second draft - final proposal

  • Second rough draft of proposal: this draft should be your attempt at a full and complete draft, as though you were submitting it for a grade. Don’t forget your Works Cited/References list.



The paper should be 10-12 pages, single-spaced, Times New Roman 12 point font, with one-inch margins throughout. Papers may be done in either MLA or APA format: your choice, but be consistent.  This proposal will use in-text citations and contain a list of sources, as mentioned above.  The grade will be determined on not only the usual style and mechanics considerations, but also how well, how thoroughly, and how creatively you have researched, developed, and supported your ideas. 

Considerable weight will be given to your originality—that is, that you are innovating, rather than simply re-creating, solutions already in place.  The grade will also depend on the depth, breadth, and quality of your research and how well you have synthesized it to support your ideas. While I have provided you with a page guideline, I’m looking more at how thoroughly and effectively you present the problem and solution in a professional manner. Page count depends mostly on YOU and how much attention you wish to pay to your project. 

Writing tips

Most valuable tip:  write a messy draft of your paper, based on your research and/or what you know about your topic so far, this week.  This draft will show you where your gaps are, and help you refine your research so that you’re not wasting your time and focus.  Continue to revise that draft at least every few days.  Utilize your spring break to research and write; you can always fill in gaps thereafter, and get more ideas during our library visit.

Keep your audience in mind.  Define specialized terms, give background and context as appropriate, and think persuasion.  A professional audience will be looking for numbers and statistics before they give their approval, and certainly before they give you money.  They will not take your word for anything, ever.  Cite the source of statistics, facts, etc. as appropriate, but try to keep direct quotes, especially long ones, to an absolute minimum.  The readers will expect you to have synthesized and paraphrased a lot of your research, for the sake of efficiency.

Refer to your textbook early and often.  Chapter 8 and 9 contain invaluable guidance for writing proposals and long reports.  Expect to keep revising, and expect to go back and forth between sections.  For example, the initial draft of your introduction will undoubtedly change as you research and find new material for your discussion.

Make full use of your opportunities for workshopping, presenting your topic to the class, and peer review.  Also talk to others—friends, families, co-workers—about your topic.  You will be pleasantly surprised to see how helpful this vocalization of your project is in shaping your proposal and getting really helpful perspectives.

Pick a (real) audience; part of your research is going to be to find out who is the most likely audience to receive and approve your proposal.  This audience should be a person or group with the money, or at least the clout, to get your proposal approved and funded.


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