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Assignment Three: Proposal
Invention Work: #1 & #2 by 3/29, #3 by 4/
Complete problem for peer review: Wednesday 3/29
Complete solution for peer review: Wednesday 4/5
First full draft for peer review: Monday 4/10
Polished draft: Wednesday 4/17
In the preceding assignment, you were asked to evaluate an issue based on
value. This assignment asks you now to do something even more difficult: you are asked
advocate that something be done or to argue that some procedure be changed. You can argue
for specific policy proposals that have actually been made or you can propose (and argue
for) a policy suggestion of your own.
Try to convince an audience that a certain action should or be taken in
response to a situation or set of circumstances. Your starting point might well be
something that bothers you and that you feel should be changed. Of course, you have to
convince your readers that it is a problem for them too. The most successful proposals (in
both the real world of work and the academic world of grading) are those that address a
small, understandable problem that can be solved. Dont try and address world
problems or problems about which you have no knowledge. Instead, focus on a problem that
you see on campus or in the local community or in your workplace.
Here are some suggestions:
Propose a solution relating to a department, a service, living quarters, or an
organization at ASU or in your workplace or in the local community.
- Propose a method of improving writing/communication skills or some other skill here at
ASU or at an organization for which you work or in the local community.
- Propose a solution to problems in dorm policies, admissions policies, or testing
policies at ASU or in the local community.
- Propose a solution that would change an existing policy or procedure at ASU or at work
or in the local community.
As you work out the rhetorical situation for this assignment, pay
particular attention to the audience for your proposal. You should specify an actual
audience and forum for which you would present the proposal. Consider what your purpose
is---to take action or to create grass roots support for an action that someone other than
the audience would take. Your audience should be asked either to undertake the action
proposed or to support the action proposed.
The audience for this paper is the person or people to whom you plan to
make your proposal.
- Your completed response to this assignment should clearly articulate the policy or
procedure you are recommending.
- It should review the reasons why change is necessary and demonstrate what will happen,
and to whom, if your recommended policy or procedure is adopted.
- It should also demonstrate what will happen, to whom, if your recommendation is not
- It should discuss means of implementation and enforcement of the policy or procedure you
are recommending, as well.
- To be persuasive, you will need research that supports your claims about the problem,
the solution, and the implementation of the solution. At times, you will be able to find
articles that deal with the problem and solution. At other times, you may have to draw on
articles that deal with analogous problems and solutions.
Generally, an unsolicited proposal follows a basic organization pattern of
problem/solution. Here is a list of the features that usually appear in a proposal from
which you can derive appropriate headings for sections:
- statement and discussion of the problem (includes background and purpose statement) with
a clear and strong proposal claim that connects to the problem
- demonstration of ways in which the proposal addresses the need or problem by listing
long-term and short-term objectives; that is a discussion of what a solution will have to
do to solve the problem
- statement and discussion of the proposed solution, including:
- a full description of the solution;
- an explanation of how the solution can solve the problem;
- reasons and evidence to show why the solution will work or be effective;
- methods to be used and procedures to be followed;
- personnel involved;
- material equipment and facilities to be used;
- amount of time required to implement the solution;
- cost of solution.
- Discussion of opponents objections to the solution and refutation.
- Discussion of alternative solutions and why those will not work or will be less
- Persuasive conclusion that restates benefits and calls readers to action.
Your presentation of all these materials should be as persuasive to your
audience as you can make it.
Invention Work for the Proposal
These are designed to help you address things proposal writers often
- If you are recommending that a policy be implemented, you must compose it. Through
research, find out how similar policies are enacted in similar situations and briefly
describe one or two of those. Then briefly note the problem and compose a plan for
implementing your suggested policy. You should also determine how the policy you recommend
could be enforced.
If you are recommending that some practice be changed, you must first
compose your recommendation. Through research, find out who can make the changes you
suggest, and find out what procedures must be followed in order to make the recommended
change. Briefly describe the problem and then discuss who can make the changes and what
procedures must be followed. Try to find out how your recommended change can be
implemented and enforced, and offer suggestions for achieving this in your proposal.
- Ask the following policy questions of the proposal you will defend:
- Should some action be taken?
- How will proposed actions change the current state of affairs? Or should the current
state affairs remain unchanged?
- How will the proposed changes make things better? Worse? How? In what ways? For whom?
- Should some state of affairs be regulated (or not) by some formalized procedure?
- Which procedures can be implemented? Which cannot?
- What are the merits of competing proposals? What are their defects?
- How is my proposal better than others? Worse?
- Now write out your answers to the following questions:
- Who is the audience for my proposal; what values do they hold that I can identify? Do we
share the same values? On what values might we differ?
- Given the audience, time, place, and situation, what actions can I recommend?
- Will my audience be receptive to me and to my arguments? If they will not be receptive,
what will I have to do to persuade them?
- Are my recommendations possible to implement? desirable?
- Can only part of my recommendation be implemented? If so, what are my priorities?