Short Proposal Essay GuidelinesThis is a featured page

ENC 1102
Instructor: Natasha Olivera
Essay Assignment #4: Short Proposal

While the first phase of the assignment taught you how to generate significant and problematic questions, the second phase will ask you to respond to those questions in the form of a short proposal. You will propose the issue that you are considering in order to convince your instructor and your classmates that your tentative issue has good potential, is timely and important. The goal of the Proposing a Solution Essay is to make an argument that calls an audience to action. You’ll make a claim that some action should or ought to be taken. As a group you will offer a solution to one of the problems you identified in your Exploratory Essay. Your solution will be a positive step in the larger problem of marginalization that we’ve grappled with all semester. By focusing your argument on one specific public problem, you will be responding to the frequently asked question: But what can we do?

This part of the assignment calls for a short proposal that will contain the following four parts:

1. A description of the problem (summarize what is going on and why it is important to your targeted audience, appeal to your readers pathos).
2. A proposal for a solution (Here you will need to gather from your preliminary research to help you consider possible solutions and appeal to your readers logos).
3. A justification for the solution (assert your position, make your claim; your thesis)
4. Identify and analyze who your targeted audience is. Specify the characteristics of your audience. Some questions to consider: How would you define them in terms of age, economic and social class, gender, education, etc.? What typical attitudes, stances, or biases about your topic does this audience hold? What in their background or daily experiences helps explain their point of view? What are they likely to know about your topic? How might they be uninformed or misinformed about it? How would they like to see the problem, question, or issue resolved, answered, or handled? Why? That is, what personal stake do they have in the topic? In what larger framework--religious, ethical, political, economic--do they place your topic? That is, what general beliefs and values does your audience hold?

You should spend considerable time creating a tentative thesis. You can start by taking a look at some controversial points of views currently being debated about your topic/ issue, then take your own stand on the issue and SUPPORT your claims with evidence from your preliminary research. (see page 453 in Chapter 14 for an example)

Length/Format Your proposal should be approximately 600 words. You may want to organize your proposal by using headings and bullets. You may want to have an outline format that discusses the four items above. All items on the list above should be addressed in your proposal, so think about how you can clearly organize your material to convince the reader that your topic is timely and important. You must also include a works cited page of any information you cite.


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