Assignment Guidelines

Assignment Guidelines - M E M O R A N D U M _ To: English...

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M E M O R A N D U M _________________________________________________________ To: English 331 DE Students From: Beryl Pittman Date: March 30, 2011 Subj: Guidelines for Proposal Assignment Foundation Memo (5%): due Apr 7, 11p, Assignments Proposal (25%): due May 7, 11p, Assignments These assignments are coupon-eligible, but there s very little wiggle-room for lates, misplaced submissions, or unopenable files. Keep me posted! Proposals are generally the lifeblood of organizations; however, it’s eas y to underestimate the value of determining a persuasive strategy based on the benefits your readers will value and of highlighting those benefits as well as the technical problem-solving. Therefore, your final assignment is to prepare a proposal that demonstrates your ability to synthesize the most important tenets of this course. This memo gives you the basic information you need to understand the scope of this project which includes the Foundation Memo (5%), the Proposal (25%). Examples and supplementary information are also posted under Unit Five. What is a proposal anyway? All proposals have at least one thing in common: they try to persuade the reader(s) to make an investment of money, time, staff, etc. They usually offer a way to solve a problem, meet a need, take advantage of an opportunity, or provide a service. Proposals explain not only what to do, but how to do it. Beyond that, there are lots of different circumstances that shape proposals. For example, if you prepare a proposal for someone in your organization, it’s an internal proposal. If it’s for someone outside of your organization, it’s external . If the reader asked you to prepare the proposal, it’s solicited . Sometimes organizations prepare a Request for Proposals (RFP) or a Request for Bids (RFB) to explain what they need and how they will evaluate submitted proposals. Other organizations compete for the jobs being solicited. On the other hand, if you offer the proposal on your own, it’s unsolicited . Writers of unsolicited proposals have to be very careful with their tone, especially as they explain the problem they are trying to solve, because they need to convince the reader that there is indeed a situation that needs addressing, but they don’t want to put the reader on the defensive. But, whether your proposal is solicited or unsolicited, expect your audience to be skeptical, as people are generally conservative about investments. Usually proposals have multiple audiences. The primary reader is the decision-maker. Although this reader is often a non-expert reader, s/he has the power to approve your idea. You have to be very careful about using jargon, and about addressing the concerns and goals related to this person’s position in the organization. Do not make the self- defeating mistake of thinking of this reader as your “dumb” r eader. The
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Assignment Guidelines - M E M O R A N D U M _ To: English...

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