevator pitches, I feel that this section could have been quite easily combined into the introduction section, but there will be situations (especially in the workplace), where this section will needed in its entirety.

In the project plan section, you should describe the steps that you will need to take in order to accomplish your intended goal. I feel that it would be beneficial to write this section as sequentially as possible in order to convey that you have a step-by-step plan already laid out to be followed. This would show a certain degree of preparation. In our elevator pitches this section primarily consisted of the methods in which we would undergo our research.

In the describing your qualifications section, you should, quite simply, describe why you are qualified to undertake this project. This is the ideal time to discuss any previous experience you have with the topic and convey what would make you the man or woman for job. Once again revisiting our elevator pitch scenario, this would be the section where we would describe any outside experience we have with the group we will be researching (for example, if we consider ourselves an insider in the particular discourse community of our choice).

Finally, in the costs and benefits section, you could state the benefits of undertaking your project, but also make note of the realistic costs and limitations that this project might have. This is also an ideal time to complement your writing with graphs and other visual forms of data in order to ensure that your audience has a holistic understanding of all of the goals and potential limitations of your project. In our elevator pitches, this section could have been dedicated to describing the limitations that you might have in accessing some of the genres of discourse community you are looking into due to a lack of membership in the group or something of the like. However, you could still put out a claim as to why this project could still work successfully.

Some other important tips that this chapter provides us with include balancing plain and persuasive writing in your proposals in order to both educate and persuade your audience as well as formatting your document with clearly laid out visuals and headings so that the document can be understood quite easily.

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