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Essay #2: Proposal Essay
In a proposal you attempt to persuade an audience to carry out some activity, to implement a new policy, to authorize a project, to purchase a product, or otherwise support a specific plan for solving a problem. For that purpose, you must make it clear that the future benefits of carrying out the proposed activity will outweigh the costs. In essence, a proposal is a form of argument.
Assignment: Identify and explain an existing problem (could be but does not have to be related to your meta-major or your planned field of study) and propose a concrete policy (measures, procedures, or steps) for its rectification, along with an explanation of benefits and possible obstacles.
Example: Proposal to install “text walking lanes” on campus to separate Smombies from regular pedestrians.
Characteristics of the Proposal
A successful proposal
• provides a clear statement of what is being proposed and why (=thesis).
• provides an introduction that offers some background information on the problem.
• presents the details of the actual proposal, including methods, costs, personnel, and action schedules, as applicable.
• discusses of the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed plan.
• includes conclusions and/or recommendations.
• presents an objective stance by the use of third-person voice.
• integrates primary sources (interviews with off-campus professionals) and field-specific secondary sources (journals, magazines) accessed from TCC Library.
• correctly integrates quotations and conforms to MLA documentation and format guidelines.
• 750-1000 words (3-4 pages)
• minimum of at least two sources accessed from TCC library
• recommended: interview with others who can add a valuable perspective
• MLA format for presentation (typed, double-spaced, 12-pt. font, 1” margins) and source documentation (in-text citations)
Reading and Pre-writing
Much of your work in writing this proposal will take place before you begin writing a first publish.
Follow this plan:
1. Read the PowerPoint “Proposal Essay: An Overview” to familiarize yourself with the nature of proposals.
2. Select a topic and preliminary focus for your proposal. Fill out the Worksheet.
Ideally, the focus should be narrow and local. For example, it is easier to propose the foundation of a new student organization at TCC than to propose ways to fight world hunger.
You can use the discussion forum to exchange ideas.
3. Once you’ve settled on a topic, write for at least ten minutes about your related viewpoints, observations, and experiences.
4. Begin the research process.
Locate, read, evaluate, and take notes on at least four secondary sources for developing your critical analysis. At least one of the sources must be accessed from the TCC Library.
If you include an interview, see PowerPoint on Interviewing Professionals.
Using your above notes, try to write a rough publish of your essay in Google Classroom. If you struggle, you might try simply outlining an essay. It will also help to revisit Module 13 and browse through the information on “publishing.”
The following outline offers a suggested guideline for organizing your critical analysis essay:
Introduction (one or two paragraphs)
• Use a lead-in hook to engage your readers’ interest. You might use a striking quotation, an interesting statistic or fact. Whatever your choice, the lead-in must be clearly related to the focus you have selected to analyze.
• Provide some background that will help your readers understand the focus/ the problem you are about to discuss. Depending on your topic and specific audience, the background info might have to be more or less detailed.
• Present your thesis statement.
Body (minimum of five paragraphs)
• Provide specific benefits that evolve from your thesis (your proposed idea). Ideally each benefit should be developed separately.
• Offer concrete examples that illustrate your suggested benefits.
• Address potential obstacles or disadvantages of your proposed idea and make an attempt at weakening such perspectives to further strengthen your proposal.
• Include suggested timeline, required material/personnel, costs, and feasibility. If applicable, compare your approach to other solutions and explain why other solutions are not as good.
• Pay attention to proper paragraph development by moving from a general idea (often in a topic sentence) to specific details via explanations and evidence/examples. Finish paragraphs with a clincher or closing sentence.
• Transition properly from paragraph to paragraph to achieve overall coherence.
Conclusion (one or two paragraphs)
• Conclude by restate your proposed idea and its major benefits in a fresh manner.
• Try to leave with a lasting impression for the reader by calling for action or including a timetable or action schedule.
• Instead of a Works Cited, you will turn in an Annotated Bibliography as part of your essay (see separate document).
o All work is due by midnight on 11/03.
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