Write a 3 page proposal on what day to day life living in San Diego California is like. Eventually I will turn this into a 20 page photo book so in the proposal I need how I will acomplish taking the photos and what types of photos need to be taken.
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What is a Proposal Essay?
A proposal essay (APA style) is exactly what it sounds like: it proposes an idea and provides evidence intended to convince the reader why that idea is a good or bad one.
Although proposals are generally a significant part of business and economic transactions, they
are not limited to those two areas. Proposals may be written for any college classes, scientific
fields, art project- as well as personal and other professional areas.
This article will go over how to write an effective proposal essay and provide a sample one that
was actually submitted and implemented.
Before You Start: Pre-Writing Strategies
Much of the work is done before you type a single sentence. Before sitting down to write your
proposal you’ll want to spend some time on each of the following.
1. Get to Know Your Audience. Remember, a proposal essay is an effort to convince a reader
that your idea is worth pursuing – or that another idea is not worth pursuing. To that end,
you have to know who you’ll be writing for. Are they business people? Academics? Government officials? If your audience is primarily business people you’ll want to justify your
proposal by pointing to possible financial benefits. If they’re government officials, you may
want to emphasize how popular a certain proposal is.
2. Do Your Research. Having secondary sources who can support your claims will go a long
way to persuading others of your proposal. Spend some time talking to experts or reading
3. Pre-Write. Before starting the actual essay, spend some time brainstorming excellent ideas.
Once you have a bunch of good ideas, spend some time thinking about how you’d like to
4. Revise, Revise, Revise. Never turn in a first draft! Have a trusted peer or colleague read
your paper and give you feedback. Then take some time to incorporate that feedback into a
Main Parts of a Proposal Essay
The main parts of a proposal essay are summarized here. It is important to keep in mind that
depending on your proposal parts may need to be added or taken out. The parts below (with
the exception of the introduction and conclusion) may be rearranged to suit individual proposals.
APA style: Structure of a Research Report/Proposal
The first page of your paper should be the title page. Near the top of the Title page, type your
title and press enter once. Normally, you would type your name next, but I want to grade
your paper as if you were using an alter ego. Please do not write your name on the title page;
put it at the very end of your document, instead. If you want, you can use Jane Doe, or Jeffrey Amherst, or any other moderately amusing pen name- JUST GET CREATIVE AND
MAKE IT FUN. Press enter, then type your affiliation (CSUSM) and press enter.
Center the title, your pen name and your affiliation.
(I KNOW THAT YOU WILL BE TURNING THIS IN ONLINE- BUT I MIX THEM UP
WHEN I READ THEM. SO MAKE SURE YOU DO THIS PART)
Plan of action
The introduction serves to inform your reader of the history of the proposal (if applicable) or to
introduce a subject to an informed/uninformed audience.
This is the most important part of your paper in some respects. You need to both introduce the
topic and show the audience why they should care about this topic. It’s often helpful to begin
with an interesting fact, statistic, or anecdote to grab the reader’s attention.
Typically, people only make proposal to solve a problem. As such, you’ll want to highlight a particular problem that you think your proposal would solve. Know your audience so that you can
emphasize the benefits your proposal would bring.
This is a statement of purpose. This section should be brief and only discuss what your actual
proposition is. It is okay for this section to be only a few sentences long if the proposal is short.
Do not include details about how you will carry out the proposal in this section.
3. Plan of Action
How will you go about achieving your proposal? What will you do to show your audience that
you are prepared? This is where you go into detail about how your proposal will be implemented.
A couple things to include:
1. Convince: You need to convince your audience not only that your proposal is a good idea
but also that you’re the person who needs to carry it out. Highlighting your qualifications
about why you’re suited for the task is helpful if you’re the one to carry out the proposal.
2. Detail: In discussing the implementation, you’ll want to give enough detail to show your
audience that you’ve thought about how the process will work. That said, you don’t want to
bore them with overly-technical or boring details.
3. Anticipate: Anticipating potential implementation problems is both good practice and
communicates to your audience that you’ve thought carefully about your proposal and about
potential stumbling blocks.
4. Necessary Resources
Another simple part. What is needed to complete your proposal? Include tangible (paper, money,
computers, etc.)and intangible items such as time.
5. Preparations Made
Show the audience that you know what you are doing. The more prepared you look the better
your chances are to get the proposal passed (or get a better grade if it is for a class).
Do NOT restate your introduction here if you choose to mention the “history” of a certain proposal. However if you did not introduce your proposal with some historical background information, here is the part where you can quickly restate each section above: Proposal, plan of action,
all the “why’s” of the paper and so on.
APA Style: General Guidelines
Double-space entire document
Left Justify all of your text.
Indent each paragraph. You an either click a tab at the start of each paragraph, or use the
ruler. Put the top slider ½ inch in and leave the second slider as is (see below)
Use 1-inch margins throughout (top, bottom, left, right)
Click File, Page Setup, Margins. Fill the appropriate blanks with “1”.
Header – In case your paper becomes unclipped or unstapled (note: please staple or paper clip
your paper prior to turning it in), you need to have a consistent header on all pages. APA
style is to use the first two or three words of the title, then a few spaces, then the page number. To create the header:
Go to the View menu, and select Header and Footer.
Click on the right justification button in the main toolbar.
Type your header, then press the spacebar 5 times.
Click on the “page numbering” button in the Header and Footer toolbar. It is the little number sign (pound key on your cell phone).
Click on “Close” in the Header and Footer toolbar to return to the main body of your text.
Every page of the report will now have the same header as the title page (with different page
Use a single font type font size (12 pt) throughout your paper.
Citing authors’ work
When you talk about the work of other people, it is imperative that you cite their contribution to
your paper, both in the text and in the reference section (see below). Use the following formatting information for citations in the text. Use the word “and” between author names in a sentence, but use the ampersand (“&”) when listing authors inside parentheses. Include the publication year. Follow these examples:
Smith and Jones (1998) surveyed men and found that….
Other researchers (Doe, Reddy, & Smits, 1970; Zucher & Bates, 1968) found…
When listing multiple citations in parentheses, list them in alphabetical order by 1st author. If
you cite a paper with three or more authors on more than one occasion, list all of the authors in
the first citation. In all subsequent citations, use the following: Doe, et al., (1970). DO NOT
INCLUDE ANY INFORMATION OTHER THAN THE AUTHOR’S LAST NAMES AND
YEAR OF PUBLICATION IN THE TEXT. The title, author’s affiliation, journal name, etc.
should appear ONLY in the reference section.
The reference list always begins on a new page, after the last page of the discussion; skip to a
new page by pressing ‘Control-Enter’. Center the word “References” at the top of the page. The
full citations follow, double-spaced, in alphabetical order. Indent the first line of each reference.
(see #2 under formatting above). When you have more than one article with the same first author, put them in alphabetical order by the second author. Multiple one-author citations by the
same person appear in chronological order, earliest reference first.
For a journal article: Give the last names, then initials, of all of the authors, then the publication
date (in parentheses), then the article’s title. Then give the journal title (italicized or underlined),
the volume of the journal (also italicized), and the page numbers for the article.
EX: Peretz, I., Kolinsky, R., Tramo, M., Labrecque, R. Hublet, C., Demeurisse, G., & Belleville,
S. (1994). Functional dissociation following bilateral lesion of auditory cortex. Brain, 117,
For a chapter in an edited book: After the authors’ names and the publication year, give the chapter title. Then, give the editors of the book the title of the book and ghe page numbers of the
book chapter. The final information is the location (if a large city like London or New York, just
give the city) and name of the book’s publisher.
EX: Spence, J.T., Deaux, K., & Helmreich, R.L. (1985). Sex roles in contemporary American
society. In G. Lindzey & E. Aronson (Eds.), Handbook of Social Psychology (Vol. 2, pp.
149-178). New York: Random House.
For a book: Give the authors’ names and the publication year, the title of the book and the publication information.
EX: Willingham, W.W., & Cole, N.S. (1997). Gender and Fair Assessment. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Other, useful tips
Do not use boldface anywhere (underline for emphasis).
Use only one font (and only one font size, preferably 12) throughout the entire document.
Do not use contractions (e.g., “don’t,” “aren’t,” “I’ve”).
Only use abbreviations for long terms. The first time the term appears, give the abbreviation in
parentheses, and use the abbreviation every time thereafter. For example: “The Beck Depression
Inventory (BDI) was used in all of the studies. When other measures of depression were used,
they were used in conjunction with the BDI.”
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