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What are the Best Methods for Proposal Writing?

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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2016
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Proposals can play important roles within an organization. Major issues, such as funding or policy change, are often won or lost based on the proposals that address them. This means that the task of proposal writing is often an essential one. Those who are assigned the duty can increase the effectiveness of their proposal by considering their methods of audience analysis, persuasion, and presentation.

Audience analysis is a method that many people mistakenly ignore. A proposal should be a very targeted document. This may seem difficult when the audience consists of numerous people, but the writer should try to get an assessment that is as accurate as possible. For the assessment to be accurate, the writer should understand what the audiences' concerns are. This can allow the writer to effectively present information to combat reservations and to highlight selling points.

Persuasion is one of the primary tools used in proposal writing. Therefore, a writer should pay a great deal of attention to her persuasion methods. Since proposal writing is usually about encouraging action, a proposal should steer the audience in the direction of that action. For such a document to be effective, it must make the audience feel as though the writer has given them the correct answer. If a proposal leaves the audience with a feeling that the writer does not want to impose on their opinions, the document has not served its purpose.

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The writer does not want the proposal to be taken as a dodgy sales pitch. This can happen if the audience feels that the writer is trying to gloss over a subject by either focusing on the superficial benefits of the proposed idea or by intentionally ignoring potential concerns. The person who writes a proposal should have in-depth knowledge about the proposed idea. When there are aspects that could be considered cons, it is often best to address these directly.

Proposal writing also requires clarity. It must be remembered that, in many cases, proposals present solutions to audiences who are unaware that they have a need. This means that an effective proposal often requires a description of a problem or an area that can be improved. If this is not done clearly and thoroughly, the proposed idea could be viewed as frivolous or able to be delayed.

Some writers also make the mistake of trying to use length to their advantage. An unnecessarily long proposal may have effects that are opposite of those that were intended. If all of the information has been clearly and intelligently presented, and there is nothing further to write, it is best to write nothing further.

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