Posted: August 3rd, 2022

Homework for writing proposal, press release, and presentation

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How to Write the Proposal

ENGL 2311

This document will walk you through the process of writing your proposal. Below you’ll find explanation and instructions for each component of the proposal. The final document should be 3-5 single-spaced pages and reference 3-5 outside sources.

General Information about Proposals

· Remember that you are selling your project idea and, possibly, your ability to create/implement it, so be persuasive throughout your document.

· Use active, specific verbs.

· Create a persona of a competent writer, organizer, and layout artist—the appearance, correctness, and tone of your proposal are important for establishing your credibility.

· Demonstrate a clear understanding of your audience and their goals and values. Ask yourself: who is reading the proposal? Who will either accept or reject the proposal? How can you best persuade this person/group? What does this person/group want for the company/organization/community?

· Make use of accessibility cues such as headings, bold print, and white space. Your readers will be scanning your document to find specific sections, so facilitate that process for them. Use what you learned in the design and infographic assignments to incorporate well-considered visual appeal and data visuals into your document.

Audience & Format

Use a standard memo heading. This heading format is useful because it states from the start who this document is for, who it is from, the date, and the subject. The heading of the proposal should look like this:

To: TCC NW Campus President

From: Jane Doe

Date: March 10, 2020

Subject: Proposal to Increase Campus Food Options

Summary of the proposal

Briefly summarize your project first and then include a summary of the proposal document (not your project but the actual contents of the document). This helps your reader learn early on how they can navigate the document and what they can expect to find in the following sections. Longer proposals might contain a separate table of contents before the summary.

Definition of the Problem/Definition of the Situation

In this section, explain the problem or need you are addressing in your project. The problem should be specific and distinct. If your project is addressing multiple problems, start with an introduction paragraph and then list the problems in a bulleted list. Remember to use parallel grammatical structure (each item in the list begins with the same part of speech–all “-ing” verbs, all nouns, all adjectives, etc.). After the bulleted list, you will need to include a paragraph describing each bullet point in more detail.

This section is paramount to persuading your reader that your project is needed. You need to include clear, specific, detailed examples to prove your assertions. Make sure your audience understands the problem, what causes it, and who is affected by it.

Make sure the paragraphs in this section elaborate on only the negative aspects of the issue. Do not discuss the positive effects of your project yet because that information is for the objectives section. Always identify the problem or need and make it significant to your reader. Appeal to that person’s priorities: does the proposal reader want to save money? Reduce turnover? Serve the customers better? Improve safety? Convince them that the current situation, without the implementation of your project, is a problem. Consider the campus food options example. The writer of that proposal needed to convince the proposal audience that food options on campus are lacking and that there is a negative effect on students, faculty, and staff.

Data visualizations can also be powerful here, if appropriate. Consider using charts, graphs, maps, diagrams, or relevant pictures to help your audience visualize the issue. Label all visuals using a consistent method (Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.).

Objectives

This section begins with a brief overview paragraph of the benefits that come from this project. Explain how your project will solve the problems listed in the previous section. Show the audience that you understand the problems but also that you understand how to eliminate them. This is the section where you make a persuasive case for what your project will do to address the issue in question.

This is the section where you motivate your audience to action. Show them how they can be part of the solution to the problem. What do they stand to gain from approving, supporting, or funding your idea?

If you included a bulleted list of problems in the preceding section, include a bulleted list here that shows the positive effects of the project. For example, if a lack of food options at TCC causes students to spend less time on campus, then the objectives section would need to show that increasing food options would encourage students to spend more time on campus.

Data visualizations can also be useful in this section depending on the nature of your topic. There may be relevant research and statistics to support the anticipated outcomes of your project. You may also need to rely on logical reasoning and similar examples if you are proposing something new or innovative.

Threats and Weaknesses

This section should address potential threats to the success of this project or weaknesses in the plan. These should be factors outside your control. Explain what these factors are and then briefly explain how they can be mitigated if the project is approved. If they cannot be mitigated, explain why the benefits of the project still outweigh the drawbacks.

Needs Assessment

The remainder of your proposal should document the requirements for executing this project. Depending on your topic, you may need to break this into several sections. Potential needs of a project include:

· The budget – if you are able to assess this, include a table that breaks down how much this project costs to implement.

· The timeline – if you are able to assess this, include a calendar, list, or table that identifies key checkpoints or dates for completing the project.

· The personnel – if you are able to assess this, explain who will complete the various tasks associated with implementing this project.

Please note the statement “if you are able to assess this.” I am not expecting you to be experts in business, budgeting, or product design. When I evaluate your project, I consider whether you chose an appropriate audience for your proposal, and whether you thought through and answered the questions your audience might have before approving your proposal. I am also concerned with the layout and appearance of your document—does it take into consideration CRAP principles? For example, I am not concerned that your budget section contains realistic numbers, but I expect that you will use your knowledge of information organization to create a table that would make a simple budget readable and clean.

Conclusion

A proposal conclusion corresponds to the closing of a letter. This section is your closing argument and restates why you believe the audience should approve the project. Use a courteous, enthusiastic, and persuasive tone. Ask for approval to continue this project and feedback on your ideas. Suggest next steps if necessary and provide contact information should the audience need to reach you.

References

Document all sources used. There is a not a prescribed format for this; however, reader should easily find the source if they choose. However you document your sources, be consistent with the formatting (MLA, APA, etc.).

How to Write the Press Release
ENGL 2311

Audience and Purpose
Organizations that have something to announce, like a new program or event, write press
releases to announce the information to the public and generate publicity. Before the internet
enabled companies to establish a web presence, they sent these documents to news outlets and
relied on newspapers to report the information in the press release. Today, many organizations
post press releases to their own social media pages and websites to promote their activities.
Organizations rely on press releases to market themselves, and reporters rely on press releases to
help them stay informed about programs and events that might interest their readers.

In the proposal, you were writing to a company, organization, or group and asking them to
approve or fund your project idea. In the press release, you are writing as the company,
organization, or group. This means you must make new considerations about audience and
purpose to compose the press release. While the audience isn’t everyone within a given
community, it is written to a broad audience of potentially interested community members.

For example, if my proposal is asking TCC administration to expand food options on campus,
my press release imagines that TCC approved this proposal. TCC would then write the press
release that tells people they are expanding food options on campus.

Examples
Use the resource links in this folder to read through several press releases. There are links to
press release pages for TCC, JPS Health Network, and Lockheed Martin. Examine tone and
style. Think about word choice and the arrangement of the information presented.

Format and Style
Because press releases are similar to news articles, your press release should follow basic
principles of news writing. That means:

• Start with a descriptive headline – “TCC to Expand Food Options on Campus”
• Use third person and stay neutral – Instead of “We are expanding food options,” say,

“TCC is expanding food options.” Describe who, what, where, when, why, and how, but
avoid biased or subjective language.

• Get to the point – the first sentence should explicitly state the “what.” Everything after
that is supporting information.

• Include data – if you used data in your proposal to persuade your audience to act, that
information could be relevant to the press release audience.

• Use quotes – Keep these relevant, but you can make them up. For example: According to
TCC student Idris Elba, “there were not enough food options on campus, so I am glad we
will have more choices without leaving campus.”

• Edit more than once – Organizations want their press releases to be widely read. It is
crucial to adhere to Standard Written English and double check these documents for
errors.

Companies and organizations may have specific formats for their own press releases. However,
most press releases contain the following components. Your press release should look like this:

Name of Company Contact Person (find this information online or make it up.)
Company name
Email address
Phone number
Website

Title in bold (make it active—“TCC Expands Food Options, Creates Food Truck Park”)

City, State, Month Day, Year – First paragraph begins here. Summarize the project and include a
clear statement of the “what.” Remember, this document assumes the proposal audience has
approved your idea. Maintain a neutral, third person tone throughout the document. Press
releases are like news stories, so avoid explanations and descriptions that sound like opinions.
You can include quotes from people if you would like to include commentary.

Additional paragraphs should detail the remaining who, what, where, when, why information not
presented in the first paragraph. However, be careful not to go overboard. A press release should
be a short, easily digested document that highlights the important information and explains the
project. Consult the resource links to read real press releases.

About Company/Organization in bold (optional)
This section is called the boilerplate. It is an optional, generic paragraph a company or
organization might attach at the bottom of a press release that describes who they are. You
should know what this is, but you are not required to include this in your own document. Some
companies include these, and some do not.

Howto Create the Presentation

ENGL 2311

Purpose and Audience

You must create a presentation to accompany your proposal and press release documents. You can make this presentation using PowerPoint, Prezi, Google Slides, or something similar. The purpose of the presentation is to visually summarize your project for the proposal audience. Imagine you can meet with your proposal audience and explain your project idea in a 10-minute presentation pitch.

To do this, you need to translate the written ideas of your proposal into a visually appealing presentation. Include pictures, data visuals, and other graphics applicable to your project.

Suggestions and Guidelines for the PowerPoint/Prezi/Google Slides

Consider the following general guidelines as you prepare the presentation.

· This presentation should be primarily visual. If someone wants to read every detail of your project, they can read the proposal. A presentation is meant to be viewed with minimal reading required. If the audience must read too much text on screen, they won’t be paying attention to you. When creating your presentation, consider these tips:

· DO include pictures/graphics/data visualizations that show what the project will do. Use bullet points and keywords.

· DON’T try to include every detail from the proposal.

· DO tell a story about who benefits from your project and why.

· DON’T include chunks of text more than a few sentences.

· DO make smart, thoughtful choices about color schemes, fonts, and overall presentation design.

· DON’T use excessive special effects (PowerPoint has a lot of options here, and many of them are unnecessarily distracting).

· The presentation does not need to address every detail of your project. Consider some combination of these talking points:

· Introduce the problem in question (i.e. what problem exists that this project is addressing?) Briefly state what inspired you to address this issue.

· Identify why the proposal audience should care about this issue.

· Identify the main way your project addresses the problem.

· Identify who benefits from the project and why.

· List threats and weaknesses to the project.

· If necessary, highlight the special needs of the project (budgets, timelines, personnel, etc.)

· Practice talking through your presentation multiple times. Time yourself to see how fast or slow you speak. Memorize the information on each slide so you can focus on eye contact with your audience. Anticipate questions your audience might pose at the conclusion.

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