There are some basic features that all proposals are likely to contain, which are summarised in the table below (based on information in Björk, Björk & Räisänen, 1996). However, the information provided is only a guideline – you may need to adjust according to your document’s purpose and your discipline’s preferences.
|1. A well-stated definition of the problem||
|2. A clearly stated proposal to solve the problem||
|3. Awareness of alternative proposals||
|4. An evaluation of the benefits of your proposal||
|5. Possible counter arguments to your proposal||
|6. A careful analysis of your audience||
|7. A reasonable, sensible tone||
An academic proposal, such as an application for PhD studies, usually looks a bit different from a business proposal. The following sections are commonly found in an academic proposal:
- Introduction and Theoretical Framework
- Statement of the Problem
- Purpose of the Study
- Review of the Literature
- Research Questions and/or Hypotheses
- The Design – Methods and Procedures
- Limitations and Delimitations
- Significance of the Study
You will find information on all the sections here: The Elements of a Proposal by Frank Pajares
N.B. Information regarding features of other proposal types will be available here in the future.
Reference: Björk,L., Björk, M. & C. Räisänen (1996). Academic Writing, A University Writing Course. Studentlitteratur.