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Proposal Essay

Updated: Mar 21, 2016
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What is a Proposal Essay?


The Proposal Essay is an assignment that requires the student-writer to create a proposal convincing their reader something is a good idea and should be, without a doubt, considered. In the real world, Proposals are a crucial part of business and economic transactions, and are generally used in the context of a project, product or investment.


Much like Argumentative and Persuasive essays, Proposal Essays assert an argument and defend it. It defines a problem (essay topic) and suggests a remedy, solution or course of action, and include if necessary background information on the subject being expounded on. The Proposal Essay is generally composed of five or more paragraphs, each focusing on the Thesis – in this case, the action being proposed to fix the problem, which in turn becomes the solution. Like with any argument, the Proposal Essay’s argument must be declared early in the essay, and the evidence in the rest of the essay must defend and support it.


Also, the Proposal Essay must end with a Conclusion Paragraph that restates the central theme of the essay – which again, is the suggested remedy, solution or course of action to some kind of problem. If you have any questions about essay writing - ask our writers!

Steps to Write a Proposal Essay


1. Identify the Problem, Consider the Audience, and Understand the Purpose of Writing the Essay


A key element of the Proposal Essay is identifying and describing an existing problem. The description can include a review of the pertaining issues and perhaps a clear and complete discussion of the significance of the problem.


Understanding the audience who reads the Proposal Essay is also very important; the audience should be kept in mind as the student-writer brainstorms, plans and writes the essay. Of course, most times their professor, or some kind of writing instructor, will be reading the essay; however, because the assignment is preparing students to write in the real world, the student-writer must pretend they are presenting a project to a businessperson. They are to make sure this description shows how the problem applies directly to them and their lives, values and priorities. Concrete details, vivid examples and compelling facts should be incorporated to show how the problem has immediacy to the audience’s lives.



See also:


     How to Write a Persuasive Essay

     How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

     How to Write a Definition Essay



Knowing the purpose of writing the Proposal Essay makes the paper’s effectiveness easier to ascertain. If the student-writer’s purpose is to persuade the school’s president that core classes should not be required, that purpose should be used to evaluate whether or not the argument is successful, for example.


2. Propose/Design a Solution


In a Proposal Essay, the student-writer must go beyond explaining the problem; they are to present a solution that will resonate with their audience. The solution, which should be proposed in step-by-step details, to a problem will require much research, since the argument will have to be backed up by facts. Included should be a demonstration of any costs associated with the solution, as well the difficulties and successes anticipated in undertaking the solution, and how this proposal will solve the problem. 

3. Brainstorm and Make an Outline


With the problem and its solution identified, the student-writer should brainstorm how they are going to pitch their proposal. Making an outline allows the student-writer to accomplish this. It will guide them through the writing process; it will include a designated section for each paragraph, helping the student-writer to cover each element of the essay. The essay should include an Introduction Paragraph with a Thesis – an identification of the problem and the suggested solution – and at least Three Body Paragraphs outlining the solutions, and one Conclusion Paragraph effectively ending the argument.


4. Write First Draft


Using the outline as a guide, the student-writer will write their first draft of the essay. They should consider its tone. The tone and structure of the argument can vary widely depending on several factors. In the meat of the essay, the body paragraphs, the student-writer should keep in mind this is where their audience buys into their ideas, the solution to the problem. In order to convince the audience to accept the solution as valid, the middle of the essay must justify how the solution will impact the selected audience and work for them. This part of the essay is a place for solid facts and concrete conclusions that prove the efficacy of the argument to one’s audience.


5. Edit Draft, Rewrite and Submit for a Grade


Finally, after completing their first draft of their Proposal Essay, the student-writer should generally edit their essay for mistakes in punctuation, spelling and grammar. Careless mistakes will make for a lower grade on the assignment. Once edited, and with these errors corrected, the student-writer should read their essay once more to make sure it makes an effective argument for their solution to the problem. Then, and only then, they should submit their Proposal Essay for a grade.


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