specialized documents

proposal writing

course description and objectives

This course will introduce you to genre of the proposal. Johnson-Sheehan (2008), the author of one of our textbooks, defines a proposal as a "tool for managing change" (p.1). Mikelonis, Betsinger, and Rampf (2004) define proposals as solutions to particular problems: "a proposal is a persuasive document that defines a problem or need, proposes a solution to that problem, and requests funding or other resources to implement the solution" (p.474). However you define the genre, it is clear that technical and professional writers are key players in the proposal genre, acting as proposal writers, development team members, and as consultants.

We will investigate the genre of proposal writing using genre field analysis as our primary methodology. Genre field analysis allows researchers and proposal writers the ability to map the systems in which genres operate by identify the various agents, transformative locales, and play scenarios available at any given time. As a student of this course, you will either identify a particular problem in your workplace or in the field of technical communication and suggest a solution (or solutions) by applying genre field analysis and writing an effective proposal, OR you will conduct research on proposal writing and write up your results for an appropriate publication in your field.

By the end of the course, you should be able to

Required Texts

Johnson-Sheehan, R. (2008). Writing proposals. 2nd ed. New York: Pearson/Longman. ISBN-13: 0-205-58314-0

Mikelonis, V.M., Betsinger, S.T., and Kampf, C. (2004). Grant Seeking in an Electronic Age. New York: Pearson Longman. ISBN: 0-321-16007-X


Weekly discussion forum posts
Short position papers
Problem Statement/Proposal
Proposal or article