Purpose: Choose a problem that is important or interesting to you and propose a solution to it. Proposal arguments call for action! Proposal arguments are extended arguments made because the author wants something to be changed or wants to stop something from being changed. Usually, the hope is that others have something to gain if the problem is solved.
Description of Assignment: Your proposal will demonstrate that there is a problem, and you will provide a solution for it. Your proposal argument will do the following:
o Identify and define the problem
o Propose and demonstrate a feasible solution
o Convince readers that the proposed solution is fair and will work
o Consider multiple perspectives – anticipates and responds to likely objections appropriately by examining the author’s credentials, assumptions, affiliations, and implications
Suggested Organization of Essay: Below are the sections that you should include in the essay, along with how much each section should be developed:
▪ Introduction – Grab attention, introduce the problem, and briefly state the proposed solution/thesis (1-2 paragraphs)
▪ Discuss the problem and explain solution/thesis – Add the research and evidence to show that the problem exists, and end that section with your clearly stated, specific thesis (about 2-3 pages)
▪ Explain/justify the solution – Provide explanation, support, justification, etc. of your proposed solution to show that it is fair, feasible, and will work (about 4 pages)
▪ Acknowledge and counter the opposition – Indicate other solutions and why they are not good enough, and/or counter those who think your proposed solution would not work (about 1 page)
▪ Conclude – Reinforce the solution to the problem and end with a strong impact (1 paragraph)
Each part of the proposal essay is explained in more detail, below:
This is where you will identify and explain the problem. Don’t forget the attention-grabber!
• Provide a description of the problem: What is the problem? What causes it? Who is most affected by it? (Convince your audience with pathos!)
• Describe the background/history of the problem and its significance: how long has it been an issue? (This is also your section to explain any definitions, etc – educate your audience!). Has anyone tried to do anything about it? If so, why haven’t they succeeded?
• Convince your audience that “something needs to change.”
o End this section with your thesis statement: present your proposal – the solution – concisely.
After showing a problem really exists (as explained in the section above), you need to show your proposal/solution; one which is solvable, doable, and practical (feasible)!
Explain your proposal / solution as specifically as you can by explaining the following (be sure to organize it well, and use transitions between your explanations):
• What exactly do you want to achieve?
• How exactly will your solution work?
• Can it be accomplished quickly? Or, will it take a few years?
• Has anything like it been tried elsewhere? If so, what happened?
• If your solution costs money, how much money it will cost? Also, what kinds of materials and labor are needed to make it work?
• Who will be responsible for implementing certain actions?
• How easily can it be implemented?
Justification of your proposal/solution – Provide explanation, support, justification, etc. of your proposed solution to show that it is fair, feasible, and will work. In this section, you must explain: 1.) The reasons your audience should accept your proposal and, 2.) The reasons your audience should act on it. For example: 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. Be sure to answer the questions: “What other solutions have been or might be proposed for this problem, including doing nothing?” And, “Why is YOUR solution better?”
Rebuttal of Opposing Views. Allude to the fact that there will be naysayers to your idea/solution. Then, rebut those against your idea; however, be professional! Do not offend a part of your audience!
Sum up the main points and state your case clearly and directly, so that your audience feels convinced to do something about the problem, i.e. preferably adopt your proposal. You can create call for action, demonstrate how it affects the future, etc.
● At least 6-10 varied academic sources must be used with no more than two deriving from the Internet.
● Source information gained from the library databases are not considered Internet sources.
○ Information gained from reference sources such as an encyclopedia (e. g. Wikipedia.org) or a dictionary will not count as acceptable source material.
● More authoritative sources equate with a stronger body of supporting evidence; weaker sources can hurt your argument.
● Sources can be in the form of journals, magazine articles, books, newspapers, government documents, etc.
Audience: You are writing to a target audience with comparable knowledge regarding the topic. You should identify and demonstrate an awareness of the target audience based upon the topic selection.
Format: 7-9 double-spaced pages, not including title page and reference page, using APA documentation style.
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