A proposal may be written for a peer group (such as colleagues or club members), or for a supervisor (such as a superior or a college principal). You will be expected to make one or more suggestions, supported by factual information and evaluation, in order to persuade the reader of a course of action.




How to write a proposal?



  • Begin by stating the purpose of your proposal.


  • Use an impersonal, semi-formal style.


  • Use a clear layout with headings.


  • Express opinions and make recommendations in the last section of your proposal.


  • Include a final sentence summarising your opinion.




Report vs Proposal:


Proposals are often structured in a similar way to reports. Reports are based on current circumstances or situations whereas in proposals you give more space to recommendations for future actions in a proposal.




Proposal: Structure / Format



  1. Title (optional) + Introduction

Some useful language for an introduction includes (but is not limited to) the following phrases:


  1. The purpose/aim of this proposal is to …
  2. The proposal is intended to show/discuss/suggest/outline …
  3. In this proposal I will …



  1. Main body: 1st – 2nd paragraph


Subheading 1

Paragraph 1: Describe the current situation


Subheading 2

Paragraph 2: Describe the current situation



  1. Final Recommendations

Make your recommendations. Write at least 2-3 sentences




Proposal: Useful vocabulary



Rhetorical phrases:


Have you ever ……..?
What do you think about ……..?
Are you one of those people who thinks that ……?
Are you one of those people who …….?
What would life be like if ……?
Will the future bring us ….. ?



Background information


At the present moment,…
Comments made at the end of the questionnaires suggest…
Following a survey among…
Concerned members of the local community were invited to attend…
A number of concerns with regard to XYZ were expressed by…
The following areas for improvement can be highlighted


Introducing your first point:


In the first place
First of all
The first thing to consider is
One thing to consider is
To begin with

Check in more signposting and transition words here.


Introducing more points:


Another consideration
Yet another consideration
Another thing to consider is
Added to that
Apart from that
In addition to this

Check in more signposting and transition words here.


Making recommendations and suggestions


A working group should be set up by…
There should be an enquiry into…
It would be advantageous to…
It is recommended that…
I recommend that a larger survey should be conducted before a final decision is reached…

Final recommendations

Implementation of the above ideas would result in…
A working group should be set up by…
There should be an enquiry into…
I recommend that a larger survey should be conducted before a final decision is reached…
The following actions ought to be performed with a view to (improving the quality of…)



Proposal: Structure / Format with examples


  1. Title + Introduction



The title is advisable but optional.


Title: How to improve the quality of language classes: a proposal


Start the proposal with an introduction and a clear sentence that states the purpose/aim:


The aims of this proposal are to…Introduction: The principal objectives of this proposal are to describe the current state of language teaching at the Pennsylvania State University, identify areas for improvement, and offer recommendations on exactly what improvements can be achieved.




  1. Main body: 1st – 2nd paragraph



Group your ideas under headings for each section of your proposal. Remember to answer all the questions that you were asked. Write in a formal and impersonal style similar to a report.



Paragraph 1:

Subheading 1: Current situation


Paragraph 1: At the present moment, Penn State offers courses of several languages on three different levels. One can study modern languages such as French, German, Italian and Russian as a beginner, intermediate or upper-intermediate student.


Paragraph 2:

Subheading 2: Issues


Paragraph 2: Following a final year survey among students taking language courses, the following areas for improvement can be highlighted … (here you continue)




  1. Final Recommendations



Express opinions and make recommendations in the last section/paragraph of your proposal. Include a final sentence summarising your opinion.

This is a vital part of a proposal, make sure you give enough space to recommendations for future actions in a proposal. Write at least 3 sentences.






Proposal subject:


You go to a university that has a high amount of international students and you have realised that the website is not up to scratch. Write a proposal for the University Dean about how it could be improved.



Student’s Proposal Answer:


This proposal is aimed at outlining the way in which the university website could be improved so that it is more user friendly for international students. It will suggest what improvements can be made and also set out how this would benefit the students themselves.


Problems with using the site


A recent study into how easy it is to get around the site has revealed that 70% of students whose second language is English find it difficult to find specific information about their courses. Because of the language barrier, they find it hard to make their search terms clear and this has become a cause for concern. Translating the site is not an option and this can be a big problem, especially at the beginning of the academic year.


Ways the site could address these issues


It has been well documented that the university website has neither a site map nor an introduction video to help novice students to find their way around it. It would make a huge difference if there were some simple instructions to indicate where to find information. It is a delicate balance as we, of course, want international students to learn English, but also want them to navigate the site with ease.




I would like to make the following recommendations:


  • Invite students who are starting out at the university to a quick and informative seminar to demonstrate how to use the site.
  • Provide language help and some useful resources for language learning and assistance.
  • Provide a survival pack for students to take with them and know how to combat technological issues.


If these recommendations are in place, young people are bound to feel more prepared for their experience and take full advantage of this unique experience.


Please log in to join the chat