essay proposal

essay proposal

Putting together a flawless essay is no easy task, and when done correctly this entire process can be a very drawn out affair. There are many steps to writing an essay including organizing your thoughts, writing an outline, and finally putting together the essay, but there is something you must do before all that. You need to start somewhere, and for an essay that is with choosing the topic. A common way to go about this is by writing an essay proposal, and this is where you sketch out your thoughts and ideas for the essay and see if it is viable. Although many students understand the importance of the proposal, they don’t want to do it as it is a time consuming process, and many busy students find that they cannot complete this aspect of the essay process.

Essays are much better when a thorough proposal is completed prior to writing the paper, and our experts understand why this is the case. An essay proposal has several functions, but one of its most valuable purposes is helping you decide if this is the right topic. Most students think this is just a chance for you to get input from your professor, but this is actually a very valuable tool for you. Our experts can work with you on an essay proposal that will actually make writing the essay very simple, and with the help of our professionals essays no longer need to be a pain!

Our focus is the essay proposal, and we can help you with this no matter what subject your paper is in. Our proposal writers have various specialties that are directly applied to the proposals, and we will select a writer who fits your educational background. When that is combined with their amazing ability to put together a great essay proposal you have a winning combination that cannot be beaten! Our writers can help with any topic or any essay, and this flexibility is part of what makes us the best. We are here to help you, so when you are crunched for time our professionals can help you write an essay proposal that will keep your professor happy and make the writing process easy.

Elements of a Proposal Argument

Choose a problem that is important or interesting to you and propose a solution to it. Your proposal should include the following elements:

  • proposes specific action, whether a change of practice or policy, to resolve a problem or need, and
  • is suitable for your audience.

2. Evidence and reasons that

  • show clearly the problem and its significance,
  • clearly relate the proposal claim to the problem or need, and
  • show that the proposal will work and resolve the problem or need.

3. A consideration of

  • other proposals, and
  • possible rebuttals to your proposal.

Suggestions for Finding a Topic

Consider practical problems at Kean University; your high school; your city or town; your place of work; your hobbies, etc. If you were to choose a problem or situation at Kean, for example, you might consider proposals like the following:

  • A proposal to improve the quality of advising for students in your major.
  • A proposal to improve the ESL program
  • A proposal to improve the international student exchange program.
  • A proposal to improve safety conditions in a particular building or facility.
  • A proposal to change a rule at your dormitory.

Proposals are generally addressed to someone who can do something with them, and they are accompanied by a cover letter that introduces the proposal to that specific person or persons. For example, if you were writing a policy proposal based on a social issue, you might name your senator or representative as the individual capable of taking action, but it must be the correct senator or representative for your voting district. If you feel that the senator or representative might not listen, then you might address your proposal to a specific group or organization that the senator or representative might listen to.

Find an issue that is manageable. For instance, proposing changes to the New Jersey education system requires an enormous amount of research and expertise. Instead, propose specific, small changes to the school you or your children attend. In this situation, you can talk to the people in charge, find out why something has or has not been tried, and adapt your proposal to what you find out. Because you have the opportunity to talk with your audience, you have a better chance of understanding what the problem is from their perspective and be able to make a better proposal that they will at least listen to.

Brainstorm to find a narrow, local issue which is a problem for you.

Brainstorm and research who the right audience would be for your proposal. Find someone who can implement your proposal or pass it on to someone who can do something about the problem.

Use your own research (interviews, surveys, graphs, polls) and library research. Document your sources accurately both in your text and in your bibliography. Your research should show that other problems like yours exist in the world, that people are concerned about them, that they are serious, that there are counterarguments and criticisms to your solution, and that there are solutions that can solve these problems.

Consider the values of your audience.

Use details and vivid examples (if possible, of real incidents and your own personal experience).

Create credibility by looking at the problem objectively, not as a complainer.

The following sections explain the shape of this proposal paper and give the subtitles that you should use in your own paper.

This one-page letter introduces your audience to the problem, its significance, and your proposal to solve the problem. It should be addressed to a specific individual or group.

This section summarizes the problem, its background, the proposal, and justification in one paragraph.

This is a one-sentence description of the problem.

Background to the problem

This section is an introduction to the problem.

Describe the problem, its background/history, and its significance.

Convince your audience that it's a real problem and something needs to be done about it. Sometimes, a reader might initially respond by saying, "Oh, that stuff again." So you need somehow to make it personal or show how it affects the reader.

Present your proposal (thesis statement) concisely.

If some people may be skeptical, this is a good place to first insert opposing viewpoints, before continuing on with your own proposal.

After showing a problem really exists in the introduction, you need to show your solution, one which is solvable, doable, and practical.

Explain your proposal in detail (with step-by-step specifics on how your solution works):

  • how much money it will cost,
  • who will be responsible for implementing it,
  • how easily it can be implemented,
  • how much time it will take to set it up and make it work,
  • what kinds of materials and labor are needed to make it work,
  • how it addresses the problem,
  • etc.

Use causal arguments: Show how one consequence will lead to another until the problem is solved.

Use analogy: Perhaps your solution or a similar one elsewhere is successful.

Use precedent: Perhaps your solution or a similar has been successful in the past. If a similar solution was not successful, show how your situation is different so that the solution will now work in your situation.

Give reasons for your audience to implement your proposal (other than those which relate to its being able to solve the problem by giving arguments from the heart and from values).

Show how the benefits of your solution outweigh the costs. If the costs are high, appeal to the values of the audience by showing that your proposal will lead to actions that lead to consequences that your audience values.

Summary and rebuttal of opposing views

(This section may go before the proposal and justification sections.)

Describe rebuttals to your solution, including other proposals for this problem.

Respond to each of these rebuttals.

Sum up the main points and state your case clearly and directly, so that your audience feels convinced to do something about the problem, preferably adopt your proposal.

Use either APA or MLA style for your sources, and unlike on the wiki, do not annotate them.

If your essay requires a proposal, do not assume you can whip together something quickly and consider it complete. Chances are, if a professor is requesting an essay proposal at all (which means more work for them to do), they intend to actually pay attention to it. It may even have a grade value as part of the overall essay. You will likely be held to promises made in the proposal, so don't state that you'll do impossible things under the assumption that the professor will be impressed.

You should already be well into your research by the time you hand in a proposal. If your proposal is to sound at all informed, you should have already skimmed through some sources to get a feel for the topic. Your research may not be complete, but you should know some of the sources you will use and where your focus lies.

Proposals are usually very specific to the assignment, so be sure to read the assignment carefully. Ensure that you cover all necessary aspects of the assignment in the proposal. Even if you don't fully explain every section - after all, it's not the full essay - do be sure to include the sections you plan to discuss. Also be sure that your list of resources is comprised of books you can actually get and truly plan to read.

Some proposals can be in point form while others are required to be in formal prose. Whichever is the case, do be sure to follow the rules of grammar where necessary, and stick to the other guidelines in these pages. The exception is that most of the time, it is okay to personalize proposals. You shouldn't use "I" and "me" in the full essay, but since the proposal is your personal statement as to your intentions, it is usually okay to do so there.

Here then, is a pretend assignment and a proposal to go along with it (using the fake science of "widgetry"):

The essay for Honours Widgetry 101 is to be a 10 to 15 page work concentrating on some aspect of widgetry as learned in the course. Appropriate subjects would be:

  • Joe Smith and the widgetiscope
  • Jane Doe, the first woman recognized in widgetry
  • Prehistoric widgets
  • British widgetry versus Chinese widgetry, a comparison of two diverse methods

If you wish to cover an alternate topic, it is recommended that you consult the instructor first.

The essay may cover the personal aspects of widgetry, but it is essential to include some scientific content. This may be in the form of explanations of studies done, archeological indications of prehistoric widgets and their uses, or other scientific data. It is insufficient to merely write about widgets in society. The scientific data must be discussed by the student and not merely quoted from references.

Required elements include:

  • a bibliography of no less than seven distinct sources (meaning seven different authors), no more than 30% of which are web-based
  • a proposal of no less than 250 words declaring your topic, sources, and the nature of the scientific content you wish to include due by Sept. 30 (not in point form)
  • a first draft that is a complete essay but will be graded gently with suggestions for improvement, due by November 1
  • a final draft due by December 15.

All instances of suspected plagiarism will be turned over to the university administration without discussion. If the administration decides plagiarism has occurred, the student will automatically receive an F in this course and may be expelled from the university. This edict applies to all proposals and drafts. No warning will be given; all students are expected to know how to avoid plagiarism by this stage in their education.

Joe Smith and The Widgetiscope

A proposal by Kimberly Chapman

According to Jean Doorknocker, "In the vast field of widget watching, no one person has made more of a dramatic contribution than Joe Smith" (Doorknocker 37). Widget watching began in ancient Sumeria, but reached its scientific peak in the late 1800s when Smith invented the widgetiscope (Diddledum 203-204). My essay will examine Smith's involvement in and contributions to the field as well as his personal life. Since Smith's adult life revolved almost entirely around his studies (Doorknocker 39), I believe his personal story is essential to understanding how he came to invent the widgetiscope.

Born in Scotland in 1856, Smith was orphaned early due to a plague. He was adopted while still a toddler and taken to the U.S. by his new American parents (Superwriter 4-7). He attended prestigious schools, eventually meeting a teacher named Brian Googlebrains who introduced young Smith to widgetry (Bogus 93).

A socially awkward boy, Smith took to widgetry quickly because it gave him an excuse to avoid bullies in the school playground (Doorknocker 37). His social problems never really abated; recent information suggests that he may have committed suicide when, because of his alcoholism, he was threatened exclusion from his dearly-held association of New York Widget Watchers(Doorknocker 38-39).

Smith's devotion to widgetry is evident in his many publications, which will be individually discussed in my essay. It was his invention of the widgetiscope, however, that truly marked his place in the field. The essay will thoroughly cover the invention process (including excerpts from Smith's diary as found in Bogus' book), how it works, a diagram of the parts of the widgetiscope, commentary from Smith's colleagues on the device as found in several sources, and a discussion of how the invention changed the field from a pastime into a science. For this last part, I will include citations from several sources as well as my own analysis of the state of widgetry before and after the invention.

  • Bogus, Michelle: Widget Watching in the Late 1800s, 1968, Publishers Anonymous Inc., New York
  • Diddledum, Frank: Widget Watchers in History, 1974, Frinkle Publishers, Los Angeles
  • Doorknocker, Jean: Joe Smith, Portrait of a Widget Watcher, Widgets Monthly, August 1996, Volume 15, Number 8
  • Driesel, Fran: Widget Watching, http://www.website.com/joesmith/widgetwatching.html
  • Schultz, Patty: The Wonderful World of Widgets, 1982, Publishers Anonymous Inc., New York
  • Smith, Joe: Widgets and the Solstice: An Experiment in Balance 1885, Reprinted in Widgets Monthly, April 1987, Volume 6 Number 4
  • Smith, Joe: The Mysterious Top Widget, 1887, The Journal of Widgetry
  • Smith, Joe: A Treatise on Fnordlization of Widgets, 1889, The Journal of Widgetry
  • Superwriter, Sally: Joe Smith: His Life and Times, 1958, Schlmup Press New York

This proposal is 321 words (not including the Bibliography, which should never be counted in a word or page count anyway), so it falls within the guidelines set by the assignment. Longer proposals may require you to expand on the points to be covered instead of just stating them as I have done here. For example, the instructor may have required that this proposal include specific scientific data instead of just the promise to include it. It is essential that you follow the guidelines for each proposal as set by the instructor. If you are unsure about a requirement, consult the professor well before the proposal is due.

Last updated in February 2005.

Copyright © 2000-2005 Kimberly Chapman. All rights reserved.

This original work is available for distribution, provided the following: it is only distributed in this complete form, it contains my name and copyright, it is not altered during distribution without my consent, and it is not used to generate income for anyone without my consent. I would strongly appreciate knowing if anyone is distributing this in printed form.

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You have spent the last couple of years in a committed relationship—with writing. Love them or hate them, essays have been by you through thick and thin.

So when you walk into class and your professor says you’re going to do something new today, your heart starts beating faster, and it feels like there are butterflies in your stomach.

Then, your instructor pops the question—”Will you write a proposal essay?”

You might not think you’re ready to take the plunge into proposal essays just yet, but don’t get cold feet! This type of essay can be super easy (and also pretty fun) to write.

All you need is the right topic.

The right topic involves planning, research, and passion. Below, I’ll show you how to choose the right topic and give you some example proposal essay topics that you can either use as-is or use as inspiration to come up with your own topic.

But First, What Is a Proposal Essay?

Before you try to find that perfect topic from the sea of potential proposal essay topics (and certainly before you try to write one), it’s important to understand exactly what a proposal essay is.

Simply put, a proposal essay identifies a problem and suggests a solution to that problem. It’s a type of argumentative essay, but with a slightly different format and more research.

Proposal essays are common in business and science classes and professions, but are also useful for a number of different disciplines.

Typically, these types of essays are not a timed, in-class writing assignment where you’re trying to beat the clock. Instead, they require more time and research in order to formulate arguments and find supporting evidence.

Ultimately, your goal is to persuade the reader that your proposal is not only viable, but one worth pursuing. For a more in-depth overview, check out this awesome SlideShare.

What to Consider When Selecting Proposal Essay Topics

The number of different proposal essay topics out there is pretty vast, so naturally, the essays themselves will differ. However, here are a few common components (and some dos and don’ts!) to consider when you’re narrowing down proposal essay topics to find the perfect match.

Choose something that interests you

For many types of essays, you can fake it till you make it. But for proposal essays, it will be a huge advantage for you to select a topic you actually care about. You’re most likely going to be spending a significant portion of time researching and writing this essay.

It’ll be much more enjoyable if you have some passion for the subject matter. Your reader will be able to tell too. Passion comes through in writing—picking a proposal essay topic that’s interesting to you makes your essay more interesting to the reader.

DON’T: Write about how to get your hair untangled or an effective way to clean a litter box. These topics are boring—and much too simple.

DO: Write about something that could influence you or someone you know. If you have siblings in grade school, write about education. For example, how can children get a good physical education in elementary school?

Choose a proposal essay topic that has support

As I said before, you’re going to be doing a lot of research in order to write your essay properly, so it helps if the topic already has existing literature.

Choosing a proposal essay topic that has both supporting and dissenting research is usually best. Then you can choose which side of the argument you want to tackle.

DON’T: Write about something that’s purely opinion with no facts to back it up. For example, how to make the most out of your Saturday afternoon is not a good topic (although we all know it’s sleeping in and watching cartoons).

DO: Choose a topic with some big, juicy facts you can sink your teeth into. For example, how to fund more educational television like Sesame Street, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and the Magic School Bus is a topic where you can still talk about television, but in a structured, fact-based way.

Bonus Tip: When you’re researching, make sure to take good notes. Include the bibliographic information and the page number you found the information on. This will make citations much easier, especially if you’re referencing books and articles from the library.

Pick something that’s actually an argument

Because proposal essays are a type of argumentative essay, you want to be sure the essay is worthy of an argument. Choosing a topic that is too one-sided is, frankly, really boring and doesn’t serve your purpose well.

When writing your essay, you’ll want to address opposing viewpoints. That way you can present a well-rounded proposal. This lets your reader know you have considered all sides of a given topic and have constructed the best proposal given all the variables at work.

You’ll be able to tell if an argument has one side because you won’t actually be able to write a proposal essay about it. It would turn into either a process essay or an argumentative essay (and not a very good one, at that).

DON’T: Choose something like how to make a delicious grilled cheese sandwich. Sure, everyone has a slightly different way of doing it, but it turns into a process essay, not a proposal. Plus, I don’t think choosing between different grilled cheese methods really counts as a problem that needs a proposed solution.

DO: Pick something like the ways that farmers and corporations improve the lives of dairy cows. That’s a problem that needs a solution—and it’s a much better topic for your proposal essay.

Remember, proposal essays serve a purpose outside of academia. So even if you’re writing this for a class and only your teacher will see it, pretend like there’s a more realistic reader who will be deciding whether your proposal is worth investing time and resources into.

Understanding your audience not only makes the writing process easier, but also helps you choose the right topic from the many possible proposal essay topics.

DON’T: Choose a topic with an audience you’re not comfortable with. For example, if your audience is a group of academics but you’re terrible at academic writing, it might be best to choose a different topic.

DO: Pick a topic that has an audience you can relate to. For instance, if you’re passionate about and good at writing about social issues, and your audience is a group of volunteer workers, choosing a proposal essay topic about society might be in your best interest.

High school essays, college research papers and graduate projects

How to Write an Essay Proposal in 1 Hour

Essays can often be difficult to create. As It can be a difficult topic to approach, professors oftentimes require you turn in an essay proposal before you craft your paper. This proposal is oftentimes referred to as a roadmap in which you will follow to ensure a successful paper. such a proposal requires many things. First it ask that you discuss the implications and impression you want to convey to your suggested audience and how you intend on addressing holes within your paper. You must also tell your audience from where you drew your data and ensure that such data relates to the focus of your paper. While this seems like a daunting assignment, it surely is not. Here are some tips to ensure you get your essay proposal done in a hour or less.

To start you must first think of a topic. Sometimes the topic is given to you, but if not think of what class you're in and jot down the top three interesting subjects related to said course and pick the one that best peaks your interest at the time. When addressing the topic in the proposal be sure that you tell the audience why it interest you and why they should take interest as well and be sure to define key terms. You will also need to pick out a research question that relates to the topic. Be sure to explain why this topic is of importance to your field of work as well. A few short sentences that address the significance should be ok.

Next you can jot down some simple points you want to address in your paper. Be sure you note the structure of your paper when addressing these points. When listing these points be sure to divide them up into separate paragraphs, and under each paragraph make note of subtopics and research related to your theory. When you have done this it is time to conclude your work. You can do this by listing the methods of investigation you will utilize for your paper. At this point you will also list a bibliography of resources. To get your proposal done in under an hour be sure to add references to your bibliography as you go. After you have done this be sure to read over your paper and check for spelling and grammar errors.

I am very happy with this academic resource. I have received answer to all of my questions connected with essay writing and idea generation, so I can go on with my studies.

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