Working on Proposals

This is the post for the October 7 and 9, 2014 class meeting.

Since Fall Break is coming up, I’m posting all of this week’s work at once. I hope this way you’ll be able to get everything done and still enjoy your long weekend. This week includes information on the proposals you are writing for Project 3 and some additional resources you can use both for Project 3 and Project 4.

Class Work for October 7 and 9

These are the tasks to complete for today’s work:

  • Share some tips for writing your proposal
  • Point to additional job application resources
  • Discuss persuasive techniques

Writing Proposals

I want to provide a bit more information on the proposal you write for Project 3, based on the questions I have received:

  • Length: I would guess that the proposal will take at least 3 to 5 pages, single-spaced. As you might guess, the exact length will vary. Your layout and font choices will effect how long the proposal is, of course. Likewise, if you have tables, illustrations, screenshots, or other graphics, those will all probably make the proposal longer. Don’t get hung up on the length. Write what you need to for me to understand what you will do for Project 4.

  • Persuasive Techniques: As the textbook mentions, proposals are all about persuasion (see pp. 279–282). Your job is to persuade me (your reader) that you have made the right choice for the job application materials you will write for Project 4. Think about how you can show me that your choices will help you meet your goals (for instance, get a job, build a professional online presence, etc.)

  • Evaluation Section: The evaluation section of your proposal will explain the goals you are setting for Project 4 and tell me how you want me to assess your work. The Project 3 Evaluation Section page provides some more details and includes two examples of what to include in the section.

  • Charts: If you want to create a chart in your proposal, use the video for tips on how to set up your data and create your chart on Google Drive. You will need to login via Virginia Tech for free access to the video.

  • Trouble Deciding? If you can’t decide what to propose, let me suggest you choose setting up or improving your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn will walk you through all the different information you can include. It is almost a fill-in-the-blanks résumé builder. You can even export your information to begin work on a more traditional résumé.

Additional Job Application Resources

Use your free access to videos to find additional resources that can help as you decide what to propose. If you were interested in doing something that the textbook doesn’t cover, these videos may be just what you’re looking for. Here are some examples that could be useful, depending upon your career goals:

Discussing Persuasive Techniques

The 4-minute video below talks about how persuasion works and three ways you can appeal to a reader or audience. The video does rely on audio, so you may want to use headphones if you are in a public space when you watch it.

There’s also an odd moment where a dog mistakes a violinist for a fire hydrant. Try not to worry about that as you watch:

Go to the Discussing the Persuasion Video topic in the forums after you have watched the video and talk about how you can use one or more of the appeals in your proposal to demonstrate why the plan you are presenting is best.

Important Dates

  • Tuesday, October 14: Draft of Project 3 (informal proposal) due for peer review by noon
  • Thursday, October 16: Due date for Project 3 (informal proposal)
  • Thursday, October 23: Deadline for Project 3 (end of grace period)