After your writing group has decided on the kinds of writing you will cover in your project and the way you will publish your project online, you are write a short proposal as a group that tells me your group’s plans. I will review and approve your proposal (or suggest some changes).
Your primary audience for this project is me. Your primary goal is to tell me about your project and to give me enough details to demonstrate that you are collaborating successfully.
Your group’s proposal has the secondary audience of you and your group members, and the secondary purpose of allowing you and your group members to make decisions about your writing guide, such as team responsibilities and strategies to ensure project unity and coherence.
The Project Assignment
Step 1: Set up a Google Doc for your group’s proposal.
Perhaps an obvious step, but someone in your group needs to set up a Google Doc where you will compose your proposal. Share the Doc with everyone in your group, so that you can all edit. Also share the Doc with me (email@example.com).
Step 2: Make preliminary decisions about your project together.
Following the instructions in the writing guide assignment, decide on the kinds of writing your group will profile and the way that you will publish your project online. Use the table of kinds of writing that your group created to make your selections of the most useful kinds of writing to profile.
As you discuss the way you will publish your project online, consider the tools that you will use for the project and whether your group has the expertise necessary to complete the project in a specific medium. For instance, if only one member of your group has experience with HTML coding, building a website may not be the best choice.
Step 3: Write a group proposal that outlines all of your decisions.
Your proposal should include the following information:
Give some background on your group’s focus. Discuss the overall characteristics and interests that your group shares to provide a context for the kinds of writing and the approach that your group will take for the project.
Kinds of writing to be profiled
Outline the different kinds of writing that your guide will profile. You must include one kind of writing for each group member. For instance, if you have six group members, your guide must profile six kinds of writing. Provide enough information to identify the kinds of writing completely. Your explanation should make it clear that the kinds of writing are distinct and different.
Publication medium and related tools
Consulting the information in the writing guide assignment, choose the medium and related tools that you will use to publish your guide online so that everyone in the class can benefit from your work. Your proposal should indicate the medium you have chosen, why it is the best choice, and how you will take advantage of it to explain the details about the kinds of writing you will profile. In addition, your group should provide some preliminary information about the tools that you will use to publish the work. For example, if you are creating a series of videos, you would need to talk about how you will film them, how you will edit them, and where you will publish them. My strongest piece of advice here is to choose something that your group will enjoy working on together. Have fun with your project.
Methods of research
Discuss how your group will find out about the different kinds of writing you are profiling. Identify any resources you will use, people you will interview, or examples and experience that you have that will be part of your research for the guide.
Group member responsibilities and qualifications
Each of you must contribute to the final project, but you will determine how you collaborate. You may write the entire guide collaboratively or divide sections up among group members. Additionally, you will need to make some decisions to take advantage of group member expertise, assigning roles like a team manager to make sure everyone remembers group deadlines, an editor who proofreads everything, a continuity reader who makes sure that the different sections flow together in a unified way, a technical expert who is in charge of getting everything online, and so forth. You can choose whatever roles work for your group. There are no required roles.
Set a schedule for your project, including target dates for various stages of completion. Create your schedule to finish by the due date. If your group gets down to the last minute and needs to use the grace period, that’s fine; but plan to be on time.
In your schedule, address issues such as when preliminary research will be complete, when you will have a first draft of your profiles, and when you will have your first full draft. The specific work you do will depend upon your publishing medium. For instance, if you are doing videos, you may set a target date for creating scripts and/or storyboards before you begin recording your videos.
Request for approval
Business and technical proposals typically end with a section that asks for approval to begin work on the project. In your concluding section, your group can also ask for guidance or articulate any concerns.
Step 4. Review your project for design and basic writing errors.
Once you have a full draft of your proposal, review your work to ensure it includes all the required information and makes a good first impression. In terms of design, pay particular attention to your use of headings and layout to make your proposal clear and unified. Incorporate tables and charts as appropriate to organize the information.
Also check your work for accuracy and correctness. Everything you write should use accurate/appropriate image editing, grammar, spelling, punctuation, mechanics, linking, and formatting. These are important basic writing skills that you should have developed in high school. Review your entire project, referring to the details listed in the Ten Ways to Improve Your Writing and the grammar and design Lynda.com videos included on that page.
Step 5: Submit your proposal in Canvas.
Your group will provide the Share link to your proposal in the Assignments section of Canvas. Be sure that you have shared the Google Doc with firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can view and comment on your work.
The proposal will earn a group grade of either complete (full credit) or incomplete (no credit). If the proposal is incomplete, your group will be asked to revise the proposal.
Photo Credit: Meeting via Skype by University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment on Flickr, used under a CC-BY 2.0 license.