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Assignment Three: Proposal

Composing Schedule:

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

The Assignment:

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. Don’t 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:

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.

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:

    1. a full description of the solution;
    2. an explanation of how the solution can solve the problem;
    3. reasons and evidence to show why the solution will work or be effective;
    4. methods to be used and procedures to be followed;
    5. personnel involved;
    6. material equipment and facilities to be used;
    7. amount of time required to implement the solution;
    8. cost of solution.

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 overlook


  1. 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.
  2. 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.

  3. Ask the following policy questions of the proposal you will defend:
  1. Should some action be taken?
  2. How will proposed actions change the current state of affairs? Or should the current state affairs remain unchanged?
  3. How will the proposed changes make things better? Worse? How? In what ways? For whom?
  4. Should some state of affairs be regulated (or not) by some formalized procedure?
  5. Which procedures can be implemented? Which cannot?
  6. What are the merits of competing proposals? What are their defects?
  7. How is my proposal better than others? Worse?
  1. Now write out your answers to the following questions: