Proposal Section Instructions
Write 3-4 pages (think of three full pages of your writing as a bare minimum) in which you describe your proposed solution in as much detail as possible. In those pages:
Explain exactly how your solution will work. How will it fix (or improve) the problem youre working on?
Make clear to your reader how you know the solution will work. (This will involve causal arguments.)
Provide as many concrete “nuts & bolts” details about your proposal as possible.
Identify as specifically as you can who (an individual, a company, parents, an organization, a government agency, for example) needs to act to put your proposal into effect. What do they need to do to get the ball rolling?
Say as specifically as you can what your proposal will cost. Think of costs broadly, in terms of time, labor, and resources as well as money.
Make a strong case that your idea is better than other possible solutions in some important way. Your solution might be more effective, more feasible, or less expensive, for example. Provide evidence to support these points.
Anticipate and answer objections (counterarguments) to your proposal. These can be counterarguments that you anticipate or ones that have already been made in the media.
End with a strong call to action. Your conclusion to the Proposal Section will likely become the conclusion of the final paper.
Support your arguments with source material wherever necessary. Cite at least five sources in proper APA or MLA format and provide a reference list. You can use sources youve already used again, but its very likely youll need additional sources to support your claims in the proposal section.
The Proposal Section will provide essential content for your final Policy Proposal.
To persuade your reader that your proposal will work, is worth enacting, and is better than the alternatives.
To demonstrate your mastery of rhetorical appeals and strategies we’ve discussed in class.
To develop your critical thinking skills by analyzing controversies and addressing counterarguments.
The persuasiveness of your arguments in favor of your proposal.
How well you support your points with evidence.
Your success in focusing on the most important points for your persuasive purposes.
Your ability to use logical and pathetic appeals to win over your audience.
Your recognition and handling of counterarguments.
The organization of your paper and the unity, coherence and development of your paragraphs.
Your ability to effectively integrate source material into your writing.
The clarity and concision of your writing.
The number and seriousness of grammatical and mechanical errors.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND SUGGESTIONS:
Your argument for your proposal will involve causal arguments, especially arguments of consequence concerning the effects of your proposal, some or all which you may have already touched on in the Exploratory Section.
Counterarguments come in many forms. They may consist of alternative proposals or arguments that your proposal will not work or will cost too much.
Different proposals will require different points of emphasis. Part of your job is to determine which points are most crucial for meeting your persuasive goals.
Play devil’s advocate. Imagine someone says to you, But how do you know it will work? or But how can you possibly get this done? How would you respond?
Try to give as detailed a picture of what your new (or improved) program or system will look like as possible. Students often have trouble bringing their ideas “down to earth” in this way.
You may want to support your ideas with arguments by analogy in which you claim that a proposal that worked (or did not work) in another similar situation would (or would not) work to address the problem you are discussing.
Remember that the threshold for persuasion in the Policy Proposal is very high because you need to motivate people to act, not merely agree with you. End the paper with a powerful call to action, which will probably involve strong pathetic appeals.
You may need to discuss what it will take to generate the willor the pressureto make the change you desire happen. This can be especially important for proposals that don’t involve a lot of “nuts & bolts” details.