SOLUTION: Kent State University Module 8 Event Catering Proposal

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ENG 20002
Week 6

Types of Proposals

Persuasion and Proposals

Writing and Structuring a Proposal



Suggest a change or improvement within your company
Typically reviewed by more than one department
Most frequent internal proposals are routine
▪ Small spending requests, permission to hire new employees,
requests to purchase or upgrade equipment

Requests that involve large sums of money are more formal
▪ Organize into sections
▪ Have an introduction, body, and conclusion
▪ Identify a problem and offer a practical solution
▪ Persuade your reader
▪ Close with a spirit of cooperation

Solicited proposals are in response to a request
▪ Outside company issues a request for proposal (RFP) or invitation
for bids (IFB)
▪ May provide strict specifications on proposal format
▪ RFP defines the basic work and leaves the proposer to provide
details on method of performing the work
▪ IFB is more restrictive with exact requirements

Unsolicited proposals are submitted without prior request
▪ Can be submitted if you notice a large problem that you know can
be resolved with your proposal
▪ Usually sent after the two organization meet and discussed the
project

Research proposals request funding for projects
▪ Typically used by nonprofit organizations, government agencies, or
private foundations
▪ Organizations can require profession employees carry out research and
publish reports or journals
▪ Often progress reports are submitted once work has begun
▪ Completion reports are filed once the project is finished
▪ Describes the entire process, including results and any
recommendations
▪ Follow all detailed instructions provided by the organization
▪ Tailor your proposal based on the organization’s interests and goals

Offer specific tangible goods or certain services
▪ Major marketing tool
▪ Restricted to offering within a specified period of time for a
specified price
▪ Demonstrates that purchasing the good or service will solve a
problem or offer other benefits
▪ Find out exactly what the customer needs and how you can satisfy
those needs
▪ Long sales proposals should be organized into sections
▪ Be clear on the solution, recommendation, and responsibilities of
each party

Determine the needs in an internal proposal
▪ Simpler because you do have easier access to information
▪ Can be more difficult if you do not understand the situation in your
company
▪ Your idea may threaten someone’s position or management may
fundamentally disagree with you
▪ Talk to as many people about your idea before submitting the
proposal

Determine the needs in an external proposal
▪ Study any RFP carefully and ask for clarity if needed
▪ Consider the audience’s goals, interests, and backgrounds
▪ Thoroughly understand the situation
▪ You may need to convince readers’ a larger problem even exists
▪ When writing proposals to an organization in another culture:
▪ Budget time for translation
▪ Write short sentences and use common vocabulary
▪ Use simple graphics with captions
▪ If possible, ask someone from that culture to do a read-through

Convince readers you can respond effectively to the situation

Discuss procedures and equipment you would use
▪ Justify your choices if necessary

Present a complete picture of what you would do from the
first day to the last

Be prepared and anticipate any potential questions

Show that you have already started doing the work through
your research


Demonstrate that you are committed to delivering what you
promise
Include your credentials and work history
▪ Show that you can do this project because you have already
completed similar ones

Create a work schedule
▪ Conveys you’re serious about the work and you can foresee the
project’s progress


Describe how you would evaluate the effectiveness and
efficiency of your work
Conclude with a detailed budget
▪ Shows you have done complete research

Resource planning and collaboration are crucial

Know if your organization can devote the appropriate
resources to the project
▪ Enough personnel
▪ Necessary facilities (either owned or leased)
▪ The right equipment (owned, leased, or subcontracted)

Collaboration uses the expertise of many people for a
complete proposal

Consider reusing existing company information
▪ Include other projects the company has done, history of the
company or resumes of important personnel on the project

Structure can vary greatly between organizations

Follow guidelines closely if provided

When using the standard format, adjust it for your subject,
purpose, and needs of the audience

Summary
▪ Use if the proposal is more than a few pages long
▪ Might be the only item readers use in their initial proposal review
▪ Covers major elements of the proposal
▪ Devote only a few sentences to each element
▪ May have a length limit

Introduction
▪ Help readers understand the context, scope, and organization
▪ Describe the problem or opportunity in monetary terms
▪ Be specific in what you want to do
▪ Convey the scope of what you are proposing to do
▪ Include a brief background on the problem or opportunity
▪ Readers may already know this information, but it shows them you
understand the situation
▪ Define any specialized or unusual key terms

Proposed Program
▪ Sometimes called the plan of work
▪ Explain what you want to do
▪ Be very specific
▪ Include how you plan to carry out the program, not just what the
program is
▪ Reference your sources
▪ Do not simply list a string of quotations together
▪ Use the research to justify your proposed program

Qualifications and Experience
▪ Elaborate proposals will lead to greater discussion about your
qualifications and experience
▪ Include information on the technical credentials of those on the
project
▪ Consider adding the resumes of the project leader for larger proposals

Budget
▪ Specify how much the project will cost
▪ Include direct and indirect costs
▪ Direct costs: expenses that can be directly tied to the project such as
supplies and equipment
▪ Indirect costs: intangible overhead expenses such as utilities and
maintenance

Appendixes
▪ Many companies have boilerplate descriptions of the organization
and projects they have completed
▪ Consider including a supporting letter as a testimony to the
company’s skill and integrity
▪ Include a task schedule
▪ Usually in a table, bar chart, or network diagram format
▪ Provide a description of evaluation techniques
▪ Any procedure used to determine whether the proposed program is
both effective and efficient
ENG 20002
Week 9

Functions and Characteristics of a Graphic

The Process of Creating Graphics

Choose the Appropriate Type of Graphic


Demonstrate logical and numerical relationships
Communicate spatial information more effectively than just
words
▪ Can show details of an object with better clarity than a verbal
description

Communicate steps in a process
▪ Easily show steps in a table or drawing

Save space
▪ Larger amounts of data (especially numerical) are easier to display
in a graphic than written out in a paragraph

Should serve a purpose
▪ Should help readers understand or remember information

Be simple and uncluttered

Present a manageable amount of information
▪ Too much information can confuse readers
▪ Consider audience and purpose when determining how much to
include

Meet readers’ format expectations
▪ Use standard conventions

Be clearly labeled

Put the graphic in an appropriate place
▪ Either directly after the relevant point or in an appendix

Introduce the graphic in the text
▪ Refer to the graphic before it appears

Explain the graphic in the text
▪ State what you want readers to learn from the graphic
▪ Consider including a caption

Make the graphic clearly visible and accessible
▪ Use appropriate white space
▪ Include a list of illustrations for longer documents

Consider the audience
▪ Determine if readers will understand the kinds of graphics you want
to use

Know your purpose
▪ Understand what point you are trying to make with the graphic

Determine the kind of information you want to communicate
▪ Your subject can help decide what type of graphic you use

Anticipate the physical conditions when the document will be
read
▪ The amount of lighting, surface space available, and other
conditions can influence the type of graphic

Choose one of four approaches
▪ Use existing graphics
▪ If published, you much obtain permission to re-use someone’s graphic
▪ Modify existing graphics
▪ Ensures the graphic matches the tone, style, purpose, and audience of
your document
▪ Create graphics on a computer
▪ Have someone else create graphics
▪ Can be expensive
▪ Professional-grade graphics usually require special software and skills to
produce

Build in enough time and budget enough money to revise
your graphic

Create checklists to evaluate effectiveness

Show your graphic to people similar to your audience
▪ Ask for suggestions you can incorporate into your revision

After revising, ask for additional feedback before finalizing

Copyrighted graphics require permission to publish

Graphics need cited even if they are modified

Cite all graphics in the reference list

Include a source statement in the caption of the graphic
▪ Follow handbook guidelines for citation
▪ Usually includes “reprinted with permission”

Don’t overdo it
▪ Readers can only interpret two or three colors at a time

Use color to emphasize particular items
▪ Draws readers’ attention to a specific item quickly

Use color to create patterns

Use contrast effectively

Take advantage of symbolic meanings
▪ Many colors are already associated with certain meanings

Be aware that color can obscure or swallow up text

Tables
▪ Conveys large amounts of numerical data easily
▪ Can present several variables for a number of items
▪ Indicate the units of measure
▪ List items to be compared in the left-hand column
▪ Arrange data clearly and logically
▪ Do the math for the readers
▪ Don’t make the table wider than it needs to be
▪ Minimize the number of rules
▪ Provide footnotes where necessary and list source information

Bar Graph
▪ Conveys large amounts of numerical data easily
▪ Better at showing the relative values of two or more items
▪ Make the proportions fair
▪ Vertical axis should be about 25% shorter than your horizontal axis
▪ Begin the quantity scale at zero
▪ Use tick marks to signal amounts
▪ Arrange bars in a logical sequence
▪ Place the title below the figure
▪ Source the information

Pictographs
▪ Bar graphs where the bars have been replaced by a series of
symbols
▪ Used to present statistical information
▪ Represent quantities honestly

Line Graphs
▪ Show changes in quantity over time
▪ Focuses attention on the change in quantity
▪ Use grid lines rather than tick marks
▪ Use different colors for lines that intersect

Pie Graphs
▪ Shows the relative size of the parts of a whole
▪ Simple but limited
▪ Use no more than seven slices
▪ Begin with the largest slice at the top and work clockwise
▪ Include a miscellaneous slice for very small quantities (“other”)
▪ Label the slices inside the slice
▪ Use a bright, contrasting color or separate the slice from the pie to
highlight one slice

Diagrams
▪ Visual metaphor that uses symbols to represent item or properties
▪ Examples: blueprints, schematics, etc.

Organization Charts
▪ Simple geometric shapes (usually rectangles) suggest logical
relationships
▪ Often used to show management hierarchy in a company

Checklists
▪ A list of items, each preceded by a checkbox
▪ Include what equipment or materials are needed
▪ Describe an action or a series of actions

Flowcharts
▪ Shows the various stages of a process or procedure
▪ Summarize instructions
▪ Stages are represented by labeled geometric shapes
▪ Can show open or closed systems

Logic Trees
▪ Uses a branching metaphor
▪ Can help someone think through a process

Techniques for Showing Motion
▪ Show the action from the reader’s point of view
▪ Use arrows to suggest direction
▪ Shake lines suggest vibration
▪ Starburst lines suggest a blinking light
▪ Show an image of the object both before and after the action

Photographs
▪ Reproduce visual detail
▪ Sometimes can provide too much information
▪ Depends on the purpose of the graphic
▪ Sometimes can provide too little information
▪ Items may be hidden inside the mechanism or obscured by another part
▪ Eliminate extraneous background clutter
▪ Help readers understand the perspective
▪ Include a common object to give a sense of scale, if appropriate

Screen Shots
▪ Images of what appears on a computer monitor
▪ Often used in manuals to show users what the screen should look
like

Line Drawings
▪ Simplified visual representations of objects
▪ Focus readers’ attention on desired information
▪ Highlight information that may be obscured in a photograph
▪ Sometimes easier for readers to understand

Maps
▪ Can be modified to show the information you want to communicate

Be aware that reading patterns differ
▪ Some people may read from right to left or top to bottom
▪ Directions (right vs. left) can signify value

Cultural attitude towards instructions vary
▪ Some instructions are more polite than other, or include different
levels of detail

Deemphasize trivial details

Avoid culture-specific language, symbols, and references

Portray people very carefully

Be careful portraying hand gestures
ENG 20002: Introduction to Technical Writing
Mechenbier
Assignment: Proposal
You will spend the next few weeks drafting and composing your proposal. Read the assigned
chapters carefully regarding subject matter and format. (This project is a substantive portion of
your grade and contains both a written and a graphic component.)
I suggest you take some time to select a topic that you are both interested in and are excited
about. Use a subject in which you possess expertise. You can re-write or recommend
adjustments to an existing workplace policy, you can propose a start-up business of some kind,
you can pitch a certain type of product advertising campaign, you can suggest new infrastructure
to an existing business. (These are just a few examples.) Be creative.
Remember that graphics are a significant part of the finished proposal; keep this requirement in
mind when you are selecting your topics.
The textbook stresses that the proposal is persuasive in tone. When you are writing, keep this in
mind. You are to “pitch” your product/idea and convince the buyer/panel to fund (or buy) your
project.
Please feel free to email me (or use the discussion board) for topic approval or for topic
suggestions or expansions.
Note: You have been given five weeks to complete this assignment. Use your time effectively.
The completed project—worth 29% of your total course grade—should look like it took you five
weeks.
Tip: Use appendices to your advantage in this assignment. “Extras” in the Appendix section can
add to your graphic grade.
1
IMPORTANT THINGS TO CONSIDER:
▪ grammar, professional phrasing, professional vocabulary
▪ format, sections, and sub-sections
▪ clarity of your concept and use of persuasive language
▪ awareness of the audience’s needs and competencies (the context of the proposal)
▪ organization and flow
▪ font selection and use of headings
▪ pagination
▪ visual clarity of the graphics
▪ appropriateness and types of graphics to explain and to supplement your proposal
▪ correctness of titles/numbers for the graphic elements
▪ integration of the graphics
▪ inclusion of supplemental items in the Appendix
▪ quality and professionalism of the research sources
▪ integration, quotation, and citation of the sources
▪ strength of your proposal claim and scope of the proposal
▪ meeting the proposal’s purpose
▪ insightfulness and uniqueness of your topic
2

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