Proposal AssignmentThis is your research project for the course. One “big” paper, but 3 components – all on the same topic: 1. The Topic – this is to make sure students get started and have a legitim

Proposal AssignmentThis is your research project for the course.  One “big” paper, but 3 components – all on the same topic: 1. The Topic – this is to make sure students get started and have a legitimate idea to work on.  2. The Abstract – this is similar to an outline and is a check in the middle to see that you are progressing.  The Abstract is also included in the final paper.  3. The Final Paper itself.  What is a Proposal? In business and government, a proposal is a persuasive document that sells a law, product, strategy, or service you are proposing. Proposals may be unsolicited or requested (i.e., an RfP – Request for Proposal). A goal or objective is not a proposal.  You need to be clear on what actions will be taken to achieve the goal.

You have received an RfP for a project or potential law for the government to undertake or work on in the next legislative session, or if in California, potentially a ballot proposition for the voters to consider. You can choose any level of government, Federal, State, local, including even SCC, but you can only dictate what ONE governmental entity can do.  So, you can mandate CALIFORNIA, but not each state independently. Texas, for example, would be able to do something different. If you want ALL states, then it must be a Federal mandate. You can mandate Fairfield, but you can’t mandate ALL cities.  If you want ALL cities, it would need to be at state or federal level.  Etc.  This comes into play for things like prison related topics (most inmates are in state prisons, not federal), education (most education rules are set on state/local level) etc.

Pick a ROLE and PLAY it.  You can be a citizen, a businessperson, a congressperson, an executive, a member of a non-profit or Political Action Committee…Anything you want. Then assume that persona for your style and approach.

Pick a topic from anything that you would like to see the government do or law that you would like to see passed. Topic selection is part of the grading criteria. If you pick something overdone (2nd Amend, abortion, marijuana, gay marriage) that is fine, but expect to be graded more stringently for plagiarism. You will also have a higher standard for research and creative/new ideas and approaches.

BE PRECISE with your Proposal.  Tell me EXACTLY/SPECIFICALLY what action you are proposing to do.  This is NOT a paper to “talk about” an issue, or explore possible paths, or only discuss pros and cons. For example: Bad – “Lets talk about speed limits and traffic fatalities”   Good: “This is a proposal to decrease speed limits on all interstate highways to 35mph.”  Proposal statement itself must be in BOLD type.  Ex: “Traffic fatalities are increasing to an unacceptable rate, therefore, This is a proposal to decrease speed limits on all interstate highways to 35mph.”  DO NOT bold everything, just the statement. The actual proposal is NOT limited to 1 sentence.  However, it MUST be precise and complete.  If it is part of your plan, it should be IN the proposal statement. Think of it as an extended thesis statement.

ANYONE can come up with a nice sounding idea, but that is less than half of what you need for a good proposal.  YOUR task is to connect an idea or goal to a specific plan to achieve that goal and propose that plan be enacted.  Example: “Schools should OPEN!”  Duh.  How specifically will that be accomplished?

Standard for all work is typed, double spaced, 12 point, Arial or Times New Roman Font (this is to give a standard idea for how much a “page” is, mostly just needs to be readable size and font). Abstract is single spaced.

Please “Justify” your text ( Select all, then Ctrl-J -this makes is look more professional).

Total text (What YOU write) should be 3000 words or more. Turn in as attachment only (no hard copy required), in Canvas.

Internal Citations/footnotes and Bibliography required – details below.

  • You MUST provide internal citation or footnote for ANYTHING/EVERYTHING that you use from any other source

You MUST cite ALL graphs, etc. IN the chart, in your text after any reference, and ALSO in the Bibliography.   In MSWord, right click on your Chart and use “Insert Caption” for LABEL and Cite

  • Please take advantage of SCC Writing Center for help or use Purdue OWL or other websites linked below.  OR ask me for feedback for your rough draft.
  • IF you are using WORD, GOTO References, then Insert Citation.  Choose APA or MLA style
  • DO NOT EXPECT to pass if you do not properly cite

You MUST use MS Office or Open Office, PDF or Google Docs (Do not require me to sign in to Google docs or get permission to access. DOWNLOAD it into Canvas so you can see it properly attached.  You can download OO free Open Office ).

Recommend saving file as a PDF and submitting that.  This helps with retaining margins and page breaks and makes paper look more polished.


Include the following elements. Label them ( “Abstract,” “Introduction,” etc.  Do not label title page) and start each new section on a new page:

Title page (feel free to be creative here with design. You want something attractive to draw in potential readers)

  • Title of proposal
  • Name of organization, writer, writers, submitting proposal (You can be ANY level of government you want, from Solano ASSC to US Federal)
  • Date on which the proposal is submitted

Table of Contents

  • Provide complete, clear listing of contents with page numbers. Do not include title page
  • List of illustrations, charts, etc.

Abstract (or summary)

No more than 1 page –  3 paragraphs, one for each bullet function, single spaced. Submit (copy and paste) a “sample”/rough draft abstract as a progress check on the project, then include in final paper as well. Needs to be an abstract not an intro: A summary, condensed statement of what your proposal will cover:

  • Clear statement of your proposal in BOLD font. Needs specific wording: “I propose that…” or “This is a proposal to…”
  • Clear overview of what your paper will cover in order to support the proposal: “In order to support the proposal, this paper will examine…1., 2., 3….”
  • Clear statement of expected outcome if proposal goes into effect. “If this proposal is enacted the following outcomes are expected…”

Make it easier on yourself (and me to grade) by just using my exact wording.  A,B,C, should be their own paragraph even if short.

Introduction (Purpose and Problem)

1 page minimum. Double spaced. Purpose – tell your readers the reason for your proposal (explain why you are writing and what you hope to achieve);

  • Highlight the importance of your proposal. Include data or anecdote to grab attention of reader.
  • Clearly state the problem (and reveal your knowledge of the situation).
  • Note: Spend more time explaining the problem than on stating the proposal’s purpose.

Discussion (the body of the proposal)

5 pages of text minimum suggested (a full-page chart does not count as a page). Sell your idea, service, or suggested solution. What will make the reader support or vote for the proposal?  Provide any or all of the following components as needed for you specific topic.

Examples of what you might include in your discussion, but you may choose what issues and organization you feel is appropriate (#1 mandatory):

  1. Analysis of problem – studies, strategies, techniques.
  2. A “literature review” similar to our other assignment.
  3. Details of proposal – How does it work? What would it do?
  4. Analysis of political climate regarding issue -what are chances it could be done? Barriers?
  5. Literature review – review some of the main authors/work that has defined your proposal area in the academic literature. (Prof Bundenthal really likes this idea. If you do it, put it first after your intro.)
  6. Who needs to be involved and at what point
  7. Options for solutions, particularly your recommended proposal
  8. Chains of command (organizational charts)
  9. Plan of action with different phases
  10. Schedules for implementation
  11. Budget, Etc.


1 page minimum

  • Sum up your proposal and provide a sense of closure
  • If appropriate restate the problem, your solution, and the probable benefits

Glossary (optional)

In a proposal going to a multi-level audience, provide a glossary that explains any technical terms you have included.  Make sure your glossary is in alphabetical order and is easy to read

Works cited/Bibliography

  • FULL CITATION for all material used listed here. Any reader must be able to go to your original source and see exactly what you saw.
  • Make sure to use standard citation format consistently and accurately (e.g., MLA citations)

Tips:•Present the benefits of your proposal or solution•Anticipate the probable objections of your opponents and respond to or “preempt” them.


  • Each one should have a citation for the original source and include approximately 1 paragraph of your analysis/text that explains that Image. Examples of this are seen in the Domhoff article and Letter from Bill Gates linked below.
  • I want this information to DRIVE your body analysis.  If you have good data, the text writes itself as you describe and interpret what we see.
  • These DO NOT COUNT as a “page” so are in addition to the minimums listed above.
  • Do NOT simply cut and paste net info. It is your job to analyze, evaluate, synthesize, apply, and give context.
  • What does that chart/statistic MEAN? Why is it RELEVANT? What questions does it present? What are the answers? Your grade will depend on your “value added” –ie, what analysis, interpretations, perspectives do you make that add to our understanding of the problem area. Insert these into the Text and use text wrap or lines to divide from regular text. If you find good charts/data and explain them, the body writes itself.
  • My expectation is that you will find and properly cite these charts via your research.  However, if you have data that is not in chart form, it is quite easy to in MS Office with Excel or Open Office and other programs.  If you create your own, please make it clear and I will give you significant bonus consideration.
  • You MUST cite ALL graphs, etc. in the paper.   In MSWord, right click on your Chart and use “Insert Caption.”
  • You MUST use MS Office or Open Office,


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