Assignment: Group Proposal (Glova, 2014)

This two-part assignment includes (1) The TRIO Group Project Plan and (2) The Proposal assignment.

TRIO Group Project Plan Assignment

Your TRIO Group Project Plan is a required exercise that outlines your upcoming proposal assignment. Your group’s plan should only be about 1-2 pages, depending on how detailed you make your sections. Once your group has finished a plan, only one group member needs to upload it to this space before the due date.

Please note: Every group member should contribute to this project plan, and by the time this plan is due, all group members should agree on what needs to be completed, by whom, by when. If you have trouble coordinating with a group member, let me know before the plan is due. Do not include someone on the group plan if he/she does not participate in the development of this document.

The goal of this project plan assignment is to:

  • plan out the tasks involved in the TRIO Group Proposal Assignment (due at the end of this topic);
  • assign these tasks to different group members;
  • practice creating short project plan documents.

Your project plan must include:

  • Header that states group name, group members’ name, and contact information for all. (Think back to the requirements we discussed when completing the Improve this Memo assignment in Unit 1.)
  • Overview: What are you completing? What are your objectives for the assignment? Who is your audience?
  • Delegation Plan: Who is completing what?
  • Schedule: When are tasks due for each group member? When will you work together on editing?
  • Good Document Design: Make sure it’s an organized, accessible document.

 

TRIO Group Proposal Assignment

Purpose

Proposals are a common workplace document. Although proposals may take different forms or require different information, knowing how to persuade your reader is a skill you can take to any workplace. Often, these are collaborative documents, meaning groups of teams work on a proposal together. The purpose of this assignment is for TRIO groups to prepare a persuasive proposal memo that addresses a real problem.

Assignment

Here are specifics about the two different options for the proposal:

  1. Pick-your-own-topic (internal, solicited proposal)Write a (12pt, 1″ margin, single spaced) memo that explains your plan for solving a real organizational problem. Typically, groups write about the need for staff training, new equipment, new software, new procedures, changes in customer service, new space, or more money for a specific project.Do not feel limited by this list! Write about something that you feel is important and relevant to your experience. This must be a real problem and you must propose a real solution.

    Consider a process you found inefficient, a practice you found unethical, or a tool you found unusable. What would have made your job easier or saved money? Typically these proposals are 3-5 pages long (so avoid topics like solving the budget crisis or fixing health care. Pick something manageable).

  2. Student Course Evaluations (internal, unsolicited proposal)Write a (12pt, 1″ margin, single spaced) memo proposing at least one (specific and realistic) solution to improve response rates for student course evaluations.Memos should be addressed to Karen Helm, Director of University Planning and Analysis. The solution must be appropriate and must not violate existing University rules or policies.Typically, the final document is 3-5 pages.

    You must do research so that you are knowledgeable about the situation.. You can use the following resources as a starting place:

    http://upa.ncsu.edu/eval

    http://www.ncsu.edu/provost/governance/task_forces/UEI/reports/uei_execsum.htm

    http://www.ncsu.edu/policies/employment/faculty/REG05.20.10.php

Audience

Your group has two choices for your topic: Pick Your Own or Student Course Evaluations.

If your group picks your own topic, I may or may not know your audience. Write your proposal to that audience and not to me, your instructor. That means that you can use terminology and refer to information that your audience would know that I may not. If you believe that I need some background information prior to reading your proposal, please email me about this.

If you pick the Student Course Evaluations topic, you will write to Karen Helm, Director of University Planning and Analysis. She is very familiar with the course evaluations and the low response rates that have resulted in the change from paper to online evaluations. Don’t tell Ms. Helm information she already knows. Instead, share information she does not know–why students don’t participate at higher rates and what would encourage them to participate more.

For either choice, think carefully about the kind of information that your audience wants. What do you need to include? What should you leave out? 

Document Design

Follow the memo format for ENG 331. Use headings, white space between paragraphs, and single spaced writing. Do not indent paragraphs, and ensure that paragraphs are short and topic focused. Use lists where appropriate, tables for schedule/cost, and bold (or other emphasis) if needed.

Grading Checklist

All proposal memos should include the following information adapted to the specific audience and guidelines:

  • Introduction (Purpose statement)
  • Description of the Problem (do not include a discussion of the solution in this section)
  • Objectives you hope to achieve (a lead-in sentence and bullet list)
  • Plan of Action (paragraphs divided into meaningful sections and sub-sections using headings)
  • Schedule (calendar or list of milestones)
  • Cost (actual figures in a table; think of possible indirect/related costs; EVERY PROPOSAL should discuss some costs)
  • Conclusion

Your Proposal should answer the following questions:

  • What problem are you going to solve?
  • How are you going to solve it?
  • What exactly will you provide?
  • Can you deliver what you promise?
  • When will you complete the work?
  • How much will it cost?

Before submitting, your group should ask yourself if your proposal:

  • uses headings appropriate to the subject that are helpful to the reader
  • persuades the reader with enough information
  • demonstrates obvious awareness of the intended audience
  • uses clear and concise writing that describes the method that will solve the problem
  • follows guidelines
  • demonstrates an understanding of document design
  • lacks typographical, spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors

Hints

  1. Think carefully about scheduling and cost. How will your work get done while you solve this problem? How are funds allocated?
  2. Make sure your audience gets all the information that they need.
  3. Be sure your problem is not vague or unmanageable. Focus on your topic and your solution or request. Be specific and always consider your audience.

Submission

Only one person in each TRIO Group needs to submit the final assignment in this space.