Proposal essays ask the reader “to do something that [they] are not currently doing and to take action” (244). For this paper, you are asked to think about a situation that you will face in your current or future professional career and to propose a solution to that problem.
Chapter 11 in Read, Reason, Write on “Presenting Proposals” is a good place to start. As the introduction to the chapter makes clear, proposals are argumentative position papers that use research to support their conclusions. To find a topic:
1. Ask yourself if you are currently facing a decision in your workplace. If you are not, imagine the sort of choices you might have to make in the future in your profession.
2. Contact someone currently employed in the field that you expect to work in. If you are having trouble coming up with a topic, ask them what sort of everyday dilemmas they face. If you have an issue, ask if it is one that they have faced and how they dealt with it. You may want to contact your advisor or a professor in your major to help you determine an appropriate topic.
3. Contact someone in your field who will be willing to read the rough draft of your essay. Find someone who will work with you.
4. Draft your essay proposing a specific solution to a dilemma in your field, using sources as evidence to support your opinion.
In every career, decisions must be made based on value judgments. If a plumber accidentally overcharges a client, do they have a responsibility to refund the payment that they received? Should a political candidate be able to use their private monetary resources to fund campaign advertisements? Should an advertiser be allowed to minimize the harmful effects of a product in order to sell it? Should an insurance adjustor be able to increase their company’s profits by refusing to pay claims based on loopholes? Should artists be able to reward radio stations that play their music? Should teachers be able to sell books that they receive as free desk copies? Your finished paper should be 1500 words in MLA format with at least three print-based sources outside our textbook. You will need a counterargument paragraph before your conclusion that summarizes and refutes opposing proposals.
In addition to doing a peer review for this assignment, I will be asking you to collect an outside review via email. For your outside review, ask the person that you have read your completed essay if your proposal is (1) “feasible” – “that its solution will have the intended effects and that it fits the situation” (248). Also, (2) ask your reviewer if they have ever faced a similar situation. You will need to post their answers to the designated forum.
The final paper should not focus on the problem, but instead should be primarily about your proposed solution. Your introduction can provide any background needed on the problem. For your thesis, you have two choices. You can present a single solution and detail the reasons why it is the best. Those reasons will become the basis for your topic sentences. Or, you can provide multiple solutions for the problem. Then, your topic sentences will each involve one part of your solution. Again, please make sure that you are not focused on the problem in the workplace, but the solution. My previous students have used this assignment to make dramatic changes in their current workplaces. I hope that you will too.
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