Monday, 12 December 2011

Objective Proficiency p 73. Examples of Proposal. Extra Writing

 What is a proposal?

Complete this paragraph with the words given below.

convince, convictions, document, evaluate, formal/neutral, forward-looking, justifies, language, points, punchy, recommendations, succint.

A proposal is a 1___________ that is designed to be 2_______________. It sets out- and 3________________- a particular course of action in response to a particular situation or context. It is 4________________ in orientation and contains clear 5_________________. Its purpose is to 6________________, therefore both the 7______________ used and the ordering of 8________________ are persuasive throughout, reflecting the 9_______________ behind the proposal. It starts with a 10____________________ introduction, is appropriately 11______________ in tone and concludes with a suitably 12____________ ending


A proposal is a 1document that is designed to be 2 evaluated. It sets out- and 3 justifies - a particular course of action in response to a particular situation or context. It is 4 forward-looking in orientation and contains clear 5 recommendations. Its purpose is to 6 convince, therefore both the 7 language used and the ordering of 8 points are persuasive throughout, reflecting the 9 convictions behind the proposal. It starts with a 10 succinct introduction, is appropriately 11 formal/neutral in tone and concludes with a suitably 12 punchy ending

set out: to present ideas, facts, etc. in an organized way, in speech or writing. E.g. He set out his objections to the plan. She set out the reasons for her resignation in a long letter.
course of action: a way of acting in or dealing with a particular situation. E.g. What course of action would you recommend? 
forward-looking: looking at the future in a positive way and happy to try new ideas and methods. Planning for the future. E.g. a forward-looking company. We need someone dynamic and forward-looking. A forward-looking policy/strategy/plan.
succinct: /səkˈsɪŋkt/ expressed clearly and in a few words. Concise. E.g. Keep your answers as succinct as possible.
punchy: having a strong effect because it expresses something clearly in only a few words. E.g. a bright, punchy style of writing

A proposal has a similar layout to a report, but is a recommendation for the future, while a report is about something that has happened. The text is divided in paragraphs, each of which has a subheading, which is usually written in bold letters or underlined.

Examples of subheadings:

Main problems

Current situation

Useful phrases 


As requested, I am submitting the following proposal on...

The main purpose / aim of (this proposal) is to outline / present / discuss / examine / evaluate...

This proposal outlines / looks at / is based on...

This proposal contains the relevant information concerning / the details of / ..., which you  requested / asked for ...


It is a fact that..., which means that...

It is clear from the citizens' / inhabitants' / customers' / students' feedback that...

In the light of (this year’s experience),...

With regard to..., the general view seems to be...


(describing your ideas, justifying them and listing the benefits)

We suggest / propose that... / -ing. We would then be able to...

If the centre / school / organisation is to attract more customers / students..., it is vital that...

I (therefore) recommend that we should... / -ing

It is strongly advised to...

We / I feel certain that.../ believe that... / I feel strongly that we should ...

I propose that radical changes should be made to...

We should / could also...

It is vital...

It is (therefore) believed / obvious that...would be ideal for...

It would be a good idea to...

It would seem sensible to...

To improve the situation, we recommend opting for the following course of action: ...

It would (not) be advisable / practical to...

If we were to..., we could... / it would...

In the short / long term, we suggest you should consider...-ing

My recommendations are as follows: ...

This idea is feasible because...

In the first instance, this would mean...

The short term / long term benefits include...

The advantages of the approach proposed would be that ...

This course of action would be beneficial since...

This would be of considerable benefit to...

A (more spacious area) would be the solution…/ an effective way of…

Perhaps the most effective way of…

We hope to develop... 

It is recommended that… 


To sum up / To conclude,...

The best solution seems to be...

The evidence (undoubtedly) points towards...

In light of the above, we believe the following measures should be adopted: ...

There appears to be no alternative but to...

I trust these recommendations... / these proposals will be given due consideration...

I trust you will give my proposal your full consideration.

I hope that the plan / recommendations outlined / presented in this proposal meets /meet

with your approval... / will receive your serious consideration.

I feel certain / believe that the course of action proposed above will achieve... / answer the needs of...

In the short/long term, we suggest you should consider…

Examples of proposals

1. You are asked by the Principal of a college in Australia where you are studying to write a proposal for how to improve the college’s website. The suggestions given include the classrooms, library, language laboratory, canteen and sports field, and you are asked to choose two of these in order to give an idea of the variety of the facilities which the college offers.

Here is an example of how to write a proposal. Pay attention to the layout (title, subheadings) and the neutral style, appropriate for this type of writing.

Suggestions for the new College Website
The purpose of this proposal is to suggest which two of the college’s many facilities should feature on the updated website, and to give reasons for my choice.

The language laboratory
Our college prides itself on its international atmosphere, and in order to maintain and develop this aspect of its appeal, I think we should give prominence to the support given to students whose first language is not English. Our language laboratory provides a first-class resource for students wishing to improve their listening comprehension and spoken fluency, and I know from my own experience that many students have found this an invaluable resource.

The Sports Field
One major factor students take into account when choosing an institution is the opportunities for recreation that it offers. For this reason I think that we should give space on the website to promoting our sports field, where students can relax and enjoy themselves after time spent in the library or classroom. This facility also provides opportunities for students from different courses to meet and socialize.

Although it is not easy to single out just two facilities among the many on offer, I think that the two I have selected, the language laboratory and the sports field, give the clearest idea of the range of services the college offers to its students.

Example 2 
You local council is proposing to ban all cars from the town centre because of problems with traffic, pollution and accidents. However, the following comments were made at a public meeting to discuss the situation:
- My car is the only way I have of taking my children to school safely and quickly.
- The shops in the town centre will close because people will go elsewhere to do their shopping.
- Public transport here is dreadful. We can't rely on it and it's too expensive.
The local council is inviting people to send in proposals in which they express their views on the council's plan and offer possible solutions to people's concerns.
Write your proposal. (300-350 words)

An approach to this task.
You should begin by thinking about what you will say. Probably the easiest approach is to come out in favour of the proposal, but add modifications in order to address the concerns of residents. For example:
- taking children to school – proposed solution, a school bus
- shopping – a new car park with shuttle bus
- public transport is dreadful – you propose improving it
You can then make an outline, like this
Introduction – the council's plan, my view (favourable), objections
Taking children to school – state problem, offer solution
Shopping – state problem, offer solution
Public transport – state problem, offer solution
Conclusion – a brief summary of your proposals

Here is an example answer.

A Proposed Solution to the Traffic Problems in Brigston Town Centre
The Council's plan and objections to it
As is widely-known, the Brigston Town Council are proposing a ban on all motor traffic
from the town centre, an area which includes the main shopping area as well as St Mary's
Primary School. I strongly support this plan, which I feel will result in a noticeable
improvement in the quality of life of local residents. However, several concerns were
raised at the recent public meeting held to discuss the proposed ban. In this proposal I will
address these concerns and attempt to find workable solutions for each of them.

Taking and collecting children from school
Several parents expressed the view that the car was the only way to take their children to
school and collect them in the afternoon. I propose a radically improved school bus
service, with an increased number of pick-up and drop-off points. In this way parents
would no longer need to drive their children to school and pollution from car fumes would
decline substantially.

Shopping in the town
Several shopkeepers were worried about the negative effect that a ban would have on
trade. However, many local residents are already reluctant to patronise shops in the centre
due to the difficulty of finding parking spaces. I propose therefore that the council should
build a large multi-storey car park on King Street, and link this to the centre with a system
of free and frequent shuttle buses. This would make shopping easier for local residents
and visitors to the town alike, as well as reducing accidents, congestion and pollution.

Negative perceptions of public transport.
There is some truth in the view that existing public transport provision is inadequate. In
part, however, this is due to the fact that local residents are unwilling to forgo using their
own car, despite the negative consequences that this provokes. A radically improved
system, as outlined above, should go a long way to altering these perceptions.

The proposals I have outlined, namely, an improved school bus service, a new car park
and a system of shuttle buses will, I am sure, radically improve the quality of life of our
residents and I hope that the Council will take them into consideration.

Example 3: The president of an English-language society has asked its members to put forward proposals to attract more members to the society.

Recommendations to increase the number of members of the English-language society.

The aim of this proposal is to give recommendations on what new events to organise in order to attract more people to join our society. It also suggests varied ways in which we can make our current activities more appealing.

The current situation
There are a number of cultural activities that we offer in our society such as the book club, which meets on Saturday afternoons to discuss a classic book, and the cinema group, in which a black and white film is projected once a month. While both events have proved to be popular among older people, mainly middle-aged women, there are very few young people showing interest in participating. As a result of this, the society has failed to grow and in fact our statistics show that we are actually losing members little by little.

How to attract new members
I suggest that we create events aimed at people in their early and mid-twenties. For example, we can organize pop concerts, inviting the local bands who perform English covers, or fan clubs, where members can meet to talk about their favourite British actors or actresses.
We should also try to attract more males to our society and one way to do this is through sport. I recommend forming a football or tennis club. We can get together to watch the EuroCup matches or the Wimbledon games and then talk about them.
Regarding our current events, the book club and the cinema group, I think we should keep them but I suggest discussing modern books and passing premier films from time to time to widen our range of participants.

There should be no delay in creating appealing activities to attract new members, such as the suggested pop concerts, fan clubs and sport groups. We should also maintain the book club and the cinema group, which have proved to be successful in the past, but including the discussion and projection of some modern books and films which may be interesting to young people.

Example 4

A proposal to improve workplace communication

Improving workplace communication: a proposal

The aim of this proposal is to assess the current situation with regard to workplace communication, go on to identify the needs which should be addressed by a staff training programme and conclude by describing this training programme.

Current situation

Feedback from other members of staff suggests that the volume of email messages we receive has become a problem. Many people find that they spend several hours a day responding to these messages. A second but related complaint concerned poorly written emails. Many of us receive messages that cause offence, are difficult to understand or are simply far too long.

Key needs to be addressed
Both the number of email messages we receive and the quality of the messages have a negative impact on our productivity. People feel disinclined to respond to rude, confusing or excessively lengthy messages. This issue must be addressed.
I would suggest the following to the Staff Training and Development Department:
·         All members of staff should be encouraged to communicate by phone whenever possible.
·         Any information that needs to be communicated to the entire staff should be presented in a face-to-face meeting that through email.
·         A training course on writing effective email messages should be offered to all staff members
The proposals I have outlined, namely, communication by phone as a general policy, face-to-face communication in a staff meeting when necessary and a training course will radically improve the quality of workplace communication and effectiveness. Therefore, I hope that the Training and Development Department will take them into consideration.

Another possible task
The mayor of your city has awarded you a grant to create a cultural space in your city. It can be a sculpture, a mural on the side of a building, or a piece of music to be played through speakers during the day. Choose and design something which you feel will reflect the culture of your city, and decide where it will be installed. 

1 comment:

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