A proposal is: Marketing tool designed to sell goods, services, or ideas to someone An offer or a bid to do a certain project for someone Someone who has the power to say “NO”
Proposals Bring in business Valuable tool for initiating projects Compete with others to win “bid” Convince readers to say “yes” to the quality of what you offer
Proposals Fill a need Create a desire for product Solve a problem
Proposal writers must Understand conventions (requirements) Know the competition Know how to persuade reader Research is critical to understand purpose and audience.
Determine Purpose Propose a solution to a problem The problem can be Identified by client Identified by proposal writer Your proposal should offer the solution you want your audience to adopt.
Understand audience What information is needed for client to feel like you can do the job Needs of audience What information is required (RFP) Consider multiple audiences Decision makers Users Technical experts
Components of Proposal Front matter: cover, title, letter of transmittal, table of contents, abstract, etc. Introduction Statement of the problem Overview of the approach Scope Statement of organization Body Statement of the work Plan Costs Statement of qualifications Back Matter: resumes, appendices, etc
“Theme” Approach What story do you want your proposal to tell? What are the client’s issues or focus? What features can you provide? What are benefits of those features for your client? What proof do you have that can confirm your claims?
Ethical Issues Don’t claim experience you don’t have Don’t promise results you can’t deliver (product or time needed) Don’t promise a budget/cost you can’t adhere to
Sources Wooler, Kristin. Writing for the Technical Professions. 3rd Ed. McMurrey, David A. Online Technical Writing: Online Textbook — Contents