In general terms proposals can be considered to be

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In general terms proposals can be considered to be very similar to reports. They are both business documents requiring similar levels of formality and are both organised using sections with headings. A difference between each type of writing is the extent to which each looks towards the future. Reports typically relate facts that have already happened - although of course they frequently contain some recommendations for the future. In contrast, the primary purpose of a proposal is normally to talk about the future – even if they will usually include at least some past background. Another difference particularly applies to proposals that are made by one organisation to another one. These are often made in response to tenders put out by an organisation. Such external proposals are essentially sales documents and need to be persuasive. This means that they need to both establish the credibility of the proposer’s organisation, as well as to make clear the benefits of accepting the proposal for the recipient’s organisation. External proposals are often quite long and may need to follow the format requested by the receiving organisation. However, on this course we will concentrate on shorter internal proposals which do not need to “sell” a solution to such a great extent. 79 © CPBE 2019
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What is the best format for a proposal? In common with reports there is no one fixed format for proposals. There are however some common approaches to organisation. As with reports it is common to start off with an introduction that includes the aim(s) of the proposal. After the introduction, a proposal will often outline the present situation. Some initial background may be necessary, but in a proposal this “present situation” will normally be an outline of the problem which the proposal sets out to solve. The document will then go on to make the proposal to solve the problem. This means that an overall “Problem > Solution” pattern is a very common logical arrangement for proposals. Depending on the individual proposal, it may well cover issues such as the projected resources involved, especially the budget and staffing, as well as a possible timetable. Task: Does Clara’s proposal above follow the advice in and ? 80 © CPBE 2019
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Writing You feel that your company’s main product or service would benefit from better publicity. The directors have asked you to write a proposal putting forward your ideas. Write the proposal for the directors: mentioning the product or service concerned stating the shortcomings of the current advertising outlining how your competitions publicise their products or services suggesting a different approach to advertising. Before you start… 1 underline key words in the instructions that you must deal with in your proposal 2 decide what details you need to invent in order to write the proposal (e.g. what product or service) 3 decide which sections and section headings your proposal should have, and write a m plan 4 discuss with a partner what ideas you can express in each section and include these m in your plan.
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