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  • How to Write a Research Proposal | Examples & Templates

How to Write a Research Proposal | Examples & Templates

Published on October 12, 2022 by Shona McCombes and Tegan George. Revised on June 13, 2023.

Structure of a research proposal

A research proposal describes what you will investigate, why it’s important, and how you will conduct your research.

The format of a research proposal varies between fields, but most proposals will contain at least these elements:


Literature review.

  • Research design

Reference list

While the sections may vary, the overall objective is always the same. A research proposal serves as a blueprint and guide for your research plan, helping you get organized and feel confident in the path forward you choose to take.

Table of contents

Research proposal purpose, research proposal examples, research design and methods, contribution to knowledge, research schedule, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about research proposals.

Academics often have to write research proposals to get funding for their projects. As a student, you might have to write a research proposal as part of a grad school application , or prior to starting your thesis or dissertation .

In addition to helping you figure out what your research can look like, a proposal can also serve to demonstrate why your project is worth pursuing to a funder, educational institution, or supervisor.

Research proposal length

The length of a research proposal can vary quite a bit. A bachelor’s or master’s thesis proposal can be just a few pages, while proposals for PhD dissertations or research funding are usually much longer and more detailed. Your supervisor can help you determine the best length for your work.

One trick to get started is to think of your proposal’s structure as a shorter version of your thesis or dissertation , only without the results , conclusion and discussion sections.

Download our research proposal template

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Writing a research proposal can be quite challenging, but a good starting point could be to look at some examples. We’ve included a few for you below.

  • Example research proposal #1: “A Conceptual Framework for Scheduling Constraint Management”
  • Example research proposal #2: “Medical Students as Mediators of Change in Tobacco Use”

Like your dissertation or thesis, the proposal will usually have a title page that includes:

  • The proposed title of your project
  • Your supervisor’s name
  • Your institution and department

The first part of your proposal is the initial pitch for your project. Make sure it succinctly explains what you want to do and why.

Your introduction should:

  • Introduce your topic
  • Give necessary background and context
  • Outline your  problem statement  and research questions

To guide your introduction , include information about:

  • Who could have an interest in the topic (e.g., scientists, policymakers)
  • How much is already known about the topic
  • What is missing from this current knowledge
  • What new insights your research will contribute
  • Why you believe this research is worth doing

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As you get started, it’s important to demonstrate that you’re familiar with the most important research on your topic. A strong literature review  shows your reader that your project has a solid foundation in existing knowledge or theory. It also shows that you’re not simply repeating what other people have already done or said, but rather using existing research as a jumping-off point for your own.

In this section, share exactly how your project will contribute to ongoing conversations in the field by:

  • Comparing and contrasting the main theories, methods, and debates
  • Examining the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches
  • Explaining how will you build on, challenge, or synthesize prior scholarship

Following the literature review, restate your main  objectives . This brings the focus back to your own project. Next, your research design or methodology section will describe your overall approach, and the practical steps you will take to answer your research questions.

To finish your proposal on a strong note, explore the potential implications of your research for your field. Emphasize again what you aim to contribute and why it matters.

For example, your results might have implications for:

  • Improving best practices
  • Informing policymaking decisions
  • Strengthening a theory or model
  • Challenging popular or scientific beliefs
  • Creating a basis for future research

Last but not least, your research proposal must include correct citations for every source you have used, compiled in a reference list . To create citations quickly and easily, you can use our free APA citation generator .

Some institutions or funders require a detailed timeline of the project, asking you to forecast what you will do at each stage and how long it may take. While not always required, be sure to check the requirements of your project.

Here’s an example schedule to help you get started. You can also download a template at the button below.

Download our research schedule template

If you are applying for research funding, chances are you will have to include a detailed budget. This shows your estimates of how much each part of your project will cost.

Make sure to check what type of costs the funding body will agree to cover. For each item, include:

  • Cost : exactly how much money do you need?
  • Justification : why is this cost necessary to complete the research?
  • Source : how did you calculate the amount?

To determine your budget, think about:

  • Travel costs : do you need to go somewhere to collect your data? How will you get there, and how much time will you need? What will you do there (e.g., interviews, archival research)?
  • Materials : do you need access to any tools or technologies?
  • Help : do you need to hire any research assistants for the project? What will they do, and how much will you pay them?

If you want to know more about the research process , methodology , research bias , or statistics , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.


  • Sampling methods
  • Simple random sampling
  • Stratified sampling
  • Cluster sampling
  • Likert scales
  • Reproducibility


  • Null hypothesis
  • Statistical power
  • Probability distribution
  • Effect size
  • Poisson distribution

Research bias

  • Optimism bias
  • Cognitive bias
  • Implicit bias
  • Hawthorne effect
  • Anchoring bias
  • Explicit bias

Once you’ve decided on your research objectives , you need to explain them in your paper, at the end of your problem statement .

Keep your research objectives clear and concise, and use appropriate verbs to accurately convey the work that you will carry out for each one.

I will compare …

A research aim is a broad statement indicating the general purpose of your research project. It should appear in your introduction at the end of your problem statement , before your research objectives.

Research objectives are more specific than your research aim. They indicate the specific ways you’ll address the overarching aim.

A PhD, which is short for philosophiae doctor (doctor of philosophy in Latin), is the highest university degree that can be obtained. In a PhD, students spend 3–5 years writing a dissertation , which aims to make a significant, original contribution to current knowledge.

A PhD is intended to prepare students for a career as a researcher, whether that be in academia, the public sector, or the private sector.

A master’s is a 1- or 2-year graduate degree that can prepare you for a variety of careers.

All master’s involve graduate-level coursework. Some are research-intensive and intend to prepare students for further study in a PhD; these usually require their students to write a master’s thesis . Others focus on professional training for a specific career.

Critical thinking refers to the ability to evaluate information and to be aware of biases or assumptions, including your own.

Like information literacy , it involves evaluating arguments, identifying and solving problems in an objective and systematic way, and clearly communicating your ideas.

The best way to remember the difference between a research plan and a research proposal is that they have fundamentally different audiences. A research plan helps you, the researcher, organize your thoughts. On the other hand, a dissertation proposal or research proposal aims to convince others (e.g., a supervisor, a funding body, or a dissertation committee) that your research topic is relevant and worthy of being conducted.

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Honors291g-cdg’s blog.

How to Write a Paper Topic Proposal & Thesis Statement

•    PART 1 OF THE ASSIGNMENT: PAPER TOPIC PROPOSAL The formal research paper or honors thesis will provide you with an opportunity to more fully develop the background and implications of one of the topics presented during the semester or explore a related topic not covered. Your paper topic proposal requires research in order to make your proposal as close to your paper topic as possible. I strongly suggest you come to office hours to discuss your topic proposal with me, because I will review all proposals for viability and reject any inappropriate or undoable topics. The written proposal must include the following 2 things: 1.    Your proposed paper topic: This part of the proposal is one sentence. Keep your paper topic narrow (but not so narrow that there are no scholarly sources available on the topic). 2.    Why the topic is interesting and important: Address how you will focus the topic. If you choose a topic that is not of interest to you, it will show in your paper. This topic must remain of interest to you for two semesters, so give it some serious consideration. As we cover topics in class, undoubtedly something will come up that you want to learn more about. This would be an ideal paper topic. This part of the assignment requires that you include two to three paragraphs about why this topic is interesting and important. Why should the reader care about Roger Williams’s relationship with the Narragansett Indians? If you simply retell the story of his exile from Massachusetts and what he thought of the Narragansett religious beliefs and practices, that’s a book report, not an honors level research paper. However, if you explore the significance Narragansett religion had on Williams, his writings, and his life, you have the makings of an interesting and important research paper. It would require research pertaining to the role of missionaries in the American colonies, research of the Puritan philosophy and why Williams was banned from Massachusetts Bay Colony, and research of Narragansett beliefs and religious views and how they were impacted by the English and Dutch.

What should your paper topic be?  Select a course-related topic. I suggest you write about an area that most interests you and in which you might already have some background knowledge. What do you want to learn more about? What are you interested in? Avoid choosing a topic that bores you. Sustained interest in your topic is important, as a topic that bores you makes for a boring paper. It is unlikely you will be able to fool the reader into believing you liked a topic that you didn’t actually like.

Now, narrow down your topic:  Once you’ve chosen a topic, ask yourself if it’s narrow enough for you to tackle in the paper or honors thesis you will be writing. Narrow topics generally result in the best papers. One important consideration is the availability of material. Therefore, before making a final decision on your topic, do some initial research to find out the type, quality, and quantity of information available. Finally, how much time do you have to write your paper? The earlier you begin your paper, the more thorough the treatment your topic will receive. If you can’t begin your paper early in the semester, consider limiting your topic so you can deal with it adequately.

•    PART 2 OF THE ASSIGNMENT: THESIS STATEMENT What is a thesis statement?  A thesis statement is “a proposition stated as a conclusion which you will then demonstrate or ‘prove’ in your paper.”  It is the focal point around which your research will revolve. It is usually stated in the form of an assertion or statement you resolve through your research. It’s not a question; it’s an answer, such as: “Key decisions in large U.S. cities are made by a handful of individuals, drawn largely from business, industrial, and municipal circles, who occupy the top of the power hierarchy.” “Cigarette smoking harms the body by constricting the blood vessels, accelerating the heartbeat, paralyzing the cilia in the bronchial tubes, and activating excessive gastric secretions in the stomach.” A thesis takes a position on an issue. Because you must take a position or develop a claim about a subject, you need to convey that position or claim in a thesis statement in your research paper. It is different from a topic sentence in that a thesis statement is not neutral. It announces, in addition to the topic, the argument you want to make or the point you want to prove. This is your own opinion that you intend to back up. This is your reason and motivation for writing. A thesis statement: i)    tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion. ii)    is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper. iii)    directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or Moby Dick; a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or the novel. iv)    makes a claim that others might dispute. v)    is usually a single sentence somewhere in your first paragraph that presents your argument to the reader. The rest of the paper, the body of the essay, gathers and organizes evidence that will persuade the reader of the logic of your interpretation. After you have done some preliminary research and reading on your narrowed-down topic, you should formulate a single-sentence thesis statement.

Writing in college often takes the form of persuasion – convincing others that you have an interesting, logical point of view on the subject you are studying. Persuasion is a skill you practice regularly in your daily life. You persuade your roommate to clean up, your parents to let you borrow the car, your friend to vote for your favorite candidate or policy. In college, course assignments often ask you to make a persuasive case in writing. You are asked to convince your reader of your point of view. This form of persuasion, often called academic argument, follows a predictable pattern in writing. After a brief introduction of your topic, you state your point of view on the topic directly and often in one sentence. This sentence is the thesis statement, and it serves as a summary of the argument you’ll make in the rest of your paper.

What is the purpose of the thesis statement?  The thesis statement guides you, enabling you to focus your research paper and outline what you will write. It allows you to clarify your thinking and determine what is relevant and irrelevant as you do your research. Your research paper must be thesis-driven. A high school level “report” will not receive a passing grade. The thesis must pull together the analysis that follows. Your thesis statement must be specific – it should cover only what you will discuss in your research paper and must be supported with specific evidence. The thesis statement usually appears at the end of the first paragraph of a paper. Early in your paper I should be able to locate the thesis statement. If I ask you “Where is the thesis statement?” you should be able to point to it immediately.

How do you come up with a thesis statement?  A thesis is the result of a lengthy thinking process and careful deliberation after preliminary research. Formulating a thesis is not the first thing you do after reading a writing assignment. Before you develop an argument on any topic, you have to collect and organize evidence, look for possible relationships between known facts (such as surprising contrasts or similarities), and think about the significance of these relationships. Once you do this thinking, you will probably have a “working thesis,” a basic main idea, an argument that you think you can support with evidence but that may need adjustment along the way. Your topic may change somewhat as you write, so you may need to revise your thesis statement to reflect exactly what you have discussed in the paper.

Thesis Statement Samples: 1)    The non-thesis thesis: You must take a stand or you’ll end up with a “non-thesis thesis.” a)    Bad Thesis 1: In his article, Stanley Fish shows that we don’t really have the right to free speech. b)    Bad Thesis 2: This paper will consider the advantages and disadvantages of certain restrictions on free speech. c)    Better Thesis 1: Stanley Fish’s argument that free speech exists more as a political prize than as a legal reality ignores the fact that even as a political prize it still serves the social end of creating a general cultural atmosphere of tolerance that may ultimately promote free speech in our nation just as effectively as any binding law. d)    Better Thesis 2: Even though there may be considerable advantages to restricting hate speech, the possibility of chilling open dialogue on crucial racial issues is too great and too high a price to pay. 2)    The overly broad thesis: A thesis should be as specific as possible, and it should be tailored to reflect the scope of the paper. It is not possible, for instance, to write about the history of English literature in a five-page paper. In addition to choosing simply a smaller topic, strategies to narrow a thesis include specifying a method or perspective or delineating certain limits. a)    Bad Thesis 1: There should be no restrictions on the First Amendment. b)    Bad Thesis 2: The government has the right to limit free speech. c)    Better Thesis 1: There should be no restrictions on the First Amendment if those restrictions are intended merely to protect individuals from unspecified or otherwise unquantifiable or unverifiable “emotional distress.” d)    Better Thesis 2: The government has the right to limit free speech in cases of overtly racist or sexist language because our failure to address such abuses would effectively suggest that our society condones such ignorant and hateful views. 3)    The incontestable thesis: A thesis must be arguable. And in order for it to be arguable, it must present a view that someone might reasonably contest. Sometimes a thesis ultimately says, “people should be good,” or “bad things are bad.” Such thesis statements are redundant or so universally accepted that there is no need to prove the point. a)    Bad Thesis 1: Although we have the right to say what we want, we should avoid hurting other people’s feelings. b)    Bad Thesis 2: There are always alternatives to using racist speech. c)    Better Thesis 1: If we can accept that emotional injuries can be just as painful as physical ones we should limit speech that may hurt people’s feelings in ways similar to the way we limit speech that may lead directly to bodily harm. d)    Better Thesis 2: The “fighting words” exception to free speech is not legitimate because it wrongly considers speech as an action. 4)    The “list essay” thesis: A good argumentative thesis provides not only a position on an issue but also suggests the structure of the paper. The thesis should allow the reader to imagine and anticipate the flow of the paper, in which a sequence of points logically proves the essay’s main assertion. A list essay provides no such structure, so that different points and paragraphs appear arbitrary with no logical connection to one another. a)    Bad Thesis 1: There are many reasons we need to limit hate speech. b)    Bad Thesis 2: Some of the arguments in favor of regulating pornography are persuasive. c)    Better Thesis 1: Among the many reasons we need to limit hate speech the most compelling ones all refer to our history of discrimination and prejudice, and it is, ultimately, for the purpose of trying to repair our troubled racial society that we need hate speech legislation. d)    Better Thesis 2: Some of the arguments in favor of regulating pornography are persuasive because they ask pornography proponents to ask themselves whether such a profession would be on a list of professions they would desire for their daughters or mothers. 5)    The research paper thesis: In another course this would be acceptable, and, in fact, possibly even desirable. But in this kind of course, a thesis statement that makes a factual claim that can be verified only with scientific, sociological, psychological, or other kind of experimental evidence is not appropriate. You need to construct a thesis that you are prepared to prove using the tools you have available, without having to consult the world’s leading expert on the issue to provide you with a definitive judgment. a)    Bad Thesis 1: Americans today are not prepared to give up on the concept of free speech. b)    Bad Thesis 2: Hate speech can cause emotional pain and suffering in victims just as intense as physical battery. c)    Better Thesis 1: Whether or not the cultural concept of free speech bears any relation to the reality of 1st amendment legislation and jurisprudence, its continuing social function as a promoter of tolerance and intellectual exchange trumps the call for politicization (according to Fish’s agenda) of the term. d)    Better Thesis 2: The various arguments against the regulation of hate speech depend on the unspoken and unexamined assumption that emotional pain is trivial.

How do I know if my thesis is strong?  If there’s time, run it by a professor or make an appointment at the Writing Center to get some feedback (http://www.umass.edu/writingcenter/index.html). Even if you do not have time to get advice elsewhere, you can do some thesis evaluation of your own. When reviewing your first draft of your working thesis, ask yourself the following: 1)    Do I answer the question? Re-reading the question prompt after constructing a working thesis can help you fix an argument that misses the focus of the question. 2)    Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? If your thesis simply states facts that no one would, or even could, disagree with, it’s possible that you are simply providing a summary, rather than making an argument. 3)    Is my thesis statement specific enough? Thesis statements that are too vague often do not have a strong argument. If your thesis contains words like “good” or “successful,” see if you could be more specific: why is something “good”; what specifically makes something “successful”? 4)    Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? If a reader’s first response is, “So what?” then you need to clarify, to forge a relationship, or to connect to a larger issue. 5)    Does my essay support my thesis specifically and without wandering? If your thesis and the body of your essay do not seem to go together, one of them has to change. It’s okay to change your working thesis to reflect things you have figured out in the course of writing your paper. Remember, always reassess and revise your writing as necessary. 6)    Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? If a reader’s first response is “how?” or “why?” your thesis may be too open-ended and lack guidance for the reader. See what you can add to give the reader a better take on your position right from the beginning.

  • 6.5 Writing Process: Creating a Proposal
  • 1 Unit Introduction


  • 1.1 "Reading" to Understand and Respond
  • 1.2 Social Media Trailblazer: Selena Gomez
  • 1.3 Glance at Critical Response: Rhetoric and Critical Thinking
  • 1.4 Annotated Student Sample: Social Media Post and Responses on Voter Suppression
  • 1.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About a “Text”
  • 1.6 Evaluation: Intention vs. Execution
  • 1.7 Spotlight on … Academia
  • 1.8 Portfolio: Tracing Writing Development
  • Further Reading
  • Works Cited
  • 2.1 Seeds of Self
  • 2.2 Identity Trailblazer: Cathy Park Hong
  • 2.3 Glance at the Issues: Oppression and Reclamation
  • 2.4 Annotated Sample Reading from The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois
  • 2.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically about How Identity Is Constructed Through Writing
  • 2.6 Evaluation: Antiracism and Inclusivity
  • 2.7 Spotlight on … Variations of English
  • 2.8 Portfolio: Decolonizing Self
  • 3.1 Identity and Expression
  • 3.2 Literacy Narrative Trailblazer: Tara Westover
  • 3.3 Glance at Genre: The Literacy Narrative
  • 3.4 Annotated Sample Reading: from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
  • 3.5 Writing Process: Tracing the Beginnings of Literacy
  • 3.6 Editing Focus: Sentence Structure
  • 3.7 Evaluation: Self-Evaluating
  • 3.8 Spotlight on … The Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives (DALN)
  • 3.9 Portfolio: A Literacy Artifact
  • Works Consulted
  • 2 Unit Introduction
  • 4.1 Exploring the Past to Understand the Present
  • 4.2 Memoir Trailblazer: Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • 4.3 Glance at Genre: Conflict, Detail, and Revelation
  • 4.4 Annotated Sample Reading: from Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain
  • 4.5 Writing Process: Making the Personal Public
  • 4.6 Editing Focus: More on Characterization and Point of View
  • 4.7 Evaluation: Structure and Organization
  • 4.8 Spotlight on … Multilingual Writers
  • 4.9 Portfolio: Filtered Memories
  • 5.1 Profiles as Inspiration
  • 5.2 Profile Trailblazer: Veronica Chambers
  • 5.3 Glance at Genre: Subject, Angle, Background, and Description
  • 5.4 Annotated Sample Reading: “Remembering John Lewis” by Carla D. Hayden
  • 5.5 Writing Process: Focusing on the Angle of Your Subject
  • 5.6 Editing Focus: Verb Tense Consistency
  • 5.7 Evaluation: Text as Personal Introduction
  • 5.8 Spotlight on … Profiling a Cultural Artifact
  • 5.9 Portfolio: Subject as a Reflection of Self
  • 6.1 Proposing Change: Thinking Critically About Problems and Solutions
  • 6.2 Proposal Trailblazer: Atul Gawande
  • 6.3 Glance at Genre: Features of Proposals
  • 6.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Slowing Climate Change” by Shawn Krukowski
  • 6.6 Editing Focus: Subject-Verb Agreement
  • 6.7 Evaluation: Conventions, Clarity, and Coherence
  • 6.8 Spotlight on … Technical Writing as a Career
  • 6.9 Portfolio: Reflecting on Problems and Solutions
  • 7.1 Thumbs Up or Down?
  • 7.2 Review Trailblazer: Michiko Kakutani
  • 7.3 Glance at Genre: Criteria, Evidence, Evaluation
  • 7.4 Annotated Student Sample: "Black Representation in Film" by Caelia Marshall
  • 7.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About Entertainment
  • 7.6 Editing Focus: Quotations
  • 7.7 Evaluation: Effect on Audience
  • 7.8 Spotlight on … Language and Culture
  • 7.9 Portfolio: What the Arts Say About You
  • 8.1 Information and Critical Thinking
  • 8.2 Analytical Report Trailblazer: Barbara Ehrenreich
  • 8.3 Glance at Genre: Informal and Formal Analytical Reports
  • 8.4 Annotated Student Sample: "U.S. Response to COVID-19" by Trevor Garcia
  • 8.5 Writing Process: Creating an Analytical Report
  • 8.6 Editing Focus: Commas with Nonessential and Essential Information
  • 8.7 Evaluation: Reviewing the Final Draft
  • 8.8 Spotlight on … Discipline-Specific and Technical Language
  • 8.9 Portfolio: Evidence and Objectivity
  • 9.1 Breaking the Whole into Its Parts
  • 9.2 Rhetorical Analysis Trailblazer: Jamil Smith
  • 9.3 Glance at Genre: Rhetorical Strategies
  • 9.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Rhetorical Analysis: Evicted by Matthew Desmond” by Eliana Evans
  • 9.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically about Rhetoric
  • 9.6 Editing Focus: Mixed Sentence Constructions
  • 9.7 Evaluation: Rhetorical Analysis
  • 9.8 Spotlight on … Business and Law
  • 9.9 Portfolio: How Thinking Critically about Rhetoric Affects Intellectual Growth
  • 10.1 Making a Case: Defining a Position Argument
  • 10.2 Position Argument Trailblazer: Charles Blow
  • 10.3 Glance at Genre: Thesis, Reasoning, and Evidence
  • 10.4 Annotated Sample Reading: "Remarks at the University of Michigan" by Lyndon B. Johnson
  • 10.5 Writing Process: Creating a Position Argument
  • 10.6 Editing Focus: Paragraphs and Transitions
  • 10.7 Evaluation: Varied Appeals
  • 10.8 Spotlight on … Citation
  • 10.9 Portfolio: Growth in the Development of Argument
  • 11.1 Developing Your Sense of Logic
  • 11.2 Reasoning Trailblazer: Paul D. N. Hebert
  • 11.3 Glance at Genre: Reasoning Strategies and Signal Words
  • 11.4 Annotated Sample Reading: from Book VII of The Republic by Plato
  • 11.5 Writing Process: Reasoning Supported by Evidence
  • 12.1 Introducing Research and Research Evidence
  • 12.2 Argumentative Research Trailblazer: Samin Nosrat
  • 12.3 Glance at Genre: Introducing Research as Evidence
  • 12.4 Annotated Student Sample: "Healthy Diets from Sustainable Sources Can Save the Earth" by Lily Tran
  • 12.5 Writing Process: Integrating Research
  • 12.6 Editing Focus: Integrating Sources and Quotations
  • 12.7 Evaluation: Effectiveness of Research Paper
  • 12.8 Spotlight on … Bias in Language and Research
  • 12.9 Portfolio: Why Facts Matter in Research Argumentation
  • 13.1 The Research Process: Where to Look for Existing Sources
  • 13.2 The Research Process: How to Create Sources
  • 13.3 Glance at the Research Process: Key Skills
  • 13.4 Annotated Student Sample: Research Log
  • 13.5 Research Process: Making Notes, Synthesizing Information, and Keeping a Research Log
  • 13.6 Spotlight on … Ethical Research
  • 14.1 Compiling Sources for an Annotated Bibliography
  • 14.2 Glance at Form: Citation Style, Purpose, and Formatting
  • 14.3 Annotated Student Sample: “Healthy Diets from Sustainable Sources Can Save the Earth” by Lily Tran
  • 14.4 Writing Process: Informing and Analyzing
  • 15.1 Tracing a Broad Issue in the Individual
  • 15.2 Case Study Trailblazer: Vilayanur S. Ramachandran
  • 15.3 Glance at Genre: Observation, Description, and Analysis
  • 15.4 Annotated Sample Reading: Case Study on Louis Victor "Tan" Leborgne
  • 15.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About How People and Language Interact
  • 15.6 Editing Focus: Words Often Confused
  • 15.7 Evaluation: Presentation and Analysis of Case Study
  • 15.8 Spotlight on … Applied Linguistics
  • 15.9 Portfolio: Your Own Uses of Language
  • 3 Unit Introduction
  • 16.1 An Author’s Choices: What Text Says and How It Says It
  • 16.2 Textual Analysis Trailblazer: bell hooks
  • 16.3 Glance at Genre: Print or Textual Analysis
  • 16.4 Annotated Student Sample: "Artists at Work" by Gwyn Garrison
  • 16.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About Text
  • 16.6 Editing Focus: Literary Works Live in the Present
  • 16.7 Evaluation: Self-Directed Assessment
  • 16.8 Spotlight on … Humanities
  • 16.9 Portfolio: The Academic and the Personal
  • 17.1 “Reading” Images
  • 17.2 Image Trailblazer: Sara Ludy
  • 17.3 Glance at Genre: Relationship Between Image and Rhetoric
  • 17.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Hints of the Homoerotic” by Leo Davis
  • 17.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically and Writing Persuasively About Images
  • 17.6 Editing Focus: Descriptive Diction
  • 17.7 Evaluation: Relationship Between Analysis and Image
  • 17.8 Spotlight on … Video and Film
  • 17.9 Portfolio: Interplay Between Text and Image
  • 18.1 Mixing Genres and Modes
  • 18.2 Multimodal Trailblazer: Torika Bolatagici
  • 18.3 Glance at Genre: Genre, Audience, Purpose, Organization
  • 18.4 Annotated Sample Reading: “Celebrating a Win-Win” by Alexandra Dapolito Dunn
  • 18.5 Writing Process: Create a Multimodal Advocacy Project
  • 18.6 Evaluation: Transitions
  • 18.7 Spotlight on . . . Technology
  • 18.8 Portfolio: Multimodalism
  • 19.1 Writing, Speaking, and Activism
  • 19.2 Podcast Trailblazer: Alice Wong
  • 19.3 Glance at Genre: Language Performance and Visuals
  • 19.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Are New DOT Regulations Discriminatory?” by Zain A. Kumar
  • 19.5 Writing Process: Writing to Speak
  • 19.6 Evaluation: Bridging Writing and Speaking
  • 19.7 Spotlight on … Delivery/Public Speaking
  • 19.8 Portfolio: Everyday Rhetoric, Rhetoric Every Day
  • 20.1 Thinking Critically about Your Semester
  • 20.2 Reflection Trailblazer: Sandra Cisneros
  • 20.3 Glance at Genre: Purpose and Structure
  • 20.4 Annotated Sample Reading: “Don’t Expect Congrats” by Dale Trumbore
  • 20.5 Writing Process: Looking Back, Looking Forward
  • 20.6 Editing Focus: Pronouns
  • 20.7 Evaluation: Evaluating Self-Reflection
  • 20.8 Spotlight on … Pronouns in Context

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Describe the elements of the rhetorical situation for your proposal.
  • Apply prewriting strategies to discover a problem to write about.
  • Gather and synthesize information from appropriate sources.
  • Draft a thesis statement and create an organizational plan.
  • Compose a proposal that develops your ideas and integrates evidence from sources.
  • Implement strategies for drafting, peer reviewing, and revising.

Sometimes writing a paper comes easily, but more often writers work hard to generate ideas and evidence, organize their thoughts, draft, and revise. Experienced writers do their work in multiple steps, and most engage in a recursive process that involves thinking and rethinking, writing and rewriting, and repeating steps multiple times as their ideas develop and sharpen. In broad strokes, most writers go through the following steps to achieve a polished piece of writing:

  • Planning and Organization . Your proposal will come together more easily if you spend time at the start considering the rhetorical situation, understanding your assignment, gathering ideas and evidence, drafting a thesis statement, and creating an organizational plan.
  • Drafting . When you have a good grasp of the problem and solution you are going to write about and how you will organize your proposal, you are ready to draft.
  • Review . With a first draft in hand, make time to get feedback from others. Depending on the structure of your class, you may receive feedback from your instructor or your classmates. You can also work with a tutor in the writing center on your campus, or you can ask someone else you trust, such as a friend, roommate, or family member, to read your writing critically and give honest feedback.
  • Revising . After reviewing feedback from your readers, plan to revise. Focus on their comments: Is your thesis clear? Do you need to make organizational changes to the proposal? Do you need to explain or connect your ideas more clearly?

Considering the Rhetorical Situation

Like other kinds of writing projects, a proposal starts with assessing the rhetorical situation —the circumstance in which a writer communicates with an audience of readers about a subject. As a proposal writer, you make choices based on the purpose for your writing, the audience who will read it, the genre , and the expectations of the community and culture in which you are working. The brainstorming questions in Table 6.1 can help you begin:

Summary of Assignment

Write a proposal that discusses a problem you want to learn more about and that recommends a solution. The problem you choose must be a current problem, even though it may have been a problem for many years. The problem must also affect many people, and it must have an actual solution or solutions that you can learn about through research. In other words, the problem cannot be unique to you, and the solution you recommend cannot be one you only imagine; both the problem and the solution must be grounded in reality.

One way to get ideas about a problem to write about is to read a high-quality newspaper, website, or social media account for a week. Read widely on whatever platform you choose so that you learn what people are saying, what a newspaper’s editorial board is taking a stand on, what opinion writers are making cases for in op-eds, and what community members are commenting on. You’ll begin to get a handle on problems in your community or state that people care about. If you read a paper or website with a national or international audience, you’ll learn about problems that affect people in other places.

You will need to consult and cite at least five reliable sources. They can be scholarly, but they do not have to be. They must be credible, trustworthy, and unbiased. Possible sources include articles from reputable newspapers, magazines, and academic and professional journals; reputable websites; government sources; and visual sources. Depending on your topic, you may want to conduct a survey, an interview, or an experiment. See Research Process: Accessing and Recording Information and Annotated Bibliography: Gathering, Evaluating, and Documenting Sources for information about creating and finding sources. Your proposal can include a visual or media source if it provides appropriate, relevant evidence.

Another Lens. Another way to approach a proposal assignment is to consider problems that affect you directly and affect others. Perhaps you are concerned about running up student loan debt. Or perhaps you worry about how to pay your rent while earning minimum wage. These concerns are valid and affect many college students around the United States. Another way is to think about problems that affect others. Perhaps students in your class or on your campus have backgrounds and experiences that differ from yours— what problems or challenges might they have encountered during their time in college that you don’t know about?

As you think about the purpose and audience for your proposal, think again about the rhetorical situation, specifically about the audience you want to reach and the mode of presentation best suited to them and your purpose. For example, say you’re dissatisfied with the process for electing student leaders on your campus. If your purpose is to identify the problems in the process and propose a change, then your audience would include other students, the group or committee that oversees student elections, and perhaps others. To reach other students who might also be dissatisfied, you might write an article, editorial, or letter for the campus newspaper, social media page, or website, depending on how students on your campus get news. In addition, you might organize a meeting of other students to get their input on the problem. To reach the decision makers, which may include elected students, faculty, and administrators, you might need to prepare an oral presentation and a slide deck.

Below in Figure 6.7 are three slides from Shawn Krukowski’s proposal that he adapted for a presentation: the title slide, a slide on one aspect of the problem, and a slide introducing one of the proposed solutions.

Shawn Krukowski adapted the proposal for a presentation. One slide shows the title SLOWING CLIMATE CHANGE: A CALL TO ACTION. The second slide shows an infographic of the 2020 hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean with specific numbers and the named storms. The third slide shows a graphical representation of the global carbon emissions in the Industrial Age.

Quick Launch: Finding a Problem to Write About

A proposal must address a real-life problem and present one or more workable solutions. Usually, problems worth writing about are not easily solved; if they were, they would no longer be considered problems. Indeed, problems in proposals are often complex, and solutions are often complicated and involve trade-offs. Sometimes people disagree about whether the problem is a problem at all and whether any proposed solutions are viable solutions.

Exploring a Problem

One way to generate ideas about a problem is to brainstorm. To explore a topic for your proposal, use a graphic organizer like Table 6.2 to write responses to the following statements and questions:

For example, perhaps you’re considering a career in information technology, and you’re taking an IT class. You might be interested in exploring the problem of data breaches. A data breach is a real-world problem with possible solutions, so it passes the first test of being an actual problem with possible solutions. Your responses to the questions above might look something like those in Table 6.3 :

Narrowing and Focusing

Many problems for a proposal can be too broad to tackle in a single paper. For example, the sample above reveals that data breaches are indeed a problem but that several aspects can be explored. If you tried to cover all the aspects, you would be left writing general paragraphs with little specific information. The topic needs to be narrowed and focused.

The data breaches example above could be narrowed to the following problems—and possibly even more. Note that the questions start to zero in on possible solutions, too. In your own writing, as you brainstorm, try placing subtopics you discover into their own categories and asking more questions, as shown in Table 6.4 .

Sample Proposal Topics

The following broad topics are potentially suitable as a start for a proposal. Choose one of these or one of your own, and ask the exploring questions. Then look at your responses, and ask focusing questions. Continue to focus until you have a specific problem that you can discuss in sufficient depth and offer a concrete solution or solutions.

  • Health fields: cost of medical and dental care for uninsured people, management of chronic conditions and diseases, infection control, vaccinations, access to mental health care, drug use and addiction, sports injuries, workplace safety
  • Education: gaps in academic achievement, curriculum, recruitment and retention of staff and/or students, buildings and grounds, graduation rates, cocurricular activities
  • Environment: forest management and fires, hurricanes and other extreme storms, water and air pollution, sustainable development, invasive species, waste management, recycling and composting, community gardening
  • Engineering and computer science: robotics, vehicles and transportation, digital divide, online privacy, misinformation and misbehavior on social media, video games
  • Business and manufacturing: quality improvement, process improvement, cost control, communication, social media, pay equity, fundraising, sourcing of materials, net-zero energy processes, workplace safety
  • Policy and politics: public institutions, such as public schools, libraries, transportation systems, and parks; taxes, fees, and services; donations to political campaigns; healthcare, such as Medicare and Medicaid; social security; unemployment insurance; services for active military and veterans; immigration policy
  • Society and culture: social media and free speech; inequality in housing, employment, education, and more; cancel culture; bullying; wealth and poverty; support for the arts; athletes and sports; disparities related to race, sex, gender identity and expression, age, and/or ability

Gathering Information

Proposals are rooted in information and evidence; therefore, most proposal assignments require you to conduct research. Depending on your assignment, you may need to do formal research, an activity that involves finding sources and evaluating them for reliability, reading them carefully and taking notes, and citing all words you quote and ideas you borrow. See Research Process: Accessing and Recording Information and Annotated Bibliography: Gathering, Evaluating, and Documenting Sources for detailed instruction on conducting research. If you are proposing a solution to a problem in your local community or on your campus, you may need to conduct primary research as well, such as a survey or interviews with people who live or work there.

Whether you conduct in-depth research or do background reading, keep track of the ideas that come to you and the information you learn. You can write or dictate notes using an app on your phone or computer, or you can jot notes in a journal if you prefer pen and paper. Then, when you are ready to begin to organize what you have learned, you will have a record of your thoughts and information. Always track the source of the information you gather, whether from your reading or a person you interviewed, so that you can return to that source if you need more information and can credit the source in your paper.

Kinds of Evidence

You will use evidence to demonstrate that the problem is real and worthy of being solved and that your recommended solution is workable. Choose evidence for your proposal that is rooted in facts. In addition, choose evidence that best supports the angle you take on your topic and meets your instructor’s requirements. Cite all evidence you use from a source. Consider the following kinds of evidence and examples of each:

Definition : an explanation of a key word, idea, or concept.

The Personal Data Notification & Protection Act of 2017 defines a security breach as “a compromise of the security, confidentiality, or integrity of, or the loss of, computerized data that results in… (i) the unauthorized acquisition of sensitive personally identifiable information; or (ii) access to sensitive personally identifiable information that is for an unauthorized purpose, or in excess of authorization.”

Example : an illustration of an idea or concept.

Every month, university staff members receive a fake phishing email from the IT department. The goal is to train employees of the university to be critical readers of every email they receive.

Expert opinion : a statement by a professional whose opinion is respected in the field.

In The Sixth Extinction , science writer Elizabeth Kolbert observes that humans are making the choice about “which evolutionary pathways will remain and open and which will be forever closed” (268).

Fact : information that is true and can be proven correct or accurate. Statements of fact are built on evidence and data.

In March and April of 2020, 43 states in the United States issued orders directing residents to stay home except for essential activities.

Interview : a person-to-person, phone, or remote conversation that involves an interviewer posing questions to another person or group of people.

During an interview, I asked about parents’ decisions to vaccinate their children. One pediatrician said, “The majority of parents see the benefits of immunizations for their children and for public health. For those who don’t, I talk to them and try to understand why they feel the way they do.”

Quotation : the exact words of an author or speaker.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, SpaceX was required to conduct a “comprehensive review of the company’s safety culture, operational decision-making, and process discipline,” in addition to investigating the crash of its prototype spacecraft (Chang).

Statistics : numerical fact or item of data.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 40 million tons of food waste were generated in 2017, comprising 15.2% of all trash sent to landfills (DeSilver).

Survey : a structured interview in which respondents are all asked the same questions and their answers are tabulated and interpreted. Surveys reveal attitudes, beliefs, or habits of the general public or segments of the population.

In a survey of adults conducted in July 2020, 64 percent of respondents said that social media have a mostly negative effect on American society (Auxier).

  • Visuals and other media : graphs, figures, tables, photographs, diagrams, charts, maps, videos, audio recordings, etc.

Thesis and Organization

Drafting a thesis.

When you have a solid grasp of the problem and solution, try drafting a thesis . A thesis is the main idea that you will convey in your proposal and to which all the paragraphs in the paper should relate. In a proposal, you will likely express this main idea in a thesis statement of one or two sentences toward the end of the introduction.

For example, in the thesis statement Shawn Krukowski wrote for his proposal on climate change, he identifies the problem and previews the solutions he presents:

student sample text What is needed to slow climate change is unified action in two key areas—mitigation and adaptation—spurred by government leadership in the United States and a global commitment to addressing the problem immediately. end student sample text

Here is another example that identifies a problem and multiple solutions:

student sample text The number of women employed in the IT field is decreasing every year, a trend that can be changed with a multifaceted approach that includes initiatives in middle schools, high schools, and colleges; active recruitment; mentoring programs; and flexible work arrangements. end student sample text

After you draft a thesis statement, ask these questions and revise it as needed:

  • Is it engaging? A thesis for a proposal should pique readers’ interest in the problem and possible solutions.
  • Is it precise and specific? If you are interested in curbing the spread of invasive plant species, for example, your thesis should indicate which environment the plant or plants are invading and that you are proposing ways to stop the spread.

Organizing Your Ideas

A proposal has a recognizable shape, starting with an introduction, followed by discussions of the problem, possible solutions, potential objections to the solutions, and a conclusion with a recommendation. A graphic organizer like Table 6.5 can help you organize your ideas and evidence.

Drafting a Proposal

With a tentative thesis, an organization plan, and evidence, you are ready to begin drafting your proposal. For this assignment, you will discuss a problem, present possible solutions, address objections to the solutions, and conclude with a recommendation.

You may choose to write the introduction first, last, or midway through the drafting process. Whenever you choose to write it, use it to draw readers in. Make the proposal topic clear, and be concise. End the introduction with your thesis statement.

Opening a proposal with an overview of your topic is a reliable strategy, as shown in the following student-written example on women working in IT. The thesis statement, which appeared earlier in this section, is underlined:

student sample text People who work in the information technology (IT) field often start their careers fixing computers and other electronic devices for others. Through experience and education, an IT worker’s career path can branch out to specialize in everything from programming new software to setting up and maintaining networks. The IT field is growing because of the constant development of technology, and the demand for employees also is growing. underline Yet the number of women employed in the IT field is decreasing every year, a trend that can be changed with a multifaceted approach that includes initiatives in middle schools, high schools, and colleges; active recruitment; mentoring programs; and flexible work arrangements end underline . end student sample text

Body Paragraphs: Problem, Solutions, Objections

The body paragraphs of your proposal should present the problem, the solution or solutions, and potential objections to the proposed solution(s). As you write these paragraphs, consider using the point , evidence , and analysis pattern:

  • The point is the central idea of the paragraph, usually given in a topic sentence stated in your own words at or toward beginning of the paragraph.
  • With the evidence you provide, you develop the paragraph and support the point given in the topic sentence. Include details, examples, quotations, paraphrases, and summaries from sources. In your sentences and paragraphs, synthesize the evidence you give by showing the connections between sources. See Position Argument: Practicing the Art of Rhetoric and Argumentative Research: Enhancing the Art of Rhetoric with Evidence for more information on quoting, summarizing, paraphrasing, and synthesizing.
  • The analysis comes at the end of the paragraph. In your own words, draw a conclusion about the evidence you have provided and relate it to the topic sentence.

The paragraphs that follow show the point-evidence-analysis pattern in practice.

Body Paragraphs: Problem

Follow the introduction with a discussion of the problem. Using paragraph structure, define the problem and discuss it, drawing on evidence from your sources. This paragraph (or paragraphs) should answer these questions: What is the problem? Why is this a problem? The following example, from the proposal on women working in IT, answers the first question:

student sample text The information technology (IT) field is continuously expanding, with many more positions available than workers to fill them. In fact, the pool of IT professionals was so small that in 2001, Congress raised the visa limit in an effort to fill the gap with employees from overseas (Varma, 2002). And yet the number of women represented in the occupation is decreasing. From 1990 to 2020, the percentage of women in IT declined from 31 percent to 25 percent, even though women make up 47 percent of all employed adults in the United States. According to White (2021), only 19 percent of women pursue a computer science major in college, compared to 27 percent in 1997. Of those women who graduated with a computer science degree, 38 percent are working in the field compared to 56 percent of men, a statistic that indicates women are not staying in the field. Although gender diversity supposedly is valued in the workplace, the underrepresentation of women in IT is clearly a problem. end student sample text

The writer then goes on to answer the second question: Why is this a problem? The writer discusses stereotypes, lack of encouragement and role models, workplace culture, pay, and prospects for advancement (not shown here).

Body Paragraphs: Solutions

After presenting and explaining the problem, use specific information from the sources you consulted to present the solution or solutions you have discovered through your research. If you are proposing more than one solution, present them one at a time, using headings as appropriate.

The solutions section will likely be the longest part of your proposal. Below are two paragraphs from the proposal about women working in IT. Note how the first paragraph introduces the solutions and how the second paragraph uses evidence to develop the first proposed solution. Also note the informative boldface headings.

student sample text The following suggestions are ways to encourage women to enter IT and build their careers, with the eventual goal of achieving gender balance in the field. The solutions discussed include encouraging interest in computer technology among girls in middle school and high school, actively recruiting college-age women to study IT, and within the field, mentoring women and expanding workplace flexibility to improve retention. end student sample text

student sample text The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is an organization that encourages girls in middle school and high school to explore their interest in IT. One program, the NCWIT’s Aspirations in Computing, supports women in high school by showing them that they can succeed in technology and introducing them to other students with similar interests. The same program matches middle-school girls with female high-school and college students and awards scholarships for computing and programming competitions. In addition, internships and IT courses in middle school and high school provide opportunities to learn what a career in IT entails, with or without a degree in IT. Opportunities like these give girls and women support and a sense of belonging. end student sample text

The paragraphs that follow (not shown here) continue the discussion of the possible solutions.

Body Paragraphs: Objections

Depending on the problem and solution, consider the objections readers may raise, and explain why your proposal is necessary and worthwhile. For example, the proposal on women in IT does not discuss objections because few people would object to the writer’s proposal. Shawn Krukowski, however, in his proposal on climate change, includes a section on objections to taking action. He focuses the discussion on people who deny that climate change is a problem. Would you do the same? Consider whether this section of Shawn’s proposal might have been stronger had he addressed objections to the solutions he proposed—mitigation and adaptation—instead of objections to the problem.

student sample text Despite scientific evidence, some people and groups deny that climate change is real or, if they admit it exists, insist it is not a valid concern. Those who think climate change is not a problem point to Earth’s millennia-long history of changing climate as evidence that life has always persisted. Most of the change, however, predates human civilization, which has benefited from thousands of years of stable climate. The rapid change since the Industrial Revolution is unprecedented in human history. end student sample text

student sample text Those who deny climate change or its dangers seek primarily to relax or remove pollution standards and regulations in order to protect, or maximize profit from, their industries. To date, their lobbying has been successful. For example, the world’s fossil-fuel industry received $5.3 trillion in 2015 alone, while the U.S. wind-energy industry received $12.3 billion in subsidies between 2000 and 2020 (Green America, 2020). end student sample text

Conclusion and Recommendation

The conclusion and recommendation section of your proposal is the part in which you interpret your findings and make a recommendation or give a call to action. At this point, focus on the solution that will best solve the problem, suggesting or summarizing specific actions.

Below is the recommendation section from the proposal about women in IT. In the full conclusion (not shown here), the writer summarizes the main points of the proposal. In the recommendation paragraph that follows, the writer calls for specific actions:

student sample text Many researchers have studied why few women choose IT as a career and why some decide to leave the field. Although the numbers cannot be improved immediately, the following changes in school and the workplace could recruit and retain more women in IT: end student sample text

  • Include technology education courses and formal IT programs in middle- and high-school curricula to give girls and young women opportunities to develop an interest at an early age.
  • Develop internship and mentor programs in high schools and colleges to combat stereotyping and encourage women to enter the field.
  • Develop and encourage workplace mentor programs, flexible work options, and open communication for professional growth and retention.

student sample text With time and effort, these actions may result in more women seeing themselves in long-term IT careers. end student sample text

References or Works Cited Page

Including any data you gathered through primary research, such as a survey you created and administered, interviews you conducted, or observational notes you took, you must cite the sources you consulted. These sources appear in the text of your proposal and in a bibliography at the end. The paragraphs in the previous section, including Shawn Krukowski’s proposal, use APA documentation style. For more on documenting sources, see Index and Guide to Documentation , MLA Documentation and Format , and APA Documentation and Format .

Abstract or Executive Summary

An abstract (or executive summary) summarizes your proposal. The purpose is to present information briefly and economically so that readers can decide whether they want to read further. Include your main points, but not the evidence.

Although an abstract or executive summary comes first in a proposal, it is advisable to write it after you have completed your proposal and are certain of your main points. The example below is the abstract from the proposal about women in IT.

student sample text The purpose of this proposal is to raise awareness of the small number of women working in the information technology (IT) field, to examine the factors that contribute to discouraging women from entering IT, and to propose ways to draw women into the field and retain them. Although the IT field is growing, the number of women employed within it remains low. Women may be reluctant to pursue a career in IT because of stereotypes, few role models, and lack of encouragement. Women who have already established a career in IT report leaving the field for these reasons, as well as family responsibilities and lack of advancement. There are several potential ways to raise the number of women in IT. Encouraging interest in computer technology among girls in middle school and high school, recruiting college-age women to study IT, mentoring young professional women, and improving workplace flexibility will, over time, break down stereotypes and increase the number of women in the IT field. end student sample text

Peer Review: Getting Feedback from Readers

With a complete draft in hand, you may engage in peer review with your classmates, giving feedback to each other about the strengths and weaknesses of your drafts. For peer review within a class, your instructor may provide a list of questions or a form for you to complete as you work together.

Conferencing in Writing Groups

Other people can provide feedback on your writing beside your classmates. If you have an on-campus writing center, it is well worth your time to make an online or in-person appointment with a tutor at any point in your writing process. You will get valuable comments and improve your ability to review your own writing.

Another way to get fresh eyes on your writing is to ask a friend or family member to read your draft. To get useful feedback, provide a list of questions or a form such as the one shown in Table 6.6 for them to complete as they read.

Revising Your Proposal

A strong college paper is rarely written in a single draft, so build in time to revise your work. Take time with the comments you receive from your readers, and read your own work with a critical eye.

A student sits at a desk in front of a laptop computer. The student writes information on a notepad.

Responding to Reviewers’ Feedback

When you receive feedback from readers—whether from your instructor, your classmates, a writing tutor, or someone else—read each comment carefully to understand what the reader is communicating. Do your best not to become defensive, and be open to suggestions for improvement. Remind yourself that your readers are trying to help. As someone who hasn’t thought about your proposal as much as you have, a new reader can often see strengths and weaknesses that you cannot. Analyze each response, and decide whether acting on a suggestion will make your writing better. Remember that you remain the author, and you make the final call on your writing.

As you read, keep track of the comments your readers make. Pay special attention to strengths and weaknesses that more than one reader identifies. Use that information to improve later assignments as well as your proposal.

Revising on Your Own

The following revising strategies can help you read your draft critically and carefully:

  • Read your draft aloud. Read the entire text from the beginning slowly and carefully, marking spots that need revision. Reading in this way allows you to see areas that need clarification, explanation, or development that you may have missed when you wrote the first draft. You can also have someone read your draft aloud to you.
  • Make a paragraph outline. The most common unit of thought in writing is the paragraph, a group of sentences set off from other groups because they focus on a single idea. Writing a paragraph outline creates a map of your whole paper that can help you determine whether the organization is effective or needs changing. Number each paragraph and write a phrase describing its topic or focus. Check that each paragraph has a topic sentence that states the main idea of the paragraph.
  • Test your evidence. Check whether each piece of evidence is factual and supports the main idea of the paragraph. Check that each piece of evidence is introduced, woven into your sentences, and cited.
  • Listen for your voice. In most college papers, your language should sound like a real person. If your instructor requires a formal style for the assignment, the language should be objective and in third-person point of view .
  • Let go if you need to. View change as good. Learn to let go of words, sentences, paragraphs, and maybe even your entire first draft. Sometimes the best way to revise is to start fresh. The knowledge you have built in writing a first draft will serve you well if you need to start over.
  • Create a new file for each revision. Each time you revise a draft, save the new version with a new file name so that you don’t lose your previous work. That way, you can return to an earlier version of your draft if you are not happy with the revision.
  • Edit and proofread. When you are satisfied with the overall shape of your paper, reread it once again to check for sentence-level errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and source citations.

Taking It Public: Publishing or Presenting Your Proposal

Publishing is a final step in the writing process. You may want to consider publishing your full proposal in your campus newspaper (or rewriting it as a letter to the editor) if your topic is related to your school. Or you may want to present it to an organization or committee on campus that can help you make your solution a reality. If your topic is related to the community in which you live, consider submitting your proposal to the local newspaper or presenting it at a city council meeting. (Note that if you decide to present your proposal orally, you’ll need to figure out in advance the procedure for speaking or getting on a meeting agenda.) If your topic is more general and involves substantial research, consider submitting your proposal to one of these journals that publish undergraduate research work in all fields:

  • American Journal of Undergraduate Research
  • Midwest Journal of Undergraduate Research
  • PURSUE Undergraduate Research Journal

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How To Write An Essay Proposal: Helpful Guideline For Students

how to write an essay proposal

Many students want to learn how to write an essay proposal when joining college. Most learners can read and write a five-paragraph essay when completing secondary education. However, very few students have experience with writing an essay proposal. A proposal is a typical assignment; students can write it based on an essay prompt. This article explains what an essay proposal is and how to write it.

Table of Contents

What is a proposal essay.

  • What Is The Goal Of An Essay Proposal?

Why You Might Need An Essay Proposal

How to write a proposal for an essay, essay proposal example, how to start a proposal essay, how to write proposal: a step-by-step guide, essay proposal format.

  • Tips And Hints On How To Write A Proposal Essay
An essay proposal is a paper that describes or proposes an idea or thesis that you intend to write. It outlines the main points you will discuss in the body of the paper while providing supporting evidence for the proposed argument.

A thesis represents the research and its main idea. However, a proposal essay encapsulates the content and purpose of the paper. It aims to convince the educational committee that the topic and approach are sound, hoping to get you the approval to proceed to the actual research.

Some call it a proposal argument that presents a problem that needs fixing or a necessary change. While people mostly write proposals in economics, management, and businesses, scientists, students, and other professionals write them.

What Is The Goal Of An Essay Proposal?

An essay proposal aims to persuade the reader that your topic is worth investigating. It should include a brief overview of the main points you will discuss in the body of the paper and provide supporting evidence for the proposed argument. Here’s what an effective essay proposal does:

  • It suggests a change or idea.
  • It convinces your readers to adopt a change or view.
  • It shows your mastery of a concept in your field
  • It presents a case for a change process or idea’s implementation
  • It confirms the practicality, applicability, and feasibility of an idea, a program, or a change

Learning how to write essay proposal requires understanding its points. Essentially, this paper should represent a well-explained problem or issue. It proposes a way to solve it and a discussion explaining why your solution is the best.

You need an essay proposal if your teacher or professor assigns you a research paper. This paper outlines the scope and purpose of your project. And this is helpful because it ensures that the involved parties agree about the project and its content. It states to the stakeholder or decision-maker that you understand your project and its scope.

Learning to write a proposal is essential if you want to score a higher grade for a school or college course you’re taking. Also, this skill is vital if you want to write proposals to get business or project funding. Once you acquire this skill, you can write persuasively on a specific topic without struggling to start.

You do most of the work in the pre-writing stages when writing a proposal essay. Here’s what you should do before starting.

Know your readers: This essay aims to convince the audience that you have a worth-pursuing idea. Therefore, know who will read the proposal before you write it. Are you writing for a business person, government officials, or academics? If your readers are business people, justify the proposal by highlighting its potential financial benefits. If it’s for government officials, emphasize the proposal’s popularity. Research: You will have a higher chance of persuading others of the proposal if you have secondary sources supporting your claim. Therefore, talk to experts or read their research before writing your proposal. Pre-write: Take your time to brainstorm ideas before writing the essay. Also, think about ways to organize the views once you have them. Revise: Have a colleague or peer read the paper and provide feedback. After that, incorporate the feedback into your second draft.

Perhaps, you can also read a good essay proposal sample to understand what the readers expect you to include in your paper.

Here’s a good essay proposal example to take a peak at to shape and inspire your ideas, before we get into the details:

Christianity has not often seen eye to eye with women’s issues, particularly reproductive rights. For many years, Christianity in several forms has suggested that abortion is immoral, considering it to be the termination or murder of an unborn child (Stensvold, 2015). Whilst this terminology is helpful for creating an atmosphere of tension between women seeking abortion and their religious views, it needs to be critically examined for the way that it influences women who are practicing Christians and their attitudes towards their own body. The topic of abortion is also important because it has been traditionally seen as immoral, but more and more women (including practicing Christians) are choosing to undergo the procedure. It needs to be reevaluated in terms of modern society and understood for its significance in Christianity. Historically, the Catholic Church has been one of the biggest influencers on abortion (Stensvold, 2015). Despite this, Pope Francis has suggested that priests have the authority to absolve the sin of abortion and that it may not necessarily be one of the biggest issues facing the church (Dias, 2015). The Catholic Church is a big player in the general Christian world, and it is important to critically analyse the effects that it has on other churches. The purpose of this research will be to examine the rules and regulations of a variety of different forms of Christianity and their views on abortion with reference to the Catholic Church as a baseline. Methodology The theoretical perspective of structural functionalism will be used as a basis for conducting a thorough literature review on the topic. By analyzing several different sources which explore different Churches and their views on abortion, structural functionalism will help to place the Catholic Church and others in the context of a changing society. As the structure, norms and morality of the outside world changes, so too do the attitudes of religious believers. The literature review will focus on changing attitudes and beliefs surrounding abortion and so-called reproductive rights to analyse them in context of the Church to understand how both society, and the Catholic Church, influence Christian believers of other Churches. The analysis will include the major denominations in the United Kingdom: Anglican, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Pentecostal, Orthodox, and Presbyterian, as well as brief discussions of non-Trinitarian denominations the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Quakers. Significance This work is important for several reasons. It will highlight the influence of the Catholic Church on other areas of Christianity, which is important as Catholicism remains the largest denomination. It will also help to highlight the effects of non-religious society on the views of various churches towards sin and absolution, which is important in a rapidly paced, globalized world. It will also help to highlight some of the key differences between denominations of Christianity in the United Kingdom. These three elements will come together to give a full picture on the controversial topic of abortion and the reasoning that many Christians give for its morality or immorality. Understanding this will help guide the ministerial profession into giving good, moral guidance to followers within the Church and to highlight some of the issues that will likely arise in practice.

Besides indicating your action plan, the proposal should have a theoretical positioning and a relationship to past work in your field. The readers will be more likely to approve your ideas or suggestions if your essay proposal is concise, clear, and engaging.

In most fields, a captivating and persuasive proposal is essential for success. Several proposal types include thesis proposals, book proposals, and science proposals. However, they have similar basic guidelines. Here’s how you can start your proposal.

  • Topic rationale: Demonstrate why the topic is essential in your discipline. Also, include the objective limitations without promising something you can’t deliver.
  • Review past works: Review published works that relate to your topic. Also, explain how your essay builds on the previous studies while exploring new territory.
  • Outline your methodology or approach: Compose an essay proposal outline with the necessary resources, costs, and time for the work.

Different disciplines have varying standards for essay proposals. However, most essay proposals emphasize a specific focus of the study question. Also, they include headings, lists, and visuals, that make reading and cross-referencing easy. Additionally, use a concrete and precise style showing the feasibility of your idea.

Once you have the basic guidelines for writing your essay proposal, the next step is learning the steps to follow when doing it. A good format will help the academic committee comprehend your application’s seriousness or intent. The school, class, or institution you’re submitting the proposal to will determine your proposal’s format. Here’s a general step-by-step guide for writing a proposal.

Introduction: Start by introducing the issue you want to address to the committee. Present a firm introduction to enrapture the readers from the beginning. Background: The background should provide details of the issue while setting the stage, highlighting past studies on the topic or subject. Address stark facts to show the reason to address the problem immediately. Ideally, start the background with facts instead of your opinion. Significance: Explain what makes your study significant. Provide evidence from reports, studies, and other literature supporting your argument and showing the need to investigate your chosen topic for a proposal essay. Research hypotheses or questions: This section should explain your study goals. The hypotheses or questions should guide your analysis. Emphasize the need to solve the problem and how it affects your readers if this doesn’t happen immediately. Use credible facts and sources to support your hypotheses. Study design: Explain how you plan to conduct your study. Also, address the methodology to use in addressing the issue. In this section, show the readers how you will address the problem, why you choose to do it in a specific way, and the possible outcome. Conclusion: The conclusion should summarize the information you’ve provided in the other sections. Also, explain how the study will address the focus problem. You can conclude the proposal with one or two paragraphs describing how the study will address the issue. Essentially, the conclusion should morrow the introduction while wrapping up the overall message. This section should also address the consequences of the failure to undertake your proposal. Also, leave readers with something to think about and thank them for their consideration. Bibliography: This section is optional and lists the literature you read supporting your proposal’s content. Continue with the text if you don’t want to add a bibliography.

If some content doesn’t fit in your proposal, add an appendix. However, your proposal shouldn’t be too long because it can scare off some readers. Therefore, make it concise and clear by proofreading and editing. Also, ask somebody to proofread and critique your work to ensure an engaging and attractive presentation. Seeking help can also make your proposal more organized and helpful.

A basic format or outline will help you organize your proposal. College professors and teachers have expectations. Therefore, check your educator’s or supervisor’s requirements before writing your proposal. Here’s the basic format for an essay proposal.

  • Introduction: The introduction summarizes the main points while establishing your paper’s purpose. For instance, when proposing a new approach to a topic, the opening can start with a brief description and then present an argument telling the audience why your method is the best.
  • Body: The body of a proposal should present an argument supporting the main idea. Include evidence backing up the claim to compose a well-supported essay. And this evidence can be quotes, statistics, or real-life examples. Include sufficient evidence to support the argument.
  • Conclusion: The conclusion should summarize the argument you presented in the essay. Also, motivate the readers to take action based on your discussion. Most importantly, remind the readers why your topic is essential and its possible impact.

Ensure that each section comes out clearly in your paper. Also, ensure that your ideas flow logically from the introduction to the conclusion.

Tips And Hints On How To Write A Proposal Essay

Your proposal should be eye-catching and captivating. Here are tips to help improve your paper. They should be a great essay homework help and assistance to you!

  • Please do your research: Before beginning to write your proposal essay, it is essential to do your research. And this will help you better understand the topic at hand and will allow you to formulate a more well-rounded argument. It is also essential to be familiar with the opposing side of the debate, as this will enable you to anticipate counterarguments and refute them accordingly.
  • Keep it concise: When writing a proposal essay, it is vital to keep the paper brief and to the point. The goal is not to provide a complete overview of the topic but to present a clear and concise argument for the proposed solution. Be sure to edit the paper carefully before submitting it, as a well-written and well-argued proposal is more likely to be successful than a poorly written one.
  • Make a clear argument: It’s essential to ensure that your view is clear and easy to follow. Remember that the goal is to persuade the reader of the viability of your proposed solution, so be sure to present your argument logically and straightforwardly.
  • Write convincingly: Present evidence and facts to make your solution more convincing and efficient than what exists. Apart from making your plan awesome, ensure that readers see you as the person that can do it efficiently.
  • Explain the plan: Your proposal should have a step-by-step plan with details to make the process easy to understand.
  • Show your anticipation: Present an implementation plan, showing the complete process and how it will solve the problem.
  • Present your desired results: Ensure that readers see and understand your desired results. Focus on defining everything in your proposal.
  • Necessary resources: Explain what you need to complete the project. And this can include tangible resources, like computers, money, and paper. Also, you require intangible resources like time to complete the project.
  • Preparation mode: Ensure that your readers see that you know what you plan to do. Looking more prepared will improve the approval chances for your proposal.

In addition to these tips, edit your proposal essay carefully before submitting it. Ensure it’s free of grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors. Additionally, read a sample to know what to include in your proposal.

Get Homework Help Today!

Do you need help writing a custom proposal? If so, we can help you if you contact us saying, “Please write my essay proposal.” We have knowledgeable and trustworthy writers with a proven track record of helping any student that needs help with research, writing, editing, or wishes to buy homework online.

Whether in college, university, or high school, we can help you write a winning proposal. We will deliver an excellent piece regardless of your proposal’s structure, subject, or level. We offer secure and helpful online services that cater to the needs of learners at various academic levels and disciplines. Our services are perfect for any learner that wants to present a perfect and successful proposal. Contact us to get the correct proposal that will help you excel academically.

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How to write a proposal essay + Examples

how to write an essay topic proposal

What is a proposal essay?

A proposal essay is a type of persuasive essay written to support or oppose a stated proposition. Students typically use the format in their composition courses, where they are asked to write essays supporting or opposing various action items.

The following article discusses five important guidelines for writing proposal essays:

A proposal essay is often assigned as an exercise in college-level writing courses. The assignment typically gives students a brief statement about an issue facing society today, asking them to either argue for changing the status quo or preserving it. Here are two examples of proposal paper prompts:

Should parents give their teenagers privacy? Support your answer with relevant reasons and/or specific examples from experience, observation, or reading . Although many parents believe teenagers would use privacy irresponsibly, others feel that adolescents should be given more freedom.

Should schools hire teachers who have majored in the subjects they teach? Give specific examples and reasons for your answer. Many schools believe that hiring teachers with degrees in the subjects they teach ensures that students are receiving accurate information, but others argue that it is unfair to exclude people from teaching opportunities if they did not major in education during college.

How to write a proposal essay

The following are five helpful steps on writing a proposal essay for college:

Address counterarguments

The most important aspect of writing a proposal essay is addressing the opposing argument, or counterargument. It is not enough to simply argue for your side; you must also show why your opponent’s position is problematic. Otherwise, there are no logical reasons you should be able to convince an educated audience how they are wrong on this matter. For example, if you argued that schools should hire teachers who have majored in the subjects they teach, one effective strategy would be showing that doing so would lead to students receiving more accurate information than if unqualified teachers were hired instead. You might follow with reasoning about the importance of having qualified instructors and explain how hiring unqualified people does not ensure quality education (because some graduates may not even know what they are talking about).

Support your statements with facts and/or anecdotes

A proposal essay is persuasive, so you want to explain why you hold your position. This can be done by providing facts or personal accounts that support your claim. For example, if you argued parents should give their teenagers privacy for using social media sites like Facebook, one effective strategy would be citing statistics about teenage social media addiction rates and how parents can monitor kids’ online activity all the time (and therefore expect them to do it responsibly on their own). You could also share an anecdote where you used Facebook irresponsibly as a teen and got into trouble because of it if doing so would help fellow readers better relate to your opinion. Of course, you must make sure to use facts and anecdotes that support your argument; otherwise, you will be seen as unreliable.

Discuss the benefits of your position

A proposal essay is persuasive , so it is important to discuss the positive aspects of your opinion . This can be done by explaining why society would benefit from following or leaving the status quo on this issue. For example, if you argued for teenagers’ privacy rights, one effective strategy would be showing how allowing them relative freedom online would help them learn responsibility early in life (which might prevent them from venturing down an unwise path later on). You could also share personal stories about responsible online usage habits you formed as a teen to demonstrate what teens are capable of when they are given the chance.

Use clear language and correct syntax

A proposal essay should be written in formal, academic tone. Avoid slang or casual writing when possible; otherwise, your statement may come across as immature to educated readers . Make sure you are addressing the topic (and not an unrelated issue) when giving your opinion. Finally, make sure all your sentences are in complete, proper form; if they are not, readers might misunderstand responsibilities for why you hold your position (or mistakenly think you lack sound reasoning). For example, “Proving kids responsibly use social media would help them learn responsibility early in life” is less likely to persuade than “Proving kids responsibly use social media could help them learn responsibility early in life.”

Edit and proofread your work

The final step to writing a proposal essay is editing and proofreading for grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes . Check all sentences for complete words (or lack thereof), subject-verb agreement, consistent verb tense, logical organization of ideas, and correct usage of punctuation. It is also helpful to get someone else to read over your essay before you turn it in because they are less emotionally involved with the topic than you are. If you have followed these steps when writing a proposal essay , you will be able to provide strong reasoning for why society should adopt this view on the given issue. Remember that proposals are persuasive essays ; therefore, even though your opinion may not change others’ minds entirely if they disagree with it beforehand, you have a chance to persuade them or at least get them thinking about your position.

Proposal essay structure

A good proposal essay structure should contain:

  • Statement of your intentions : what do you plan to study? Why is this important? A clear statement of your intentions: what will you be studying and why does the research on this topic matter?
  • Statement of the problem : Clearly state the problem you wish to address.
  • Literature review : A review of the existing literature on this topic that you have read,
  • Proposed ideas : Ideas about what methods or experiments you might implement. Methods: How do you plan to solve the problem? What techniques will you use for this study? The methods section should give a clear indication of exactly what it is that you are going to do.

In some cases there is no literature to review- for example, if you are proposing an experiment, but in other cases a more comprehensive literature review may be appropriate.

Proposal essay examples

The following proposal essay examples will give you a better idea of what this should look like.

Outline Example 1: A proposal essay on manufacturing drugs from biomass

Statement of Intentions : The purpose of my research project is to discover if it is possible to use bioenergy as an alternative source for chemicals such as pharmaceuticals. This option could potentially provide more sustainable fuels and chemicals while reducing the environmental impact of current production methods.

Statement of problem : The petroleum industry provides chemicals for a variety of important pharmaceuticals readily available today. As oil reserves are being depleted, there is an increasing need to find sustainable alternatives to the industry’s current practices. It has been hypothesized that biomass conversion processes could be used to produce specific types of chemicals that do not directly compete with food sources.

Review of literature : There are several stages in the process from biomass to chemicals where significant improvements can be found. One area is finding catalysts for efficient breakdown of complex carbohydrate compounds into glucose monomers which can be further processed into fuels or other desired products. Another major challenge is identifying ways to remove toxic byproducts during fermentation to increase yield and reduce costs.

Ideas : One possible experiment to test this hypothesis would be to collect different types of biomass, and then process them into sugars using enzymes and acids. These sugars could then undergo a microbial conversion process in bioreactors containing hydrothermal catalysts that break down complex compounds into smaller molecules which can be further processed for fuels or other chemicals. The use of such reactors could reduce the production time required by traditional methods and increase output quantities by increasing yield.

Sample Proposal Paper 2:

Title: Collage Proposal


I am proposing the creation of a collage that would gather together images, symbols, and text representing the various aspects of the user experience design process. This collage would function as both a visual aid for those unfamiliar with UX design, as well as a conversation starter for more experienced designers looking to compare and contrast their processes.

Statement of Purpose:

The purpose of this collage is to serve as a visual representation of the various steps involved in designing a user experience. This collage will be used as a teaching tool in my UX design course, as well as hung up in my office as a constant reminder of the importance of each step in the process.

This collage is meant for two audiences: those who are unfamiliar with UX design, and those who are experienced designers looking to compare and contrast different processes. For the former group, this collage will serve as an introduction to the various steps involved in UX design. For the latter group, this collage will provide a starting point for discussion and debate around the relative importance of each step in the process.

The materials I will use for this collage are images, symbols, and text representing the various steps involved in UX design. These materials will be gathered from online sources, as well as my library of UX-related books and articles.

Collage Layout:

The collage will be divided into four sections, each representing a different stage in the UX design process: research, planning, design, and testing. Within each section, the images, symbols, and text will be arranged in a way that reflects the chronology of that stage. For example, the research section will begin with more general images and text, followed by more specific ones as the research process narrows in on a particular topic.


In conclusion, the collage I am proposing will serve as a valuable teaching tool for my UX design course, as well as a visually appealing reminder of the importance of each stage in the process for experienced designers. This collage will be created using images, symbols, and text representing the various steps involved in UX design, and will be divided into four sections corresponding to the four stages of the process.


Druin, A. (1999). The design of children’s technology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Norman, D. A. (2013). The design of everyday things. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Saffer, D. (2009). Designing for interaction: Creating smart applications and devices. Berkeley, CA: New Riders.

With these proposal essay examples, writing a perfect proposal paper should be a bliss.

100 Best proposal essay topics

Wondering what to write a proposal essay about? Before starting your research, check this list of interesting proposal essay ideas that include every possible topic in every possible field. With such a wide range of topics you can’t fail to impress even the most demanding professor!

Note that these are just ideas for proposal essay writing. To get great and custom topics for your proposal essay, click here to ask for professional help .

  • How to reduce childhood obesity (policy proposal)
  • How to reduce gun violence
  • Why we should stop eating meat (argumentative essay topic)
  • Should gay marriage be legalized in the US (argumentative essay topic)?
  • Can you really trust food manufacturers and advertisers? (subject: ethics, argumentative essay topic).
  • Is social media a good or bad thing for teens? (subject: psychology, persuasive essay topic).
  • How technology is changing human relationships and society as a whole. Should we embrace it or avoid it at all costs? Discuss both sides of the issue. (discussion question/paper assignment/persuasive essay idea).
  • Are cellphones a distraction to drivers? (subject: science, argumentative essay topic).
  • Is the usage of marijuana an illness or a disease to be treated with the help of doctors? ( argumentative essay topic )
  • Should tobacco companies be allowed to advertise on TV, radio and billboards? (subject: ethics, argumentative essay topic ).
  • How religion and politics affect each other and in what ways (argumentative essay topic).
  • Should abortion be legal? Why or why not? ( argumentative essay ).
  • How would you solve the homeless problem in America (persuasive essay topic).
  • Are we alone in the universe? (discussion question/paper assignment/ argumentative essay idea ).
  • What’s your opinion on gay marriage and should it be legalized? (argumentative essay topic)
  • Which was a greater invention: electricity, computers, cars, planes or phone? Discuss them all. (discussion question/paper assignment/elective subject paper idea).
  • Which is more harmful to kids: alcohol, marijuana or cigarettes. Discuss them all. (subject: science comparison paper topic)
  • Is global warming real and caused by humans? If yes, what can be done to prevent it? (discussion question/paper assignment/ persuasive essay topic ).
  • Should the death penalty be allowed in this country considering it’s a state that claims to have abolished slavery? (argumentative essay topic)
  • Is there life on other planets and if so, should we seek contact with them or not? Why or why not? (discussion question/paper assignment/persuasive essay idea).
  • What are your thoughts about the US’ foreign policy. Do you think they care more about business interests than human rights advocacy? What could be done to improve things for civilians all over the world who are being oppressed by their own governments and denied certain basic human rights? (discussion question/paper assignment/argumentative essay topic).
  • Should college athletes get paid for playing sports in college if they’re not offered scholarships and their tuition is already fully covered? (subject: ethics, argumentative essay topic)
  • What’s your opinion on drones and if used by the US military, how do you think this will affect civilians all over the world? (discussion question/paper assignment/ persuasive essay ideas )
  • How has social media impacted teenagers’ lives? Good or bad? (subject: psychology , persuasive essay topic).
  • Do you think education should be free everywhere in the world. Discuss both sides of the issue.
  • Should the death penalty be abolished in this country? Why or why not?
  • What’s your opinion on the increasing violence and crime rate in America. Discuss both sides of the issue.
  • Is video game addiction a real condition? Discuss both sides of this argument, using examples from history to support your thesis.
  • Are humans too dependent on technology nowadays? Is it healthy to live without technology for a while or is that just impossible at this point due to how advanced our society has become?.
  • …. the list will be updated continually…

Please note that these papers should consist of at least 3-4 pages if you want to have a chance of scoring an A or B. If your paper is too short, it might not be taken too seriously for college paper writing .

No plagiarism because if your teacher catches you cheating in college  even once, that assignment will automatically become a zero and you won’t receive any points for this coursework .

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Proposal essay writing help

Ask for a FREE quote now ! You’ll be impressed by the quality of each sample essay written and how it’s been written from scratch by an expert in that field according to your instructions and criteria. In case you’re wondering if we can handle your assignment as well as those samples, don’t hesitate to ask us for a free quote and we will let you know right away what kind of price it will cost you so you can plan ahead and prepare the budget needed for such a college research project. We assure you that teacher or professor will be impressed by your essay proposal even though it was done at the last minute because you’re a real go-getter and determined to succeed.

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How to Write a Proposal

Last Updated: August 2, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Dave Labowitz . Dave Labowitz is a Business Coach who helps pre-entrepreneurs, solopreneurs/entrepreneurs, and team leaders start, scale, and lead their businesses and teams. Before beginning his coaching career, Dave was a startup executive who spent over a decade building high-growth companies. Dave’s “path less traveled” life includes adventures such as dropping out of high school, co-authoring a book in the Smithsonian Institute, and getting his MBA at Pepperdine’s Graziadio Business School. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 3,968,945 times.

Writing a good proposal is a critical skill in many occupations, from school to business management to geology. The goal of a proposal is to gain support for your plan by informing the appropriate people. Your ideas or suggestions are more likely to be approved if you can communicate them in a clear, concise, engaging manner. Knowing how to write a persuasive, captivating proposal is essential for success in many fields. There are several types of proposals, such as science proposals and book proposals, but each following the same basic guidelines.

Sample Proposals

how to write an essay topic proposal

Planning Your Proposal

Step 1 Define your audience.

  • Who will be reading your proposal? What level of familiarity with your topic will they have? What might you need to define or give extra background information about?
  • What do you want your audience to get from your proposal? What do you need to give your readers, so they can make the decision you want them to make?
  • Refine your tone to meet your audience's expectations and desires. What do they want to hear? What would be the most effective way of getting through to them? How can you help them understand what you're trying to say?

Step 2 Define your issue.

  • What is the situation this issue applies to?
  • What are the reasons behind this?
  • Are we certain that those, and not others, are the real reasons? How are we sure of it?
  • Has anyone ever tried to deal with this issue before?
  • If yes: has it worked? Why?
  • If no: why not?

Tip: Use your summary to show that you've conducted in-depth research to evaluate and understand the issue. Include only the information that's most relevant to your topic, and avoid writing a summary that's obvious to anyone in the field.

Step 3 Define your solution.

  • Your proposal needs to define a problem and offer a solution that will convince uninterested, skeptical readers to support it. Your audience may not be the easiest crowd to win over. Is the solution you're offering logical and feasible? What's the timeline for your implementation?
  • Consider thinking about your solution in terms of objectives. Your primary objective is the goal that you truly must achieve with your project. Secondary objectives are other goals that you hope your project achieves.
  • Another helpful way of thinking about your solution is in terms of "outcomes" and "deliverables." Outcomes are the quantifiable results of your objectives. For example, if your proposal is for a business project and your objective is "increase profit," an outcome might be "increase profit by $100,000." Deliverables are products or services that you will deliver with your project. For example, a proposal for a science project could "deliver" a vaccine or a new drug. Readers of proposals look for outcomes and deliverables because they are easy ways of determining what the "worth" of the project will be.

Step 4 Keep elements of style in mind.

  • How are you going to be persuasive? Convincing proposals can use emotional appeals, but should always rely on facts as the bedrock of the argument. For example, a proposal to start a panda conservation program could mention how sad it would be for the children of future generations to never see a panda again, but it shouldn't stop there. It would need to base its argument on facts and solutions for the proposal to be convincing.

Avoid writing in jargon and using obscure abbreviations or needlessly complex language. Instead, write in plain, direct language as much as possible.

For example, instead of saying "rectification of a workplace imbalance," you could simply write, "let employees go."

Step 5 Make an outline.

  • Your outline should consist of your problem, your solution, how you'll solve it, why your solution is best, and a conclusion. If you're writing an executive proposal, you'll need to include things like a budget analysis and organizational details.

Writing Your Own Proposal

Step 1 Start with a firm introduction.

  • If you have any stark facts that shed some light on why the issue needs to be addressed and addressed immediately, it's a safe bet that's something you can start with. Whatever it is, make sure what you start out with is a fact and not an opinion.

Step 2 State the problem.

  • Emphasize why your problem needs to be solved and needs to be solved now. How will it affect your audience if left alone? Make sure to answer all questions and cover them with research and facts. Use credible sources liberally.

Tip: Make the issue as relevant to the audience as you can. Tie it to their interest or goal as directly as you can. Make it specific to them, and avoid relying solely on generic appeal to emotions or values.

Step 3 Propose solutions.

  • Discuss the larger impact of your ideas. Ideas that seem of limited applicability aren't as likely to spark enthusiasm in readers as ideas that could have widespread effects. Example: "Greater knowledge of tuna behavior can allow us to create a more comprehensive management strategy and ensure canned tuna for future generations."
  • Addressing why you will do something is as significant as stating what you will do. Presume that your readers are skeptical and will not accept your ideas at face value. If you're proposing to do a catch-and-release study of 2,000 wild tuna, why? Why is that better than something else? If it's more expensive than another option, why can't you use the cheaper option? Anticipating and addressing these questions will show that you've considered your idea from all angles.
  • Your readers should leave your paper assured that you can solve the problem effectively. Literally, everything you write should either address the problem or how to solve it.
  • Research your proposal extensively. The more examples and facts you can give your audience, the better -- it'll be much more convincing. Avoid your opinions and rely on the hard research of others.
  • If your proposal doesn't prove that your solution works, it's not an adequate solution. If your solution isn't feasible, nix it. Think about the results of your solution, too. Pre-test it if possible and revise your solution if need be.

Step 4 Include a schedule and budget.

  • Your readers probably understand that your budget may change, especially if this is a startup project, but they want to see that you at least have a cohesive plan. They have to see that you know directionally where you're going to spend the money and how long it's going to last.
  • When do you envision the project starting? At what pace will it progress? How does each step build on the other? Can certain things be done simultaneously? Being as meticulous as possible will give your readers confidence that you've done your homework and won't waste their money.
  • Make sure your proposal makes sense financially. If you're proposing an idea to a company or a person, consider their budget. If they can't afford your proposal, it's not an adequate one. If it does fit their budget, be sure to include why it's worth their time and money.

Tip: Stay away from vague or unrelated objectives! Include details, responsibilities, and time commitments for departments and individual staff.

Step 5 Wrap up with a conclusion.

  • If you have extra content that doesn't exactly fit into your proposal, you may want to add an appendix. But know that if your paper is too bulky, it may scare people off. If you're in doubt, leave it out.
  • If you have two or more appendices attached to your proposal, letter them A, B, etc. This can be used if you have data sheets, reprints of articles, or letters of endorsement and the like.

Step 6 Edit your work.

  • Have another set of eyes (or two) read over your work. They'll be able to highlight issues your mind has grown blind to. There may be issues that you haven't completely addressed or questions you've left open-ended.
  • Eliminate jargon and clichés! These make you look lazy and can get in the way of understanding. Don't use a long word when a short word will do just as well.
  • Avoid the passive voice whenever possible. Passive voice uses forms of "to be" verbs and can make your meaning unclear. Compare these two sentences: "The window was broken by the zombie" and "The zombie broke the window." In the first, you don't know who broke the window: was it the zombie? Or was the window by the zombie and just happened to also be broken? In the second, you know exactly who did the breaking and why it's important.
  • Use strong, direct language and avoid muddling your proposal with qualifiers and extra phrasing. For example, instead of using phrases like "I believe that...," or "this solution may aid...," say, "The plan will significantly reduce poverty rates."

Step 7 Proofread your work.

  • Any mistakes on your end will make you look less educated and less credible, reducing your likelihood of getting approved.
  • Make sure that your formatting is in line with whatever the guidelines require.

Community Q&A

wikiHow Staff Editor

  • Use language that everyone can understand. Keep to short sentences that are clear and to the point. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Any discussion of financial or other resources should be conducted carefully and should present a realistic picture of the expense required. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Do not try to use very twisty and tacky words, which are not used in a normal conversation, thinking that it would be useful and impressive. Don't beat around the bush. Go to the main point straight away using simple words. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

how to write an essay topic proposal

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Write a Proposal to Management

  • ↑ https://writing.wisc.edu/handbook/assignments/grants-2/
  • ↑ http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2004/nsf04016/nsf04016.pdf
  • ↑ https://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/academicwriting
  • ↑ https://www.northwestern.edu/climb/Research%20Proposal%20Writing/A%20Basic%20Research%20Proposal%20Outline.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.ndsu.edu/fileadmin/cfwriters/Graduate_Student_Writing_Resources/GrantOutline.pdf
  • ↑ https://library.sacredheart.edu/c.php?g=29803&p=185918
  • ↑ https://advice.writing.utoronto.ca/revising/revising-and-editing/
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/editing-and-proofreading/

About This Article

Dave Labowitz

To write a proposal, start with an introduction that clearly states the purpose of your proposal. Then, explain the problem at hand and why it needs to be solved right now. Go on to detail your proposed solutions to the problem and why you've chosen those solutions. Also, don't forget to include a schedule and budget. To conclude your proposal, briefly summarize the key points you want readers to walk away understanding. For help formatting and outlining your proposal, read the article! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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348 Interesting Proposal Essay Topics and Ideas for 2023

A proposal argument is an essay in which you describe a specific issue that needs fixing. It focuses on problem solutions.

Our specialists will write a custom essay on any topic for 13.00 10.40/page

Are you interested in writing high-quality proposal essays? Or maybe you’re wondering what can make your writing truly outstanding? Here you will find answers to these questions as well as 348 brilliant proposal essay topics collected by Custom-writing.org .

  • 🔝 Top 10 Topics

📝 What Is a Proposal Essay?

  • 🌐 Environment Topics
  • 👔 Business Topics
  • 🎓 Education Topicsn
  • 🏥 Healthcare Topics
  • 💸 Economics Topics
  • 🎭 Culture Topics
  • 🖊️ Other Topics
  • 💡 Writing Guide & Example
  • ✏️ Frequent Questions

🔝 Top 10 Proposal Essay Topics

  • How to deal with job burnouts.
  • The ways to deal with exam stress.
  • Better methods of tree harvesting.
  • Embracing cycling for the environment.
  • Deforestation: raising awareness.
  • Use of gamification in online education.
  • Do positive affirmations improve one’s health?
  • Community involvement for crime prevention.
  • Grading system to encourage student development.
  • Public transport use for air pollution prevention.

A proposal argument is an essay focused on an issue that needs fixing. In it, you propose solutions as a response to a problem.

The picture shows the definition of a proposal essay.

Before writing a proposal, it’s important to know that it’s a type of argumentation. Argumentation is the process of persuading the reader via reasoning and evidence. This means that your proposal essay’s aim is to influence the audience’s beliefs and actions. If you perform argumentation correctly, you can convince even the most skeptical readers.

Before you start writing, you need a topic to work with. If your instructor didn’t assign you one, you would need to do some research and brainstorming.

Want to save yourself some time? Then check the proposal essay topics list below.

🌐 Project Proposal Ideas: Environment

The environment is degrading as globalization’s negative impact becomes increasingly apparent. That’s why it’s a good idea to propose a solution to this issue. For instance, you can focus on innovations that can help stop global warming.

  • How can an individual change their routine in an environment-friendly way? Environmental consciousness is a crucial part of living in the modern era. People can adjust their lifestyle to bring more benefits to the world. List environmentally conscious practices that anyone can do.
  • Who are the most significant contributors to climate change ? A variety of factors lead to global warming . Some of them are minuscule, while others are much bigger. Knowing them will help us prevent irreversible damage to the biology of our planet.
  • Which parts of the world will be most affected by the melting ice? Melting ice sheets are one of the consequences of climate change . The rising of sea levels leads to the additional release of CO2 into the air. Analyze these phenomena and become more aware of the issues.
  • How can people emotionally cope with the irreversibility of climate change ? The nature of climate change is difficult to reconcile with emotionally. Some may feel despair or dissatisfaction with human development. Write about techniques to understand one’s place within the world.
  • Technological advancement: gateway to pollution or a solution to a problem? Technology is developing with the advancement of civilization. It’s facilitated by the need to solve problems that arise with the progress. Is further progress able to mend the mistakes of the past? Or will it serve to exacerbate existing issues even further? Answer this question in your essay.
  • How do pet owners contribute to pollution, and what are environmentally friendly options for them?
  • What energy sources can help reduce global warming?
  • How can we battle famine and food waste excess at the same time?
  • Ways to manage water resources in India during the summer.
  • What is the most efficient energy type people can use?
  • An action plan of how to wisely use coal resources.
  • How can we protect woods in Australia from fires?
  • What is energy conservation , and what are its benefits?
  • The most effective solutions to land degradation.
  • Implementing renewable energy technology in developing countries.
  • Floating cleaning devices as a way to battle ocean pollution .
  • Ways to measure air pollution in remote areas.
  • Forest conservation as a method to preserve biodiversity .
  • How can we reduce the damage that dams cause the environment?
  • How can we stop desertification?
  • Casual veganism as a way to manage food resources with a growing population.
  • How should we educate students about environmentally-friendly behavior?
  • Investigate the powers of new energy sources . How could they help us?
  • What are the most effective ways to prevent deforestation ?
  • Biodegradable materials as a substitute for plastic.
  • What is the best solution to the problem of plastic bags ?
  • How can countries promote bicycle use for short journeys?
  • How can governments tackle the problem of electronic waste ? Contrast export to developing countries vs. recycling.
  • Using electricity from wind to reduce global warming.
  • Evaporative coolers as green alternatives to air conditioners.
  • What are the benefits of zero-waste living, and what solutions can communities implement straight away?

👔 Proposal Argument Essay Topics: Business

Business is a relevant topic that offers an array of essay ideas. From improving business performance to developing effective marketing strategies, you can easily craft a proposal paper that may be useful for your future career.

  • The effects of lockdowns on consumer buying power. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that extreme circumstances are dangerous to the economy. It also offers insights into how to avoid making the same mistakes. Analyze them with this proposal topic idea in business.
  • Personal qualities of a leader . Leadership is a challenging function to perform. A good leader is careful and daring, stern and understanding. To define a leader, take into account their personal qualities.
  • A healthy work environment as a gateway to business success. While many other factors are essential to consider, cultivating a healthy environment is especially beneficial to a developing business.
  • Customer satisfaction and communication styles: which approaches are the most beneficial? The way a business approaches communication greatly influences its brand image . Some strategies to speaking with clients are tested and true. Others are less valued in the corporate setting.
  • Business and crime: the portrayal of corporate crime in the media. Companies often fall into the limelight for negative reasons. Some of these are related to executives’ individual actions. Or, it can be the decisions made on the corporate level.
  • How can small businesses recover quickly after an economic crisis?
  • Preferring local farmers to the international grocery chains to support the development of small businesses.
  • What are the methods to eliminate the erosion of trust in business?
  • When bankruptcy is coming, what are the ways out with minimum damage?
  • Paid internships as a solution for youth unemployment .
  • What are the benefits of keeping private emails available at the workplace?
  • Overtime payments as a way to prevent qualified teachers from leaving.
  • How should parents educate their children in finances?
  • How can we reduce the underemployment rates?
  • What should a customer do if they notice that a salesperson is lying?
  • Ways to prevent misunderstanding with customer rights.
  • Healthy snacks, corporate weekends, and gym memberships as ways to support employee motivation.
  • What is the best way to create an ethical policy in a company?
  • Discuss the benefits of advanced training instead of firing in cases of low performance.
  • Volunteering at college as a way to boost the graduate’s CV.
  • How should companies adjust their policies to attract talented students ?
  • What is corporate responsibility , and how can it be improved?
  • Innovative ideas on creating more jobs with the help of social media .
  • How can we make opening a business be more accessible for students?
  • Suggest how small businesses can survive national riots.
  • Outsourcing as a solution for backup business activities.
  • What transformations does corporate culture need for more effective mergers?
  • Training programs for effective assimilation of new employees.
  • The use of performance feedback for retention of valuable employees.
  • What e-commerce strategies can be used to attract new customers?

🎓 Project Proposal Title Ideas in Education

Issues in education are always high on the agenda. Many topics need closer inspection, from supporting teachers to improving students’ educational outcomes. Check out these school-related suggestions for your proposal.

  • Punishment as motivation: effectiveness and consequences. Fear of repercussions is capable of influencing human actions. It’s often discussed in relation to rules. Consider how the prospect of punishment affects people’s incentive to learn.
  • How effective is the process of learning among older adults? The pace at which people learn information can differ. Discussing how education among older people differs from younger people is an excellent proposal paper idea. Use it to further the discussion and bring about understanding.
  • Education systems throughout the years: how the way we educate children has changed. Education is a field where changes are inevitable. We continuously discover more and more about the world. Meanwhile, we develop new ways to impart knowledge to others. What changes are more effective than others? You can focus the research on your school or college.
  • Historical revisionism in education. A lot of what people know about history relies on accounts of the past. We process them through our current understanding of those times. In most cases, history is relayed somewhat accurately. Still, there are instances of intentional misinformation.
  • Education in a non-classroom environment. Classrooms are a long-standing staple of the education sphere. They serve as the formal space where students learn and practice their skills. However, they’re not the most efficient environment for some situations. What approaches may be more suitable for different activities?
  • Best ways to let educational shows have more airtime on TV.
  • How can you improve the effectiveness of language courses?
  • The benefits of implementing more foreign languages into the school curriculum.
  • Effective ways for teachers to prevent bullying in schools.
  • The best solutions for boosting reading comprehension in preschool.
  • Why is sex education essential, and how do you convince schools to include it?
  • Letting students learn from mistakes instead of failing them.
  • The most fruitful ways for parents to get children interested in science .
  • What methods can teachers use instead of grading ?
  • Psychological support for students coming from teachers.
  • What psychological techniques can teachers use to motivate students ?
  • How can students prevent procrastination?
  • Educating students about their health as a mandatory practice.
  • How can students make the most of the time they spend on physical activity at school?
  • Simple ways to talk on taboo topics with kids.
  • Best ways to enjoy and benefit from a subject you don’t like.
  • What are the advantages of separating classes according to gender?
  • Ways to limit smartphone usage at schools.
  • Should practical classes and debates substitute lectures ?
  • Self-esteem boosting practices for students and teachers.
  • Programs encouraging students to do sports more frequently.
  • Exercises improving students’ reading comprehension .
  • How can you adapt standardized tests to the needs of ESL students and students with learning disabilities?
  • What classroom activities can improve students’ motivation and involvement?
  • Social support for young teachers in rural areas.

🏥 Proposal Essay Ideas: Healthcare

An essay on healthcare can go in various directions. One way is to explore patient-physician relationships. Alternatively, you could look at the system as a whole. Below you’ll find plenty of proposal topics to choose from.

  • The use of music in therapy and recovery programs. It’s undeniable that music has a profound psychological influence on individuals. The use of music can open new possibilities for faster recovery. It can also make medical procedures more pleasant.
  • Communication with patients as a treatment method. Communication plays a vital role in the medical field. Doctors are the main assistants and confidants for their patients. They can not only assist in overseeing treatment but also participate in healthy interactions.
  • Mobility devices with increased accessibility and maneuver potential. Wheelchairs are a large part of many individuals’ lives. Still, the progress of designing other types of mobility devices is slow. How can we accelerate it?
  • The stigma around wheelchair use among disabled people. The use of wheelchairs is generally accepted and understood. Yet, this trend is not fully translated to all of the population. Decreasing the stigma around the practice is a great medical topic for a proposal essay.

The picture enumerates the main components of healthcare.

  • Private and public healthcare : pricing and accessibility. Healthcare is an issue that concerns everyone. Some may have the necessary resources to take care of their needs. Others are not as fortunate. In your essay, propose the most effective strategy to address the lack of readily available healthcare.
  • How can we decrease the rate of in-hospital deaths among minorities?
  • Organ donation: raising awareness.
  • Physical education: how can we ensure positive sports experiences?
  • The healthcare in minority groups: medical treatment and the LGBTQ .
  • Does the patient’s privacy always need to be a priority?
  • Income-related payments for previously uninsured citizens.
  • Training programs for improvement of physician-patient relationships .
  • Should pharmaceutical companies share their findings at pre-competitive stages to reduce research and development expenditures?
  • A program for attracting more men in the nursing profession .
  • Improving the integrity of interdisciplinary teams .

💸 Proposal Topics in Economics

The world revolves around money. It concerns individuals as well as big corporations. Due to this, economics is the perfect subject for proposal essays.

Receive a plagiarism-free paper tailored to your instructions.

  • The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy . The world economy has seen an unprecedented decline in 2020. Describe the factors leading to the crisis.
  • Impact of globalization on the economic development of various countries. The economy is affected by a variety of factors, including the globalization efforts of the world. Explore them in your paper.
  • Economic development and the emotional wellbeing of people. Economic growth affects people’s ability to seek and receive the assistance they need.
  • Mental health statistics and their effects of the economy on the mental stability of the nation. Mental health and the economy are two fields that may not be seen as connected but have an underlying significance to each other.
  • The economic development of the country and the attitude towards minorities. Economic growth can be a signifier for many variables within a society. It includes its ability to understand and welcome people different from the perceived norm.
  • Economic stability and the minimum income of a family.
  • How the economy affects the way people make their purchasing decisions .
  • Is economic development affected by the economy of other countries?
  • The economy impacts the lives of every citizen in the country: is it true or false?
  • Accumulation of wealth and monopolies are harmful to the economy.
  • The scarcity of economic resources with regards to poverty , income gaps, and the distribution of wealth.
  • The economics of death and disease: how industries impose unnecessary regulations to increase revenue.
  • Agree or disagree with the following statement: there should be a limit placed on private property ownership.
  • Has the 2008 economic collapse ended? What has been the impact of this crisis on the modern economy?

🎭 Proposal Argument Topics: Culture

Everyone expresses their culture differently. That’s why cross-cultural communication can be tricky. Do you want to explore how people with diverse backgrounds interact? This section is for you.

  • What can communities do to facilitate integration for immigrants? The process is vital for every person moving to a different country. However, some individuals are often better integrated than others. Language barriers and cultural differences are significant obstacles on the path to integration.
  • How can recruiters avoid an ageist bias when considering candidates? On the job market , ageism is a common occurrence. Hirers, especially in the IT sector, routinely deny interview requests from people above a certain age. Discuss this issue in your essay.
  • How can one avoid falling for problematic nationalist promises? Nationalism is on the rise in many countries. Some leaders use populist rhetoric to fixate the population on their nation’s glory. What can be done about it?
  • What is the best way to eliminate the gaming industry’s misogyny ? Sexist clichés and anti-feminist sentiment are prevalent in this industry. In your essay, analyze this problem and propose a solution.
  • How can one determine if culture is used to justify ignorant behavior? Cultural practices can encompass many things. Some of them might seem strange to an outsider, while others are outright hurtful.
  • On what basis should states grant minority rights ?
  • Is positive discrimination a worthwhile practice?
  • Think about how to make cross-cultural communication more efficient.
  • What obstacles do couples with diverse backgrounds often face?
  • Examine ways of to modernizing old-fashioned cultural values .
  • The definition of cultural awareness : when does it become relevant?
  • Simple ways to end the debate on stereotyping and cultural profiling.
  • Racism and reverse racism in college campuses: how students deal with the ongoing discussion on race in light of recent cultural developments.
  • The impact of extreme patriotism on the reputation of Americans in the international arena.
  • Excellent questions to ask a foreigner to step away from cultural stereotyping .
  • The long process of cultural accommodation: what to do and what to avoid when entering a foreign culture.
  • Explain how the debate concerning racial profiling should be managed. In doing so, concentrate on the role of so-called “ social justice warriors.”

🖊️ Proposal Topics List: Other Ideas

Proposal essay topics: social life and social issues.

Our society is facing many challenges nowadays. Poverty, racism, and stress are some of the most prominent social issues. What can we do to improve our co-existence? You can answer this question in an essay with one of the following engaging prompts:

  • Social workers and incentive to care. Social workers fulfill an irreplaceable role in society. Still, their work is rarely discussed. The struggles of social workers themselves are also often overlooked. You can dedicate your project to this issue. 
  • Crime rates and wealth distribution : a disparity fueled by desperation. Crime rates in low income areas are more prevalent than in wealthier places. The difference, however, is born out of the underlying conditions perpetuated by wealth inequality. Society can address them in specific ways. Explore them in your policy proposal essay. The topic allows various interpretations.  
  • Discrimination in the workplace and sensitivity training . This issue can be an interesting proposal essay topic. For example, businesses can combat disrespectful behavior via promoting relevant training among employees. Persuade the readers that it’s an effective way to tackle the problem. 
  • Harassment on social media and mass reporting. With the widespread usage of social media, thousands of people become famous for their presence on the internet. This trend is also accompanied by online harassment. In your essay, propose warranting methods of combating its spread. 
  • Environmentally-friendly ways to use modern technology . The questions on the sustainability of new technology are becoming more and more vital. Discuss how people can enjoy technology while making a positive contribution to the environment. 
  • Cleaning marathons as a way to engage citizens in keeping their neighborhood tidy. 
  • Safe driving educational materials as a preventive measure. 
  • Is there a way to make students more socially responsible ? 
  • How can a person help orphans without spending money? 
  • Best ways to promote subcultures and manage their activities. 
  • What are the sexism -related issues at school? How can we solve them? 
  • Social programs for educating the general public about disabled people’s problems and needs. 
  • Installing book exchange boxes around the city to promote reading. 
  • Support groups for teenagers suffering from depression . 
  • Think of the most effective ways to help your friend if you suspect they are addicted to alcohol or drugs . 
  • Banning social media : can it be a solution to reduce suicides? 
  • What can you do to be less susceptible to advertisements ? 
  • Choosing the right idols for teenagers to encourage positive lifestyle changes. 
  • Ways to support single-parent families in times of need. 
  • What should you do if you realize your friends are toxic? 
  • Ways to show how social media controls people’s lives and how to change it. 
  • How can you prevent daily information overload? 
  • Practical solutions for skyrocketing cybercrime rates. 
  • How can people preserve national identity in times of globalization? 
  • Reasons to implement more restrictions on legalized substances. 
  • Script for an educational film for enhancing population awareness of the hazards of excessive television viewing. 
  • Hate-crime laws as a response to increased violence against minorities. 
  • Propagating healthy eating habits to reduce obesity levels. 
  • Can cyber-bullying alerts decrease online harassment? 
  • Healthy alternatives to free beer parties to prevent the dangers of unrestrained drinking. 

Proposal Argument Topics: Technology

Technological advancements have drastically changed how people live and communicate. That’s why these essay ideas are related to exploring the impact of progress in modern societies. Be creative: think about the role technology plays in your life and provide real-life examples.

  • Technology accessibility for the disabled . For some, new technology is less accessible than for others. This category includes people with disabilities and impairments. Use this proposal argument topic to suggest a plan of action. 
  • Technology to make public spaces more accessible. The inclusion of disabled people and those who require further assistance is on the increase. How can technology make public spaces more accessible to people with impairments and disabilities? 
  • Technological advancements in study environments . With the use of technology, we can achieve more effective functionality in different fields. For example, by introducing technology to the educational sphere, we can improve its quality. 
  • Technology in the house : balancing privacy with functionality. Many homes are now using smart technology. It makes the question of confidentiality more prevalent. The issue of balancing personal space and the use of new technology is quickly gaining traction. 
  • Safety and security online : ways of controlling the online experience. Today, millions of people are using social media. Each of them has to manage the amount of private data they post online. Understanding what is safe to publish on the internet is a good proposal topic to explore. 
  • How can one keep up with the increasing speed of technological development ? 
  • Digital detox as a preventive measure for depression and apathy. 
  • What is the optimal way to implement more technologies into the educational process ? 
  • Child control applications for looking after children’s safety on the internet. 
  • What are the financial benefits of switching to wireless technologies ? 
  • Effective ways to resolve the issue of online identity theft . 
  • Would implementing modern technologies in libraries encourage people to visit them more often? 
  • Online safety and personal data protection . 
  • Cyberbullying at schools: what are the most effective strategies to fight it? 
  • How can virtual reality help children with learning disabilities? 
  • How to preserve your imagination while using modern technology . 
  • Limiting the age of modern technology users for the sake of healthy child development. 
  • Implementing censorship in the media to stop the collapse of moral values.  
  • Does technology help college students in their performance? If so, how can they use it to boost their grades? 
  • Banning children from watching TV : is it the best solution for the development of inappropriate behavior patterns? 
  • How can one make the best out of technology in medicine for inheritance disease testing? 
  • Research current issues with mechanical reproduction and find the most appropriate ethical solutions. 
  • Technology and the food industry : using GMO to stop world hunger. 
  • How can technology solve some of the environmental issues? 
  • Recommendations on how to use modern technologies and preserve mental health . 
  • Machines have replaced people in many fields. Has this trend brought more benefits than disadvantages? 
  • Computers and smartphones make younger generations less sociable: is this statement true? 
  • How has technology changed the way modern businesses work?  
  • Develop a paper with solutions and recommendations for overcoming the gap between the rich and the poor that has been caused by technology. 
  • What problems do parents face when preventing their children from accessing the internet unsupervised? 

Proposal Argument Topics: Law and Justice

Do you wish to make the world a more just place? Start with a proposal essay on law and justice . These topics will help you choose the right direction.

  • Justice system and the lack of fresh talent: a need for change? Similar to other fields, the justice system needs to work within the boundaries of the current age. However, it isn’t easy to accomplish. Currently, high-ranking positions are occupied primarily by older people. Discuss the need to give way to new perspectives and promote young talent.
  • Juvenile justice system : what is the best course of action for children? Juvenile justice is a complicated issue. Many people don’t know how to approach it. Right now, there’s a need to guide and reprimand youth for their illegal behavior. What other solutions can be effective? 
  • Rehabilitation of convicts: education as a betterment tool. It’s generally believed that criminals should be punished for their wrongdoings. However, it may be impractical to rely on punishment as a way of correcting unruly behavior. Use this essay idea to propose a more effective solution to the problem. For example, think of rehabilitation that helps convicts acquire new skills. 
  • Legalization of drugs and its possible benefits. The effects of using psychoactive drugs are well-known among the public. Most people find the risk not worth the benefits of addictive substances. In your paper, consider the decriminalization of some drugs as a way of combating drug use.  
  • Simple interpretations of the law as a tool a raising awareness. Law is a difficult subject to approach for an unprepared person. The issues presented by the justice system require knowledge that’s difficult to acquire for the general population. Adapting law into simpler terms may be useful in increasing awareness.  
  • Elimination of a judicial bias from the trial process . 
  • Social justice as an aspect of the legal sphere. 
  • Increasing the influence of law through societal encouragement. 
  • Law as a source of societal order and control. 
  • Punitive justice: is it an ethical way to prevent crime? 
  • Solutions for overcoming prison overcrowding and prison violence. 
  • Discuss some of the most controversial issues that persist in courtrooms: false confessions , mistreatment of evidence, and witness framing. 
  • The duty of care for senior citizens: who should be held accountable for the mistreatment of residents and wrongful deaths in nursing homes ? 
  •  “He said—she said”: is “innocent until proven guilty” still valid when it comes to sexual assault allegations? 
  • Arguments for and against police funding to increase neighborhood safety. 
  • Types of civil litigation cases everyone should know. 
  • Business and law: how to manage sexual harassment lawsuits in the workplace. 
  • How to mitigate the negative impact of police violence on the reputation of law enforcement agencies. 

Proposal Writing Ideas: Literature

If you enjoy reading, why not write about it? A paper is a perfect opportunity to show off your literary knowledge. Best of all, you can use these interesting proposal essay topics to practice for the ISC.

  • What are the central vices portrayed in Nabokov’s Lolita ? Vladimir Nabokov’s novel deals with the subjects many people of today may find controversial. The novel’s main focus is on the main character’s sexually deviant relationship with a young girl. You can explore other characters’ vices as well. 
  • Is An American Tragedy a deconstruction of the American dream ? Explore the novel’s main themes and plotlines in your essay. Consider looking at the nature of the upper class society and superficial human relationships. 
  • How The Yellow Wallpaper portrays emotional abuse in families. The Yellow Wallpaper is one of the foundational books to feminist literature in America. Its focus is on the inner struggles of a woman stuck with her thoughts for far too long. It covers a multitude of topics, including misogyny and emotional mistreatment.  
  • Literary trends that permeate modern literature . The number of books written in years and years of human development is incredibly vast. The conditions of the society during every epoch have an overarching influence on literature. Compare modern literature to other periods and say what makes it special. 
  • Objectification of women in literature. Writing compelling female characters is difficult, especially considering the discrepancies between men and women in societies. Across history, men were often unable to write about women understandably and respectfully. It’s further reflected in how people perceive female literary characters.  
  • Satire of propaganda in literature. 
  • The occult in fiction is a gateway to mysticism: is this statement true? 
  • Discuss the effect of classic literature on international outlook among counties. 
  • Does literature always signify the author’s personality? 
  • “Death of the author”: uses of the term and its consequences on interpretation. 
  • The most prominent symbols and motifs in The Great Gatsby and their influence on storytelling. 
  • Use of satirical dialogue in The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. 
  • How Shakespeare’s “To be, or not to be?” became one of the most iconic questions. 
  • Meaningful lessons that readers can take from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five . 
  • Contemporary writers who have influenced literary trends. 
  • Discuss programs targeted at encouraging children and teenagers to read classic literature. 

Creative Proposal Writing Ideas

Essays, short stories, and novels all come with their challenges. In your paper, you can find the best way to overcome them. If you need brilliant proposal ideas for your English class, this section is for you.

  • Writing as a way to alleviate stress. Writing is a hobby for many enthusiasts. The creative process demands a lot of emotional effort from a person. Yet, it also gives them the ability to work through their worry in an artistic format.  
  • Chances for success in writing. Writing is an intriguing career . Depending on the type of content a person produces, their chances of succeeding in the literary industry vary greatly. Describe these and other factors in an essay. 
  • The importance of setting and background in writing. Characters and their actions are the most important parts of creating a story. However, smaller details are crucial for the reader’s engagement.  
  • Immersive writing: keeping the audience invested. Immersion dictates how much the audience will care about the events of the story. By establishing a setting, the author can retain audience investment. Explore how one can achieve it. 
  • Importance of negative emotions in response to written media. Writing is something people can do for entertainment . In many cases, eliciting positive emotions is the desired goal behind writing a story. But, that is not always the case. Negative emotions can create engagement and interest in the audience just as well. Present the reasons why it happens. 
  • How can we retain the context in translations ? 
  • Discuss writing as an exercise in imagination . 
  • What are the possible pitfalls of pursuing writing as a career? 
  • Burnout is a consequence of long-standing authors’ success. 
  • Writing minorities: what’s the best approach? 
  • How to structure a research proposal : from the abstract to the list of references. 
  • Writing a 1000-word summary of a book : what to include and what to avoid. 
  • Recommendations on becoming a citation style expert (MLA edition.) 
  • Practical guidelines for writing an astonishing discursive paper. 
  • The quickest method to write a 5-paragraph reflective essay. 
  • Specifics of technical writing : how to differentiate between specialized and non-specialized text. 
  • Coming up with memorable titles for articles and research papers: how to capture the audience’s attention.  
  • The easiest way to develop a draft for any paper. 

Proposal Argument Topic Ideas: World History

Much has happened since the dawn of humanity. Human actions have left their marks all around the globe. Check out these essay ideas if you want to dive into past times .

  • Why was the Cold War one of the tensest periods in world history? The Cold War has signified the continued arms race between the two biggest nations of the world. While tensions were slowly rising, the world has come closest it has ever been to destruction.  
  • World history : effects of misinformation on communication. History is unique to each nation of the world. The approach countries take to recording their history is ultimately unreliable. Discuss why such misinformation is ineffective in bringing people together. 
  • The Iron Curtain and the years of hidden developments. The progress America and Asian countries made during the 20 th century is impressive. Meanwhile, Russia, one of the major nations of the world, was uninvolved in the global trade and has chosen an alternative path for its development. Write about the factors that elevated the Soviet Union to the global stage. 
  • World history as a tool for understanding other cultures . History simultaneously unites and separates people all over the world. In many cases, working together with people of different upbringings may prove difficult. Explore how we can turn to history itself for guidance in such situations. 
  • Cultural separation between the East and the West. People usually divide the world into the East and the West. These culturally and historically different categories encompass several nations. Meanwhile, Europe is unique, as it displays a remarkable variety of cultures and traditions. You can discuss Europe’s place in the world between the East and the West. 
  • Write about the America-centric historical approach and its consequences.  
  • Discuss studying the mistakes of the past as a way to guide the present. 
  • Is the downfall of ancient civilizations a blueprint for understanding the development of modern societies? 
  • Assess the impact of conservative belief on how history is studied. 
  • Explore the effectiveness of non-location-centric approaches to teaching history . 
  • How did strong female leaders such as Jeanne d’Arc impact the development of societies? 
  • An introduction to the Paleolithic Age : the development of societies through fishing, scavenging, and hunting and gathering. 
  • A list of the most significant historical events that shaped modern society . 
  • Speculate on the basis of historical sources: What could have happened after WWII if the axis had won? 

Proposal Essay Ideas: Religion

Religion plays an important spiritual role in many people’s lives. It’s also an interesting subject to study. If you want to explore it in your essay, consider any of these topics:

  • Ways to fix the Catholic Church’s reputation. The Catholic Church is often at the center of scandals. Dedicate your assignment to finding ways to restore its good name. 
  • How can we raise money for church renovations? Churches are often considered architectural wonders. Sadly, many of them are now dilapidated. Discuss the ways to fix this situation. 
  • What can communities do to bring pagan rituals and beliefs back? Plenty of ancient traditions died out with the rise of Christianity . In discussing this topic, think about how the existing practices can be preserved. 
  • Multiple religious belonging: different approaches. Being a member of a specific religion often requires you to renounce other beliefs. Is it possible to simultaneously believe in different creeds? 
  • The virtue of modesty in the modern world. Modesty is a staple for many religions. What’s the best way to follow this virtue? 
  • How can you reconcile religious beliefs with modern science ?  
  • Improving religious education in class 11. 
  • Suggest ideas to raise the popularity of Buddhism in the West. 
  • A life in monastic abstinence as the best way to find true peace. 
  • How can priests make young people interested in sermons? 
  • A short evaluation of current issues prevailing in the Catholic Church : what has changed and what has not? 
  • A factual analysis of the Bible : comparing historical facts with the descriptions of events given in the religious text. 
  • Advantages and disadvantages of religious education and how it influences children’s worldviews. 
  • The best solution for overcoming religious discrimination. A fruitful approach could be to explore the Christianity – Islam opposition . 
  • Different views on the importance of religion, including how it helps people and how it harms them. 

Proposal Essay Ideas: Politics and Government

Surely, at some point, you wondered: “Why doesn’t the government just do this?” Now is the time to use this thought creatively! Whether you want to write about animal treatment or expensive engineering projects, these essay topics will inspire you.

  • Voting as a tool of change: effectiveness and results. Voting is one of our fundamental rights. With its help, people can influence how their government operates. It also allows them to participate in making changes to society. But is it always effective? 
  • Political affiliation as an instrument in understanding personal character. The role politics play in the daily lives of many people is often understated. Explain what a person’s affiliations can tell about their values and character.  
  • Foreign intervention and the right to sovereignty in modern society. Any system of power should have the ability to make its own decisions unaffected by outside influence. It’s essential in the age when many countries are fighting for their personal political goals. 
  • The political power of the masses and the ways of displaying it. Technically, the government holds power in any given society. Yet, it’s true as long as people believe in its legitimacy. The public can take power away from the government if needed. Describe how it can be done. 
  • Refraining from voting as a form of political protest . People have attempted many forms of influencing the government’s deciding power. One of such efforts is the refraining from voting. Debate whether it’s a valid strategy for protest.  
  • Voting in a two-party system : is it worth it? 

The picture shows a quote by Blaise Pascal.

  • Government support for low-income families: a benefit or a vice? 
  • Government support of corporations and individuals during a crisis: difference in approach.  
  • Political alignment and the likelihood of donating to charity . 
  • Government persecution of political opposition: is it an effective way to prevent violence? 
  • Interesting insights into whether governments should make decisions about their citizens’ lifestyles. If so, what limitations are there? 
  • Subjects to discuss with your local government : its role in the economy, social equity, and the well-being of neighborhoods. 
  • Should the government be involved in controlling the interne t and other media outlets for news? 
  • Problems in society that government intervention had caused. 
  • What role should politicians play when providing formal support for underserved and underrepresented communities? 

Proposal Essay Ideas in Psychology

Studies in psychology and personal development can profit from both qualitative and quantitative research. Are you looking for interesting prompts in either direction? Check out the following sample topics:

  • Self-improvement apps. Plenty of phone apps and programs promise you to become your best self. How do you find out which one is right for you?
  • Discuss ways to use personality test results to your benefit. Personality tests claim that within a few ticks, you know what type of person you are. But how useful are these predictions?
  • What can governments do to ensure everyone who needs it can get therapy? There are not enough doctors to satisfy the demand for psychotherapy. Waiting lists are endless, and many patients give up even before trying.
  • Ways of reducing employee burnout . Nowadays, burnout is a common disease among workers. What can employers do to provide a less stressful environment?
  • What’s the best way to stay stable in tough times? Depression has developed into a global public health issue. Propose a way to avoid it in times of crisis.
  • What can you do to make getting up in the morning easier?
  • How do you build resilience?
  • The best way to document your habits and stick to them.
  • Management and psychology: effective workplace organization.
  • How can psychology help to make houses more intuitive to navigate?
  • How harmful is the advertising industry to the development of a child?
  • Develop a descriptive essay about the experiences that have shaped your personality and your sense of self-worth. Have you learned more from positive or negative experiences?
  • What format should training courses and personal development sessions take when working with developmentally disabled individuals?
  • To what extend do you agree with the statement that people’s genetic heritage predetermines their personalities? Is it true that it’s impossible to alter personality traits?
  • Discuss the current theories about anxiety and the impact of this disorder on the development of individuals.
  • Recommendations for managing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) .

Proposal Essay Topics: Music and Art

It’s hard to make it in the music or arts businesses. How should successful people use their influence? How can we make arts more accessible for everyone? Keep these two questions in mind when researching for your paper.

  • Music as a way of alleviating stress . Music has several positive effects on the brain and the body. It’s demonstrated by a variety of tests and research. The use of music is effective in addressing the problems that traditional medicine is unable to solve.  
  • Music instruments in the modern age. Music is an ever-developing and art form that attracts a variety of people. With the availability of new technology, many people start to use unconventional means for creating music. Outline them in your essay. 
  • The spread of music production-oriented software as a gateway to creating more music. With the introduction of the personal computer , software suited for making music has become available to a bigger public. The ability to create without the need for specialized tools allows many more creators to try their hand at making music. What does it mean for the future of the industry? 
  • The place of traditional painting in the digital age. The computer has made digital painting possible while streamlining the process for convenience. With the advent of drawing software, traditional art may be experiencing a decline in its quantity. Can it be detrimental to the art scene in general?  
  • People’s opinions on the value of abstract art. Abstract art is a divisive subject for many people. Some consider it to be a testament to human creativity . Others see it as a farce parading as meaningful creation. Give your opinion on this interesting proposal essay topic.   
  • Art as the means of channeling emotions. 
  • Can commissioned art be considered a work of true creative freedom? 
  • Do paintings reflect the personality of an artist? 
  • Can music effectively control the moods and emotions of people? 
  • Music as a tool of conditioning. 
  • Should the government invest in funding and grants for up-and-coming musicians and artists? 
  • Discuss the benefits of art for societies in juxtaposition to art for individuals. 
  • Which contemporary artists and musicians have had the most impact on you as a person, and why? 
  • Does rap music influence the behavior of modern teenagers? If so, is there a difference between the rap of the 70s and modern rap regarding their messages for society? 

Proposal Essay Ideas: Globalization

It seems as if globalization has reached every last corner on Earth. Where should humanity go from here? Decide in your paper.

  • Globalization as a way to increase income levels in poor countries. Globalization is an inevitable and quick process in the modern generation. It affects the way nations grow and develop. Global growth can foster particular behaviors among different populations, used for personal profit and public benefit.  
  • The effect of globalization on erasing local cultures . Globalization efforts have a variety of positive effects on how countries develop. Still, there can be a multitude of negative consequences. The erasure of local culture, language, and traditions are among the most apparent effects. Discuss how globalization is endangering small communities and the livelihood of individuals.   
  • Globalization and the spread of the English language. English has become the international language of the world through the colonial expansions of the British Empire . The ability to speak in a shared language is undoubtedly a benefit. It’s also important to understand the underlying reasons why the world has accepted English as a lingua franca.  
  • The effect of globalization on CO2 emissions. Climate change is one of the most apparent negative consequences of globalization. CO2 released into the air is harmful to life on Earth. Explore the link between these phenomena in your essay. 
  • Can globalization be stopped? Globalization seems to be an inseparable part of the human experience in the 21st century. Is there a way to stop it and its harmful effects? 
  • Globalization and the rapid development of the Chinese economy . 
  • How globalization affects the rates of growth among 3rd world countries. 
  • The impact of globalization on education levels and progressive outlook among the population. 
  • Is there a correlation between globalization and an increase in LGBTQ acceptance?  
  • Globalization as a tool for creating a unified culture. 
  • Discuss the negative consequences globalization has had on societies . 
  • What’s the role of globalization in agriculture? 
  • Explain the correlation between global wealth and the transfer of knowledge between countries and cultures. 
  • Has globalization affected you personally? If so, what did you do to mitigate the impact of this process? 
  • Based on the example of developing economies, investigate the relationship between globalization and democratization. 

💡 How to Write a Proposal Argument Essay

Now, let’s see what you need to take into account before writing a proposal argument paper.

  • Choose a problem that interests you personally. It can be related to your school, city, or your hobby. Make sure the problem you’ve chosen is concrete and feasible.
  • Think about the potential readers of your essay. Consider whether they are already aware of the problem you’re describing. If not, make sure you provide enough background information.
  • Present various kinds of evidence. Naturally, you want your essay to be persuasive. Using credible sources is a must, but you can also add some personal anecdotes. Vivid real-life examples are a great tool in argumentative writing.

Making your essay well-structured is a part of its success. Like any argument, your proposal should consist of three parts:

  • A claim that proposes some action to solve a problem.
  • Evidence that illustrates the solution’s effectiveness.
  • Reasoning that proves that the proposed solution will work.

Here’s what your proposal argument can look like:

Claim: Reducing stress levels helps to improve one’s quality of life.

Evidence: Excessive stress leads to physical and mental health problems.

Reasoning: Managing stress helps to avoid health problems and thus improves one’s quality of life.

Keep this structure in mind while planning your paper and you will surely ace it.

Proposal Argument Essay Outline

Now, let’s take a closer look at each part of a proposal essay.

Follow this outline to write an excellent proposal!

Proposal Essay Examples & Formatting Tips

Now you know how to write proposal arguments and have a topic to work with. In this last part, we want to give you some formatting tips. Depending on your requirements, you can choose either MLA or APA format.

Below you’ll find a free sample of a proposal essay. You can use it as inspiration for your own paper. Pay attention to the way it’s structured:

You are welcome to use these proposal essay suggestions to write A+ papers. Choose a proposal essay topic idea that matches your interests. This way, you can enjoy the essay writing process and later reap the fruits of your hard work. Good luck with your studies, and don’t forget to share this article with your friends!

Learn more on this topic:

  • Top Ideas for Argumentative or Persuasive Essay Topics
  • Best Argumentative Research Paper Topics
  • 97 Inspirational & Motivational Argumentative Essay Topics
  • Great Persuasive & Argumentative Essay on Divorce
  • Gun Control Essay: How-to Guide + Argumentative Topics
  • Free Exemplification Essay Examples

✏️ Proposal Essay FAQ

A proposal essay is a description of a well-defined problem with a solution proposal and supporting arguments. A good proposal essay contains some elements of research and persuasive writing (explain why your solution is the best option.)

The key to writing an outstanding proposal essay for college or your job are persuasive arguments. They should convince your readers that your solution is the best one. Try to make your paper impressive yet modest. Creating an outline might be helpful.

Create an outline for your future thesis first. Start off with ideas to cover in the body part. Make sure to include relevant examples and supporting arguments. Then, add an appropriate introduction.

Any problem that might have a list of possible solutions to choose from can become your topic. Some ideas are “the optimal meeting format,” “the best way to celebrate something,” or even “finance allocation.”

🔍 References

  • Argument: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Proposal Essay: Kean University
  • Elements of Reference List Entries: APA
  • The Pro-Life vs Pro-Choice Debate
  • The Importance of Self-Worth
  • How to Prepare a Research Proposal
  • Most Reliable and Credible Sources for Students
  • 40 Ways to Be Successful in School: Practical Tips for Students
  • Research Proposal Example
  • Proposal and Academic Support Center Essay
  • How to Write a Proposal Essay
  • Conference Papers Writing
  • Writing A PhD Proposal
  • 122 Tone Words to Set the Mood in Your Story
  • Environmental Topics: US Environmental Protection Agency
  • Responding to Climate Change: NASA
  • Managing People: Harvard Business Review
  • Business Topics: University of Michigan-Flint
  • Education Technology: Vermont Official State Website
  • Education Research Topics: University of York
  • Social/Family Issues: Medline Plus
  • Social and Policy Issues: Gallup
  • Tech Topics: CES
  • Technology Innovation Strategy: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Hot Topics in Health Care: The University of Arizona
  • 10 Healthcare Technology Trends to Improve Your Well-Being: G2
  • All Topics: Office of Justice Programs
  • Legal Topics: New York City Bar Association
  • Choosing a Literary Topic: Northern Michigan University
  • Why Do We Write?: University of Nottingham
  • Topics: History.com
  • Access to Health Services: Healthy People
  • Politics Topics: Pew Research Center
  • Research Themes: Politics and International Relations: University of Southampton
  • Impact of Globalization on World Culture: Research Gate
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Top List Of Proposal Essay Topics in 2023

06 May 2022

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What is a proposal argument essay, essay structure, tips for proposal argument essay writing.

Proposal Essay Topics

  • Environment
  • Personal Development and Psychology
  • Culture and Literature
  • Social Life and Social Issues
  • Law and Justice
  • Politics and Government

Do you need to work on a proposal essay but don't know where to start? Don't worry; we're here to help! This guide will walk you through how to start drafting a proposal essay that will get you the desired grade. We'll discuss how to choose a topic, how to structure your document, how to make sure it is persuasive and well-written, and cover more than a hundred themes to choose from.

Regarding the themes, we'll cover interesting proposal essay topics with solutions, ranging from medical proposal essay topics to even funny proposal essay topics. So let's get started!

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It is an argumentative essay in which you propose a solution to a problem . It can be written for an academic audience, such as your professor or classmates, or it can be for a more general audience, such as a government body or business.

To come up with a good paper, you need to have a subject you are passionate about and know there is a problem with. For example, if you are interested in environmental issues, you might research the problems with plastic pollution. If you are interested in education, you might research problems with the current school system.

Once you have chosen your field of study, research proposal online themes on the issue so that you can better understand it. This will also help you to find evidence to support your findings. After your research, you are ready to start putting together your paper!

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  • Deadline: July 24, 2023
  • Topic: Declaration of Independence
  • Language: English
  • Length: 1000-5000 words
  • Font size: 11 or 12

Writing essays

If you're wondering how to start a proposal essay and how to create a perfect essay structure , we've got you. They have two common structures: the five-paragraph outline and the problem-solution outline.

The five-paragraph outline is the most common structure. It consists of an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. In the introduction, you will need to present your thoughts and explain why it is important. In the three body paragraphs, you should provide three reasons why your solution is the best. Finally, in conclusion, you will need to summarize your arguments and leave the reader with a call to action.

The problem-solution essay is another common structure for this type of assignment. In this type of essay, you will first need to describe the problem and then present your solution. You should provide evidence to support your solution in the body paragraphs. Finally, you will need to conclude your essay by summarizing your argument and making a call to action.

Your chosen structure will depend on the assignment requirements and your preferences. However, both structures are effective ways to come up with an outline for your paper.

So if you are telling yourself, "I need someone who can write my essay for me now," look no further than our trusted and proven service! Whether you need a one-time write-up or ongoing content support, they will always be there for you.

Stuck with finding the right title?

Get plenty of fresh and catchy topic ideas and pick the perfect one with PapersOwl Title Generator.

Now that you know how to structure your work, let's talk about some tips.

  • The first tip is to make sure your document is well-written and free of grammar and spelling errors. This will make it more likely that your reader will take you seriously.
  • The second tip is to be clear and concise in your writing. Remember that your goal is to persuade the reader to accept your solution, so you need to make sure your context is clear and easy to follow.
  • The third tip is to back up your proposal argument ideas with evidence. You will need to find sources that support your claim in order for it to be convincing. On top of that, make sure you look for top proposal essay examples in your field of study to get some great proposal suggestions.
  • Finally, the fourth tip is to practice! The more you practice, the better you will become at it. After all, this is a skill; like any skill, it takes practice to perfect.

Picking the right theme is essential. You need to make sure you are passionate about it and that a problem needs to be solved. You're a person who likes animals? Search for proposal essay topics about animals, come up with a proposal topics list, and go for it. It's important to select debatable argumentative topics as you need opposing points to counter your own beliefs.

Once you have chosen, do some research so that you can better understand the issue. After you have done your research, start typing your texts!

Now that you know the basics, let's go over the list of proposal topics for your work or any school assignments related to that.

And if you're willing to get some extra help to save time and effort, you can always try our pay to write essay offering today and kick back while professional writers craft a top-notch paper just for you!

10 Environment Proposal Essay Topics

Here are ten environment subjects to get you started:

  • The problems with plastic pollution
  • The impact of air pollution on human health
  • How to reduce food waste and control global climate change
  • The dangers of fracking
  • The importance of protecting endangered species
  • How to reduce car emissions
  • The benefits of renewable energy
  • The problems with nuclear power plants
  • How to encourage people to recycle
  • The importance of conserving water resources

When creating this kind of text, it is important to remember that you are trying to persuade the reader to accept your solution. This means that you need to make sure your text is clear and easy to follow. You will also need to find evidence to support your claim. Finally, practice makes perfect!

10 Technology Proposal Essay Topics

Technology themes are easy proposal essay topics and always evolving. There are always new problems to solve. Here are ten technology subjects to get you started:

  • The problem of Internet addiction
  • How to secure data online
  • The dark side of social media
  • How to stop cyberbullying
  • Identity theft
  • The pros and cons of artificial intelligence
  • How driverless cars will impact society
  • The future of virtual reality
  • The impact of the Internet on education
  • How biometrics will change security measures

As you can see, there are a lot of potential themes to choose from!

10 Business Proposal Essay Topics

Business writings are a common assignment in business school. To craft a good one, you need to choose a relevant theme that can be expanded. Here are ten business project proposal ideas to get you started:

  • The pros and cons of starting your own business
  • How to come up with a business plan
  • What investors look for in a startup
  • How to pitch your business idea
  • The challenges of being a young entrepreneur
  • How to balance work and life when you're self-employed
  • The importance of customer service
  • How a social presence can help or hurt your business
  • The role of marketing in a successful business
  • Developing an effective sales strategy

These are just some of the potential subjects you could develop in a business paper. Do some research and pick one that interests you!

10 Education Proposal Essay Topics

Here are ten education proposal topic ideas to get you started:

  • The problem of illiteracy
  • How to improve test scores
  • The high dropout rate
  • How to reduce bullying in schools
  • Improving communication between teachers and students
  • Making school more engaging for students
  • The role of technology in Education
  • Homeschooling: Pros and Cons
  • The importance of sex education
  • What is the most effective way to discipline children?

The possibilities are endless when it comes to the kinds of papers you can write. Research, pick an interesting topic, and go from there!

10 Personal Development and Psychology Proposal Essay Topics

Here are ten personal development and psychology topic proposal ideas to get you started:

  • How to overcome procrastination
  • How to deal with anxiety
  • How to manage stress
  • The benefits of meditation
  • The role of therapy in personal development
  • How to set good goals and achieve them
  • How to overcome negative thinking
  • Building self-confidence
  • Dealing with envy
  • Overcoming jealousy

The possibilities are endless when you're looking at the world of psychology papers. So many different topics to choose from! Here's one idea - what if your paper was about ____?

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10 History Proposal Essay Topics

Here are ten history themes to get you started:

  • How the American Revolution changed America
  • The causes of the Civil War
  • How the Industrial Revolution changed America
  • The Roaring Twenties: A decade of change
  • The Big Depression and the New Deal
  • World War II: The home front experience
  • The black lives matter movement in 2021
  • The civil rights movement
  • The fall of communism in Eastern Europe
  • The end of apartheid in South Africa

History is so much more than just the past, it's an exploration of human nature. And that means there are all sorts of fascinating themes you can write about!

10 Culture and Literature Proposal Essay Topics

Here are ten culture and literature proposal paper topics to get you started:

  • How the Internet has changed the way we consume literature
  • The decline of print media
  • How social networks have changed the way we communicate
  • The rise of digital publishing
  • The impact of globalization on culture
  • How immigration has changed America
  • The decline of printed media in the 21st century
  • The role of women in society
  • Racism in America
  • Homophobia in America

Culture is a fascinating subject that can make for an engaging paper. There are so many different areas to explore, and it's up to you as the writer how in-depth your research will be!

Social Life and Social Issues Proposal Essay Topics

Here are ten social life issues headlines to get you started:

  • How to reduce crime in your community
  • The role of the media in society
  • How to deal with drug addiction
  • The problem of homelessness
  • Domestic violence: Causes and solutions
  • Elder abuse
  • Child abuse
  • Human trafficking
  • The rise of illegal immigration during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Animal cruelty

Why not develop your own social life paper? There are an infinite number of potential subjects you could choose from! Research and pick one that interests you.

10 Law and Justice Proposal Essay Topics

Here are ten law and justice high-level but good themes to get you started:

  • The death penalty: Pros and Cons
  • The problem of false confessions
  • How to manage sexual harassment lawsuits
  • The issue of police brutality
  • Racial discrimination in the criminal justice system
  • The problem of mass incarceration
  • Is our current immigration system fair?
  • Can you argue that there should be stricter gun control laws?
  • Should the legal drinking age be raised?
  • Should marijuana be legalized?

These are just some of the potential topics you could research about.

10 Politics and Government Proposal Essay Topics

Here are ten politics and government themes to get you started:

  • The problem of voter turnout
  • How to improve the political process
  • The issue of campaign finance reform
  • How to reduce corruption in government
  • The role of lobbyists in government
  • Is our current tax system fair?
  • Should the government do more to regulate big business?
  • What is the best way to handle the issue of illegal immigration?
  • Should the government do more to protect the environment?
  • What is the best way to handle the issue of climate change?

Need help with writing a proposal essay?

Get your paper written by a professional writer

10 Economy Proposal Essay Topics

Here are ten economy proposal paper topics to get you started:

  • The problem of income inequality
  • The issue of jobs outsourcing
  • How to improve the American economy
  • The role of the Federal Reserve in the economy
  • The problem of trade deficits
  • Should the minimum wage be raised?
  • Is capitalism the best economic system?
  • What is the best way to reduce unemployment?
  • Should there be stricter regulation of the financial sector?
  • The role of the Federal Reserve

When it comes to writing a proposal essay, students can face several challenges. However, with the help of an online essay writing service , students can get professional assistance in selecting a suitable proposal essay topic and completing the entire essay. Papersowl.com provides guidance on researching the issue, outlining the essay, and crafting the final draft, ensuring that the essay meets the course requirements.

So, what are you waiting for? Pick your favorite theme and get started typing proposals with any topic you like! The sooner you start, the more time you'll have to revise and polish your work. And don't forget to ask for help if you need it – professors are always happy to offer guidance and feedback.

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I have always been a bit of a polymath – I loved going through encyclopedias, learning interesting facts about the world around us. Even when it was time to choose my major, I struggled a lot, as I wanted to learn everything about everything.

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how to write an essay topic proposal

How to Write an Extended Essay Proposal

how to write an essay topic proposal

The first ‘official’ step in the Extended Essay process is often writing a proposal. This can seem intimidating at first, but it’s a really helpful thing to write. It’s a great way to get an overview of the steps along the EE journey and it helps you get started – which can be one of the hardest parts! 

In your proposal you lay out your idea, your timeline for working on it, and what you will need to conduct the research. Here we’ll take you through how to write an Extended Essay proposal by looking at each of these parts.

Coming up with an idea is often the hardest part! The key to this is setting aside specific chunks of time to deep dive into topics you find interesting. It’s highly unlikely that an idea will randomly pop into your head otherwise. 

In these scheduled chunks, spend time looking at newspaper and journal articles, TED talks, documentaries etc. The recommended section with related articles is a great place to find the next thing that you want to look at. It’s like the YouTube recommended videos, except falling into a hole on these is actually helpful for your research!

For more tips on finding your topic, check out our previous blog post about it here . 

The Question

Most schools will ask you to give your research question in your proposal. Don’t worry – this can normally be altered later on as long as it’s not a complete topic change! 

The key thing to remember when developing your research question is that it needs to be open-ended enough to allow you to fully investigate your topic. You shouldn’t go into your research with an answer to your question already in mind, and so your question shouldn’t direct you to any one outcome. 

For more specific help with writing your question, take a look at this blog post .

The Timeline 

A key use of the proposal is to help your teachers determine if your Extended Essay topic is viable. One of the main ways that they assess this is through the timeline that you suggest. The IB say that your EE should take 40 hours to complete. While this may seem like a lot at the moment, once you get started you’ll realise it’s actually not much time! It’s important that any project you embark on isn’t going to take longer than this. We all know how busy the IB is!

An easy way to create a timeline is to use the different stages of writing the essay. For example, you will need to do research, analyse your date, plan the essay, write the first draft, edit it, and then produce a final draft. Some of these stages (like conducting your research and analysing data) are likely to take longer than others. 

It’s also important to consider the other deadlines you have during the time when you’re working on your EE. For example, if you have exams at the end of the school year it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to do all of your EE research at the same time as revising for them. 

Here’s an example of a timeline: 

  • Initial background research – early April
  • Conduct main research – late April to end of May
  • Data analysis – July 
  • Plan structure of essay – August
  • Write first draft – first 2 weeks of September 
  • Revise draft – last 2 weeks of September
  • Final draft hand in – first week of October

Notice how I’ve not planned anything for June – this gives time to revise for end of year exams and to take a proper break at the start of the summer! 

Resources Needed

Schools often use the proposals to get an idea of the support that you will need throughout the EE process. It’s important to make sure you lay out any resources you will need. This might be specific chemicals or space in a lab if you’re doing a Chemistry project. For a Geography project, this might be a specific piece of mapping software like ArcGIS. 

Thinking through what you will need is also a helpful starting point for you. It will hopefully help you get started with your research as quickly and smoothly as possible! 

Throughout writing your proposal, it’s important to remember that the aim isn’t to answer your research question! This document is about planning your project and is really designed to help you make sure it’s feasible. 

If you’re having trouble with your Extended Essay proposal, we are here to help! Check out the “IB Extended Essay” category on the blog or take a look at the online private tuition that we offer here .

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100 Best Proposal Topics For Your Essay

Benjamin Oaks

Table of Contents

A proposal essay is the type of paper in which the writer needs to choose the topic and convince the reader about this. It can be anything from education to the environment. One of the hardest things to do is find the writer’s issue to cover in the paper. Thus, our team created the list of best proposal paper ideas.

25 Great Proposal Paper Topics

With every year more and more, people start to understand that the environment has a strong effect on humanity’s well-being. While writing about environmental problems, it would be wise to cover such issues:

  • The little things that everyone can do to help decrease the global warming
  • The ways how humanity can redistribute resources more efficiently and eco-friendly
  • The plan how to stop using fossil fuel in the next several decades
  • How to avoid fires in Australia?
  • The ways to halt deforestation and restore the ecosystem
  • Why is global warming an important issue, and how will it affect humanity?
  • How can the government convince people to start using bicycles for short trips?

Modern people don’t imagine everyday life without smartphones, computers, and the internet. So, making a paper about technologies is a great idea.

  • The ways to help the older generation to get in touch with modern tech
  • The financial and sociological benefits of switching to wireless technologies
  • How to protect your data on the internet?
  • How modern technologies can increase the creativity
  • The part of modern technologies in the lives of modern children
  •  Why prohibiting kids from using the modern means of communication is a bad idea
  • How can GMOs eradicate world hunger?
  • Is it moral to censor the internet?

The proposal paper topics about the Societal issues and Social Life in the modern world such as:

  • How effective is safe education?
  • The ways to lift people out of poverty
  • Different ways to incorporate different cultures into one country
  • The effect of social media on the mental health
  • Internet addiction
  • How can idols encourage people to make their life better?
  • The assistance for the single-parent families.

Our team hopes that we helped you to find some good proposal topics in this section.

25 Good Research Proposals Ideas

Becoming the master of finding the right research paper is crucial during college. Starting a new project and choosing an interesting topic is the hard thing to do. We compiled a list of issues that can be interesting.

  • How did China become a superpower?
  • The history of NATO
  • The reasons for World War I
  • How Europe rebuilt itself after the Second World War?
  • The differences between Palestinians and Jewish people
  • The Cuban Crisis
  • The Crusades
  • How did the Eastern Roman Empire survived for over 1000 years?
  • The economy of the Roman Empire
  • How Christianity became the dominant religion in Europe?
  • The causes and consequences of the 100-year war between France and England
  • French Revolution causes and consequences
  • The collapse of the Soviet Union
  • How long can children watch television?
  • The effect of video games on the school performance
  • New ways of teaching
  • Pros and cons of a testing system
  • How to deal with problematic children
  • Micro-credentials and their impact on traditional education


  • The consequences of an untreated post-traumatic stress disorder
  • The High School bullies from the psychological point of view
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder in the military
  • Why it is important to understand cognitive psychology
  • Family and the community
  • The effect of social media on human psychology

25 Smart Proposal Argument Topics


  • How does hunting affect the environment?
  • Does the government need to prohibit plastic products from promoting eco-friendly alternatives?
  • Would additional charges for plastic bags in convenience stores encourage the usage of reusable bags?
  • How composting can help to save the environment
  • The problem with deforestation

Families and interpersonal relationships

  • The ways to prevent divorce
  • How Covid-19 affected the connections inside the families?
  • Is it possible to get out of “the friend zone”?
  • The signs of abusive relationships
  • Domestic violence and its effect on children
  • Household responsibilities
  • Teenage marriages
  • What impact do families have on kids?
  • Interracial adoption and its effect
  • How being the only child in the family affects the person?

The part of technologies in humans life

  • How will nanomachines change medicine?
  • Can vaccines cause autism?
  • How do the technologies affect Gen Z?
  • Will cybernetic limbs become better than the human arm?
  • How will virtual reality change everyday life?
  • Why do kids understand new technologies way better than their parents?
  • Can video games lead to violent acts in real life?
  • What are the differences between digital and ordinary books?
  • How can video games change education?
  • Should parents be able to choose the features their kids will inherit?

25 Interesting Proposal Essay Topics

In this section, we will discuss proposal essay topic ideas

  • How to deal with childhood obesity?
  • How to promote healthy habits in your kids?
  • What are the ways to provide all citizens with good medical treatment without additional charges?
  • How to decrease the number of smokers?
  • How to effectively deal with illegal drug use?
  • What should be done to reduce the number of deaths from drunk driving?
  • Should college athletes get a salary? What is the right balance between education, business, and athletics
  • Is it right to prohibit all kinds of hunting?
  • Can cybersport players be considered athletes?
  • Should we legalize and monetize the usage of testosterone?
  • How physical activities affect the human brain and mood?

It is essential to be careful with this type of topic in a proposal essay.

  • Traditional values in the modern time
  • Is it a good idea to raise the kids with the feeling of humility instead of a privilege?
  • How to make the younger generation respect the elder ones?
  • The part of political correctness in modern culture
  • How can the United States solve the problem with homeless people?
  • The decline of morality in modern media and what to do with it?
  • The effect of Black Lives Matter on the future of culture
  • Ways to promote tolerant behavior in contemporary society
  • The morality within the teenager aggression
  • How to make morale cool again?
  • How neighboring kings reacted to the female ruler in the countries of the past?
  • How communism affected society?
  • What made Napoleon so famous in France?
  • How did the Greeks manage to colonize the Mediterranean?
  • What were the reasons for the conquest of Alexander the Great?

5 Tips for Proposal Essay From Grademiners.com

In the previous sections, we compiled the list of topics for the proposal essay. In this one, we want to give several tips on how to create a great proposal essay.

  • Conduct thorough research on the topic.
  • Check out different points of view and brainstorm the issue
  • Don’t rely on your first draft. Write messy and edit your writing after that
  • Follow the structure
  • Maintain a consistent tone throughout

Students spend days and weeks writing a good proposal essay. Then, they need to conduct the research, select the correct arguments, write the draft, and edit the final piece. The whole process is complex and consumes a lot of time. So, you can hire a specialist to write the paper for you. The members of our team are professional academic writers that will perform your order on an expert level.

Forget about writing long and tedious essays. Hire GradeMiners!

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How to Use a Quote in an Essay

Jane Friedman

How to Turn an Essay into a Book Deal

Image: a black and white photo of a woman walking down a massive indoor staircase on which a quote from Anish Kapoor is painted in large letters spanning many of the stair risers: "All ideas grow out of other ideas."

Today’s post is by author  Catherine Baab-Muguira .

Getting a traditional, “Big 5” book deal is almost unbelievably difficult. Many will try. Few will succeed. What’s more, talent is cheap. Hard work, persistence, unchecked ambition-slash-megalomania? They’re cheap, too.

What  can  help you land a deal is “proof of concept.” Let me explain.

In marketing, “proof of concept” refers to the process of testing a new product or strategy to assess its sales potential and viability  before  you go all-in on a full-scale launch. It usually involves conducting a limited, real-world trial, the purpose of which is to gather evidence that will allow you to make a larger, grander case. I did 12 years’ hard labor in corporate marketing. That’s how I know.

When it comes to selling your book, proof of concept means demonstrating there’s a large, enthusiastic audience out there ready and willing to shell out $18 for your masterpiece. And a great way to do this is by publishing a nutshell version of your big, central idea in essay form.

How it worked for me

In the summer of 2017, after months of pitching with no luck, I finally found a home for the essay I was  dying to write. It was about how reading the work of Edgar Allan Poe during a deep depression had effectively saved my life. Restarted my creative drive. Renewed my hope for the future.

Numerous prestigious outlets, from the  Washington Post  to  The Atlantic , had rejected or ignored the pitch, so when the literary website The Millions agreed to run it and pay me a whopping $25 for the privilege, I was thrilled. My motivation came down to personal fulfillment and sharing an interesting experience with the world, not fame or money. The token compensation mattered not at all. What I hoped for was an audience, and in that, The Millions more than delivered.  My essay  went modestly viral in a literary world kind of way, racking up likes and shares on Facebook and Twitter, and became one of the site’s most popular articles of the year.

By this point in my freelance career, I’d grown accustomed to following my own work around the internet. It fascinated me to see Redditors discussing a piece, and to track which newspapers, magazines, and other outlets shared the piece on their socials was especially gratifying. Often these same outlets had rejected the pitch.

This time out felt no different, at least not at first. I googled the title of my article and discovered what readers were saying, a process that brings both pleasure and pain. Then I noticed something I hadn’t expected: my piece was being shared in  gigantic  Poe fan groups. For instance, by the official Edgar Allan Poe Facebook fan page, which has nearly 4 million members. I’d never realized so many Poe fans existed, or for that matter, that they gathered in dedicated online spaces.

I kept digging, and what I learned lit my brain up. Not only did my fellow fans number in the millions, many shared the same view of Poe as I did: He was their hero, too. A kindred spirit struggling with mental-health issues, and an inspiration to pursue their artistic work despite knowing it would almost certainly go unpublished and unappreciated.

It would be dishonest to say that, from this point, my book proposal wrote itself. Book proposals aren’t easy to write, hahahaha dear God no. But making the case for a self-help book based on the life and work of Edgar Allan Poe became much easier once I could point to the article’s success—and even share emails from readers responding to the piece.

I hadn’t meant to “pilot” my idea, but pilot it I had.

How it can work for you

How this advice applies to nonfiction is straightforward, but it can apply to fiction, too. You could pilot your big novel idea as a short story. You could also pilot it as an essay on your main topic or theme, or the autobiographical experience which inspired you to write the book.

Whatever genre you’re working in, the process remains simple—dare I say  easy .

Step 1: Write the pitch.

Begin by crafting a compelling pitch for your essay. This pitch should be a concise and engaging description of your idea, clearly conveying the core concept that you plan to explore. (For more on freelance pitching,  see here .)

Step 2: Pitch editors at relevant outlets.

Identify and research relevant online publications, magazines, or websites that cater to your target audience. Carefully tailor your pitch to these specific outlets, highlighting why your essay aligns with their readers’ interests, and referencing articles the outlet has recently published. Keep in mind you may have to pitch lots of outlets before finding a taker. Begin with your top choices and work down from there.

Step 3: Promote the hell out of your essay.

Do not bet on organic success. Instead, once your essay is published, do every last thing you can to maximize its reach. Share it across your socials, obviously, and don’t fail to beg your friends, family, and followers to do the same. Consider tapping into your professional network, too. For example, I belong to Study Hall, an online organization for freelancers with an active listserv, and once a year, members can ask each other to “boost” a particular piece. You may also belong to organizations in which you can ask for support from like-minded individuals, too, which can go a long way toward amplifying your essay’s reach.

Step 4: Gather data by stalking your work around the internet.

Keep a close eye on the performance of your essay. Google the headline in quote marks (as in “My essay title”) and see what Redditors are saying. Keep track of views, likes, shares, and comments. If notable people, organizations, or publications share your piece, make a note. This data will help you prove your concept resonates with a large audience, perhaps even a distinguished one.

Step 5: Belabor your essay’s success in your query and proposal.

What’s the point of all this? Making a big ol’ to-do about the success of your article. In other words, don’t bury the lede. Foreground that success in your  query letter  when approaching literary agents, and foreground it in your book proposal, too. You can and  should  mention its success in your Overview essay and in your Audience section.

Step 6: Maybe do all this in video form, not essay form. I don’t know. You tell me. It’s worth a thought.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge how much the internet has changed since 2017. The heyday of the “first-person industrial complex” appears to be behind us, with short-form video most definitely emerging as the tool du jour. That doesn’t mean you can’t effectively pilot your book idea. It means you should consider piloting your idea via video, if that’s a thing you’re into and a medium you like. And, frankly, even if it’s  not  a thing you’re into and  not  a medium you like. At the very least, consider doing both—piloting via essay and via video. Leigh Stein offers some  excellent advice  on the point.

Break a leg, friends! And go get that proof of concept.

how to write an essay topic proposal

Catherine Baab-Muguira’s debut, Poe for Your Problems: Uncommon Advice from History’s Least Likely Self-Help Guru , was published by Hachette in September 2021. She also writes a free email newsletter called Poe Can Save Your Life, packed with darkly inspiring self-help tips for writers and other creatives. Check it out here .


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

Amran Gowani

Great stuff, Cat! As always.



170 Innovative Proposal Essay Topics on Various Themes

Table of Contents

Do you want to write a high-quality proposal essay? Are you searching for the best proposal essay topics? Here, in this blog post, we have compiled some interesting proposal essay topic ideas for you to consider. Continue reading this post and pick a topic that is ideal for you and also get to know more about proposal essay writing.

What is a Proposal Essay?

A proposal essay is an essay type that is usually written to propose an idea. The main aim of the proposal essay is to propose an idea and convince the readers why the proposed idea is good or bad by providing supporting arguments or evidence.

When writing a proposal essay, you should mainly define a problem, propose an effective solution for the problem, and discuss why you have chosen that particular solution among all the alternatives. You may think that writing a proposal essay is an easy task, but actually, it is not. You need to focus on several things while writing a proposal.

How to Write a Proposal Essay?

If you want to write a brilliant proposal essay, then follow the below-mentioned steps.

  • First, identify a good proposal essay topic.
  • Do thorough research and come up with a unique thesis statement for your topic.
  • Prepare a well-structured proposal essay outline.
  • Jot down the main points and arguments supporting your proposal.
  • With reference to your outline, start writing your proposal essay by covering all the main points.
  • Begin your proposal essay with a catchy introductory paragraph and then state the essay thesis statement or define the problem that is related to your proposal essay topic.
  • Next, in the body section of your essay, provide a solution for the problem discussed in the introductory paragraph and prove your point with relevant realistic examples and events.
  • Finally, summarize the points or restate the thesis statement effectively in the conclusion part of the essay.
  • At the end of the essay, in order to avoid plagiarism, cite all the sources you have used in your proposal essay.
  • After writing, do a complete revision, and then before submission, without skipping, proofread the entire content and edit the errors, if there are any.

When writing a proposal essay, always make sure to structure it properly by including the components like an introduction, proposal, plan of action, and conclusion. Also, remember to use only the relevant sources that are credible. Never consider blog posts and information from non-credible websites for reference. Especially, when writing your proposal essay, be careful with your vocabulary and avoid using slang words and informal tones.

Proposal Essay Topics

Proposal Essay Topic Selection Tips

Identifying an essay topic is one of the significant steps in the essay writing process. There are no hard and fast rules for choosing a proposal essay topic. When you are asked to write a proposal essay, keep the following tips in mind while choosing your essay topic.

  • Pick an essay topic matching your interest.
  • Select a trending topic that excites your readers.
  • Go with a topic that provides a good space for you to present your arguments or discussions.
  • Choose a topic that has many relevant pieces of evidence and reference materials.
  • Spot the topic that is easy for you to conduct research before the deadline.

Along with the above-mentioned tips, also keep an eye on the essay writing requirements shared by your instructor and then finalize an essay topic that will help you to satisfy those requirements.

Read More – How to Write a Research Proposal?

List of Proposal Essay Topics and Ideas

When you are assigned a task to write a proposal essay on the topic of your choice, you are free to choose the proposal essay topic on any genre from business to literature. Here, we have sorted some exciting categories and have listed the interesting proposal essay topic ideas for you to consider.

Explore the complete list and pick an ideal topic.

Proposal Essay Topics on Education

  • Digital education for school benefits
  • How does depression affect the educational process among students?
  • Why is sex education essential and how to include it in the school curriculum?
  • The ways to let educational shows have more airtime on TV.
  • What are the benefits of separating classes according to gender?
  • Self-esteem boosting practices for students and teachers.
  • How can teachers spot signs of bullying in their classes?
  • The current student grading system is flawed, but it can be fixed with these methods.
  • What are the best flexible seating options for the classroom?
  • Discuss student-led learning in public schools.

Social Media Proposal Essay Topics

  • The ways to use social media to increase students’ productivity.
  • Is student-teacher communication on social media ethical?
  • The role of social media in shaping society’s perception
  • Do social media require new ethics rules?
  • Banning social media: can it be a solution to reduce suicides?
  • Innovative ideas about how to create more jobs with the help of social media.
  • Social Media and New Personal Information Security Frames
  • Is online dating safe?
  • Generation Gap and Social Media
  • How does digital presence affect kids’ social skills?
  • The use of social media and new personal data Security Pictures
  • Causes and Motives for the Cyberbullying Epidemic
  • Opportunities for Business Created by Instagram
  • Should There Be New Ethics Rules for Social Media?
  • How Kids’ Social Skills Are Affected by Digital Presence
  • Do People Use Social Media to Express Their Issues?
  • The Social Justice Warriors Movement: Characteristics and Social Effects
  • Should there be regulations on Internet access laws?
  • Social Media Top Personas Presence in Modern Politics
  • Twitter of President Trump: Social Importance, Interpretation, and Meaning

Proposal Essay Topics on Technology

  • How can people reduce their dependence on technology?
  • How does growing up in a technological world may affect children?
  • Should AI replace human workers?
  • How does technology contribute to freelance work?
  • Is it good to use technology in college classrooms?
  • The ways not to kill your imagination while using modern technology.
  • What are the financial benefits of switching to wireless technologies?
  • How can technology save some of the environmental issues?
  • How has technology changed the way modern businesses work?
  • At what point should technology stop evolving?

Business Proposal Essay Topics

  • How can a business lower its taxes legally?
  • Propose technological strategies to run a business.
  • Importance of business plans.
  • How to support local businesses and prevent them from being destroyed by huge chains.
  • How to build a corporate ethical policy?
  • The ways small businesses can survive national riots.
  • E-commerce strategies for attracting new customers.
  • Ways to prevent misunderstanding with customers’ rights.
  • Outsourcing as a solution for backup business activities.
  • Propose ways in which a company can go green and save money.

Proposal Essay Ideas on Environment

  • How to reduce the damage caused to the environment by dams?
  • What is the most efficient energy type people can use?
  • How can countries embrace the use of bicycles for short journeys?
  • What can you do to help the environment?
  • What are the safe ways of renewable energy?
  • Methods of atmospheric controls to avoid harsh climate change.
  • What is the best solution to the problem of plastic bags?
  • Technological methods of predicting flooding
  • Propose safer fuels for automobiles.

Healthcare and Medical Proposal Essay Topics

  • Educating students about their health is a mandatory practice.
  • Propaganda of healthy eating habits for reducing obesity levels.
  • How to make the best out of technology in medicine for inheritance disease testing?
  • Propose training programs for the improvement of physician-patient relationships.
  • A program for attracting more men nurses.
  • How to reduce the rates of smoking among adolescents?
  • What would be an effective program to curb illegal drug use?
  • What should be done to increase the funding for cancer research?
  • Should doctors return to offering house calls?
  • Should couples adopt children instead of having in-vitro fertilization?
  • What is the cheapest way to have good healthcare for all humans?
  • What is the best way to protect people’s personal medical information?
  • Should alternative medicine be covered by insurance?
  • Why do people travel to other countries for treatment?
  • Discuss the ideal hospital size for care and sanitation.

See Also – Outstanding Medical Research Topics for you to Explore & Analyze

Sports Proposal Essay Ideas

  • Programs encourage students to participate more in sports.
  • How can coaches and players talk to the media after losing a game?
  • Should college athletes be paid?
  • Should extreme activities for entertainment be banned?
  • Can the media do a better job of covering sports on television?
  • Should the use of steroids be legalized and monetized instead of being prohibited?
  • How can coaches take encouragement to a whole new level for athletes?
  • Are sportsmen and women too superstitious?
  • Will over-reliance on sports technology change the performance output of athletes?
  • How can sports commentator bias be reduced in rooting for a particular team?
  • Sports can help college students to stay away from depression
  • Children with learning disabilities embrace remote learning better
  • Negative body language and peer pressure among teens
  • High schools must emphasize providing practical education to students alongside theoretical education
  • How can volunteering help to deal with procrastination issues?

Proposal Essay Topics on Parenting and Family Life

  • Does parental divorce influence a child’s life?
  • LGBTQ Family Member: Acceptance Case
  • Should parents control children’s internet usage?
  • Gender roles and discrimination within a family
  • Financial education should come to children from their parents.
  • How to support single-parent families in times of need?
  • What is the best way to teach children responsibility?
  • How can parents make sure their children adopt healthy life values?
  • How can parents help children avoid or deal with bullying in school?
  • What is the most effective way to discipline a child?
  • Every government should provide financial assistance to students belonging to vulnerable and marginalized communities
  • Best strategies to deal with ragging in colleges
  • Challenges faced by students belonging to the LGBTQ+ community in higher education
  • Technology-driven education vs. traditional school-based education
  • Implementation of IT patrols can reduce the rate of cyber-bullying in schools and colleges

Proposal Essay Topics on Social Issues and Social Life

  • How can an average person help orphans without spending money?
  • Social programs for educating special children.
  • Choosing the right idols for teenagers to encourage positive lifestyle changes.
  • Practical solutions for skyrocketing cybercrime rates.
  • Hate-crime laws as a response to increased violence against marginalized groups.
  • Support groups for teenagers to prevent depression due to issues with school peers.
  • How not get overloaded by information daily?
  • Use safe driving educational materials as a preventive measure.
  • What should be done to lower the national debt?
  • Social inequality Roots proposal
  • Bystander effect in social psychology
  • Democracy, Freedom versus Terrorism: How are they connected?
  • An argument against the death penalty
  •  Feminism and its main idea
  • The influence of an anti-discrimination movement on all others’

Impressive Proposal Essay Topics

  • Propose essential characteristics of an effective leader.
  • Is the fashion industry to blame for eating disorders?
  • How does the native language shape our thinking?
  • Violence in media from children’s perspective
  • Memes as a new communication tool
  • Religion Versus Culture Proposal
  • How can the government handle illegal immigration?
  • Does rap music influence the behavior of modern teenagers?
  • What could be done to make the electoral system more effective?
  • Propose traits of a good-standing family in the community.

Unique Proposal Essay Ideas

  • Discuss the benefits of art for society and individuals separately.
  • What is the best way to bring extinct animals back to life?
  • Damages of misrepresentation.
  • How can we stop body shaming?
  • Challenges of the multicultural family?
  • Has globalization affected the moral fiber of the communities?
  • How to deal with overpopulation?
  • Does military technology make the world a safer place?
  • Propose ways of accepting cultural diversity in our communities.
  • Environmental-friendly traveling and tourism opportunities
  • What is the impact of global sporting events on the environment, in terms of waste, pollution, and carbon emissions?
  • Critical analysis of the impact of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on human health and the environment
  • What is environmental racism and how does it impact marginalized communities?
  • Discuss the importance of 3R (reduce, reuse, and recycle) strategies for ensuring a sustainable environment
  • Impact of environmental justice on society and the natural environment

Trending Proposal Essay Topics

  • How Depression Affects Students’ Educational Process
  • How a college education affects students’ anxiety levels
  • Are Eating Disorders a Result of the Fashion Industry?
  • Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Treating Depression
  • The Influence of Native Language on Thought
  • Does playing video games affect kids’ violent behavior?
  • The American educational system’s biggest flaw and how to fix it
  • Why Many Students Hate Math & Making It a More Interesting Subject Teachers Should Be Subjected to Closer Inspection Upon Hiring
  • How much autonomy ought students to have in the classroom?
  • Which Extra Exams Should Start After Graduation?

Excellent Topics for Proposal Essay

  • Should there be regulations for Internet access?
  • Social Media: Contemporary Political Techniques Priority Personas
  • Twitter account of the President: societal value, significance, and Interpretation
  • Shakespeare’s Impact on English Literature in the Modern Era
  • Joyce, Faulkner, and Proust are the three streams of consciousness.
  • What Effects Depression Has on Students’ Learning
  • How students’ levels of anxiety are influenced by their college education
  • How Contemporary Society Supports Egoistic Personality Traits
  • How Physical Appearance Affects One’s Quality of Life
  • Compare and contrast the academic scoring capability of charter school students generally and traditional public school students
  • Comparative analysis of non-fictional novels and fictional novels
  • F.Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and how it’s an indictment of the “American Dream”
  • Rape, teen pregnancy, forced sex, exploitation and the delegitimization of birth control pills: How they all conjure to control women’s bodies?
  • Intrinsic effect of the exploration and promotion of interracial marriage on American popular Culture

Final Words

For writing an effective proposal essay, you can choose any of the best proposal essay topics suggested in this blog post. In case, you are confused about what topic to choose for your proposal essay or if you are unsure of how to write a proposal essay, contact us immediately. To offer you high-quality essay writing help , we have numerous skilled essay writers on our platform. For all types of academic essays including proposal essays, our experts will prepare and deliver plagiarism-free content relevant to the topic. Just utilize our essay writing service online to complete your task in advance of the deadline and achieve good grades.

Proposal Essay Topics

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How To Write A Proposal Essay In 2023?

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Table of Contents

How To Write A Proposal Essay (Writing Guide)

  • How to start a proposal essay
  • How to write body for a proposal essay
  • How to conclude a proposal essay
  • Outline example

Briefly, a proposal essay is an essay which puts forward an original idea, and then defends it through the use of well-backed up research and personal opinion combined to try and persuade whoever is reading it of the advantages\disadvantages of the idea.

Proposals are mainly found in three fields: education (it is a good way to teach and learn critical thinking), business (as a way of showing why particular moves would be a bad idea, or a good one, respectively), and economics, for much the same reason. This of course does not mean that they are limited to these areas – proposal essay writing is something which can be useful for many fields.

How to Start a Proposal Essay

Much of the work which goes into a good proposal essay is done ahead of time; as the following paragraphs will show, being able to persuade others of your point of view is as much to do with the quality of the research being done, and the ways in which you pitch your argument as it does with the writing style.  Writing is (it should go without saying) important, but it can only do so much.

Knowing the audience for your work is incredibly important – the audience will determine the overall tone of the paper, as well as possibly influence the types of sources which can and should be used to back up the arguments made in the paper itself. For example, if the paper is aimed at business people, then arguments should revolve around the financial benefits or drawbacks of the situation being proposed. Alternatively, academics should be tackled by using strictly academic sources and previous academic theories , whether to agree with them or disagree.

Don’t skip over the research. This is the most important part of the process, even more so than having polished writing; less than stellar writing and good research will stand up to scrutiny far more easily than perfect writing and a lack of research will. Good research also makes it more likely that the essay will fulfill its purpose in persuading other people to the point of view it discusses.

Before writing the essay, start by creating a list of your ideas, and forming them into an outline . This outline does not need to be fixed, but it will you to organize your thoughts and the essay so that they both flow coherently in the writing.

An introduction in an essay is how you introduce the topic to whoever is reading. Not only is it the place to lay out the arguments which you will be relying on throughout the essay, but also gives space for any necessary history or important people to be mentioned and discussed before the actual essay begins. The introduction is possibly one of the most important parts of the essay, as it sets up what is to come, and begins the work of persuading people of a particular point of view by convincing them to read on. Outside of an educational setting, proposal essays are generally only written as a means of solving a problem or showing one potential way to solve a problem. Therefore, they highlight the problem which they are attempting to solve within the introduction itself, so as to ensure that the audience understands.

Essay Writing

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How to Write the Main Part of a Proposal Essay

An outline will be featured at the end of this article, which will show the relevant parts of a proposal essay – note that depending on the context, some parts may need to be taken out or rearranged to better suit what it is trying to convey.

The Proposal

The proposal should act as a statement of purpose, something which explains the purpose behind writing the essay.  It can be anything from a few lines long to an entire paragraph – it depends on the length of the essay itself – but it should contain the problem\opinion\topic which is under discussion, and an explanation of why it is worth debating.

Body Paragraph One – First Argument

This is the paragraph where you lay out your first argument for or against the proposal. Make sure that the writing is good, clear, and doesn’t go off into unnecessary tangents. Similarly, make sure that everything is referenced properly, and prepare to back up every argument (including any follow-up arguments) with well-checked facts.

Body Paragraph Two – Second Argument

This should be the same as above, except with an entirely new argument.

Body Paragraph Three – Third (Opposing) Argument

Again, this should be the same as above, although many people use it as a means of expressing an opposing opinion to the one they hold. It is entirely up to the writer as to how to use this paragraph, though it should be noted that devoting time to debunking the more common arguments or opposing opinions in the essay will tell the audience that the research into the problem has been thorough and well-done.

How to Conclude a Proposal Essay

The conclusion should not be a simple re-statement of the introduction, with all of the relevant history and essay points, but it should contain some elements of it all. You should include just enough to serve as a reminder of why the proposal was deemed appropriate in the first place, without any in-depth knowledge of the introduction. The main arguments being made in your proposal should also be reiterated. Once this is done, there are two ways in which a proposal essay can be ended, and it depends on what type of proposal essay was being written. If the proposal essay was written in an educational setting, then the conclusion should wrap up all the research done and deliver the final conclusion, along with any last pieces of information which might be appropriate at this stage. The other kind of proposal essay, the one did in a professional setting, should have several more strands to it.

For people who are giving a professional proposal essay : state the goal of the proposal, just to ensure that everybody who reads the essay knows what it is handling, and then focus on why the proposal will work, with reference to any previous moves in this direction, or any potential assets to the proposal which would particularly suit your audience.

Outline Example

  • It should be banned because it goes against the family-friendly nature of the paper
  • It should be banned because it is overall degrading, and outdated
  • It should not be banned because the women gave their consent to be photographed that way.
  • Proposal – page three is something that should be banned because it is an outdated feature of the newspaper which blatantly goes against the nature of the paper as stated by its publishers. It has no place in a society that claims to view men and women as equal.
  • Body paragraph one – the Sun claims that it is family-friendly, so what message is the topless woman sending to the family, and specifically, to children? It teaches boys that women should be related to sex objects, it teaches girls that they should be okay with being related to a sex object.
  • Body paragraph two – women are supposed to be seen as equals in our society, but there are no corresponding naked men features, so the topless women become one more part of our ‘sex-sells’ culture. This is degrading to women who want to be more than that.
  • Body paragraph three – the women in question are presumably over the age of consent and therefore chose to be photographed like this. Is it not degrading to take their choice away from them?
  • Reiterate the proposal
  • Go over the main arguments
  • Come to an overall conclusion.

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A forced exodus from Gaza to Egypt? Israeli ‘concept paper’ fuels outrage

What will happen to the 2.3 million Palestinians trapped in the Gaza Strip ? That question, fraught with historical trauma and fears of the future, has hung in the suffocating air of the besieged enclave as Israel intensifies its aerial bombardment and ground assault .

Now, a paper by an Israeli government ministry proposing that Palestinians in Gaza be transferred to Egypt’s Sinai Desert has raised the specter of a long-standing but highly contentious idea of forced displacement. 

The proposal has drawn widespread outrage in the Arab world and has been denounced by Palestinian leaders. President Joe Biden said Sunday that he had spoken to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi and that they had discussed “ensuring that Palestinians in Gaza are not displaced to Egypt or any other nation.”

Israel has downplayed the seriousness of the paper, but with Gazans’ fragile future the subject of its advancing military and furious global diplomacy, the idea does at least appear to be the subject of ongoing discussion. 

Follow live coverage from NBC News here.

A 'complicated' plan

The plan in this “thinking document” has been circulating for weeks but was confirmed by Israel on Monday as one of many ideas put forward by the country’s Intelligence Ministry, which conducts research but does not set policy.

It laid out a vision for mass displacement at the end of its war with Hamas: establishing tent cities in Egypt, creating a humanitarian corridor, then building cities in the northern Sinai to house the refugees for the long term, with a security zone to prevent Palestinians from returning to Gaza. 

Sinai is a sparsely populated peninsula, its interior a largely inhospitable desert that has been the subject of past conflicts and negotiations between Israel and Egypt. 

The document deemed the plan to be the best option for Israel’s security in the wake of Hamas’ deadly Oct. 7 terrorist attack, while acknowledging that the proposal “is liable to be complicated in terms of international legitimacy.”

Israel Hamas War Gaza

Capturing Israeli fury in the wake of the attack, a lawmaker and former minister on Wednesday called for the erasure of Gaza so that its residents “will fly to the southern fence and try to enter Egyptian territory. Or they will die.”

“A vengeful and cruel IDF is needed here,” said Galit Distel Atbaryan, a member of the ruling right-wing Likud Party, said in a post on X . Other prominent Israeli figures have also publicly suggested that Palestinians should flee south into Egypt, at least temporarily.

Forced displacement as described in the document is a war crime in violation of international humanitarian law. 

It is also an especially emotive issue for Palestinians. Even as they attempt to escape Israel’s bombardment, many fear that their attempts to seek safety will be parlayed into another traumatic mass displacement. 

In 1948, an estimated 700,000 Palestinians were expelled from their land in what would become Israel. It was a foundational event for Palestinians, who refer to their displacement as the “Nakba,” Arabic for catastrophe. Many of the current residents of Gaza are descendants of Palestinian refugees displaced during the Nakba.

“The biggest trauma in the Arab world that continues to this day is around the failure of Arab states in 1948 to do more to prevent the ethnic cleansing of Palestine,” said Yousef Munayyer, a senior fellow and head of the Palestine/Israel Program at the Arab Center in Washington, D.C.

“No Arab leader wants to be seen as complicit in the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians,” he told NBC News in a phone interview. 

Thousands of civilians, both Palestinians and Israelis, have died since October 7, 2023, after Palestinian Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip entered southern Israel in an unprecedented attack triggering a war declared by Israel on Hamas with retaliatory bombings on Gaza.

In a statement to The Associated Press in response to the Israeli report, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said, “We are against transfer to any place, in any form, and we consider it a red line that we will not allow to be crossed.”

“What happened in 1948 will not be allowed to happen again,” Abu Rudeineh said, adding that a mass displacement would be “tantamount to declaring a new war.”

While el-Sissi has not commented directly on the leaked document, he has repeatedly and staunchly opposed becoming a party to efforts by Israel to displace Palestinians. 

“We are not going to permit that to happen,” he said last week, adding that the prospect of displacement endangered the “Palestinian cause.” 

Middle Eastern experts are not surprised by the document but they are concerned.

Gamal Abdel Gawad, a political analyst and professor at the American University of Cairo, said the Israeli intelligence proposal is “completely reckless” and deflects from the crux of the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which he believes would only be resolved if Palestinians gain their own state. 

The plan is also seen by many observers as an attempt by Israel to push off its responsibility under international law for the protection of Palestinians onto Egypt, a country in the midst of an economic crisis and ill-equipped to absorb 2.3 million refugees. Israel, with the support of its allies, may hope to leverage Egypt’s near-insurmountable debt as a way to convince it of such a plan, analysts have said.

El-Sissi’s public rejection of such a policy is bolstered by massive public support, including pro-Palestinian protests in Cairo last week. A strongman seeking a third term amid dwindling popularity, he has seen his approval ratings rise on the back of his vocal support for Palestinians.

His government has played an outsize role already in deals involving hostages, humanitarian aid and civilian evacuations.

Egypt’s position is not only motivated by a belief in the Palestinians’ right to self-determination or by self-interest, but the country also has a complex history with Israel, including past wars over Sinai, a 1978 peace treaty it seeks to preserve and delicate political cooperation. 

National security concerns may also play into the administration’s tough stance. In the past, Egypt has struggled with extremist groups’ presence in the Sinai and lacked control over terrorist activity there, experts said. 

“The idea of destabilizing Sinai, once again, through this mass depopulation is not just an economic or moral burden for Egypt, but also a major security issue,” Munayyer, of the Arab Center, said.

The plan to resettle Palestinians in Gaza to Sinai has surfaced regularly for decades, often meeting with outrage among Palestinians and Arab governments, but it is “not uncommon” in Israeli political discourse as an option during wartime, Munayyer said. 

The United Nations estimates that 1.4 million Palestinians are currently displaced within the Gaza Strip in increasingly desperate conditions , as food, water, fuel and medicines run down under the total siege imposed by Israel and the destruction and death toll climb. It also remains unclear who might govern the coastal enclave after the war, if Israel is successful in eliminating Hamas.

Israel has repeatedly issued evacuation orders forcing people to southern Gaza , against the Egyptian border, while it appears to have focused its ground incursion on isolating the north of the enclave. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has attempted to downplay the document. In a statement to the AP, his office called it a “concept paper, the likes of which are prepared at all levels of the government and its security agencies.” 

Munayyer said it would be tantamount to “complete political suicide” for the Egyptian government to accept such a “horrific possibility.” But while Israel has downplayed the document and the U.S., Egypt and others have dismissed the idea, he said he had no doubt that the Israeli government will likely push “very hard” to make it a reality with its actions in Gaza.

“Israel might make the Palestinians Egypt’s problem, whether Egypt likes it or not.”

how to write an essay topic proposal

Yasmine Salam is an associate producer with the NBC News Investigative Unit. Previously she worked in the London Bureau, covering international stories.

Want to create or adapt books like this? Learn more about how Pressbooks supports open publishing practices.

Article links:

“Topic Exploration and Research Proposal” provided by the authors

“Effective Technical Writing in the Information Age” provided by Penn State

“Reflective Writing Prompt: Topic Proposal” by the authors

Chapter Preview

  • Describe the process of selecting a research topic.
  • Describe the research proposal writing process.

how to write an essay topic proposal

Topic Exploration and Research Proposal

provided by the authors

For English Composition II courses you are expected to conduct a research project, where you explore, research, and then create an argument about a topic of your choosing. For this assignment, you’re going to take the first step in exploring your topic through preliminary research and proposing what further research you’re going to conduct.

This assignment is usually divided into two parts. The first section is the topic exploration, in which you will explore the discourse community surrounding your chosen topic. This might involve giving an overview of the topic, discussing major advances or timely news items, or exploring the problems and controversies within that topic. In order to do this, you’ll need to present sources from your informal preliminary research. In discussing these sources, think about how the sources speak to each other, give different viewpoints of the same topic, or show the complexity of the discourse community attached to that topic. The purpose of the idea exploration is 1) to show that you’ve done your homework and 2) to give your readers an understanding of the conversation you’re entering with your research project.

The second part is the research proposal , where you’ll propose what you expect to accomplish with your research project and how you expect to conduct your research. The purpose is to establish the exigence of your project: questions you want to answer, the problems you want to solve, viewpoints you want to support, etc. You may get as specific as possible with your research plans and goals, with the understanding that you’ll become more informed as you conduct your formal research, and you may even change your opinions and viewpoints.

Remember that this paper is not an essay, with an argumentative thesis that you have to prove with evidence. It’s also not just an informative report on the topic. Think of it more as a reflection and exploration. When writing the idea exploration and research proposal, you should imagine that your audience is a group of students or scholars who would be interested in your topic, but might not have more than passing familiarity with it. So your purpose should be to give a good overview of the topic. It should also be to tell where your research is going, and to get your audience interested and excited about your research.

The following are important concepts that relate to the Reflective Writing Prompt:

Exigence,   “is the circumstance or condition that invites a response”

Discourse Community:   is a social group that communicates at least in part via written texts and shares common goals, values, and writing standards, a specialized vocabulary and specialized genres.”

Effective Technical Writing in the Information Age

provided by Penn State

In the working world, you will often be in the position of writing a proposal, usually to try to solve a problem or receive approval or funding for a project. Such proposals must be prepared to exact specifications and must strike an artful balance between your own needs and those of your audience. Recently, I worked closely with a professor as she prepared a proposal for some vital funding for her research, and her revisions during our discussion were effective because they were completely audience-centered and goal-oriented, even to the point that she revised tentative-sounding phrases into positive affirmations, shortened paragraphs and provided more transitions so that her sentences were easier to read and reread, and changed certain past-tense verbs to present tense to establish a stronger sense of immediate relevance.

Topic Proposals

In your courses, your professor may simply ask you to write a short topic proposal for his or her approval, or you may be asked to write an extensive proposal as a warm-up for a term paper or lengthy writing project. The advice that follows will help you prepare an extensive proposal.

For more ideas on writing research paper proposals, try out these URLs:

“Research Paper Proposal” article from George Mason University

“Steps to Writing a Research Paper” article from Rio Salado College Online

Pitfalls of Proposals

When you are faced with the task of preparing a proposal for a paper, consider your audience’s position first. Believe me, when a professor asks you to write a proposal, what he or she wants to do is read and understand it rapidly, give some feedback, and then grant speedy approval to someone who is clearly prepared to begin writing a paper. Empty phrases, vague detail, apparent self-absorption, cockiness, or a lack of confidence on your part just get in the way of all that. I once reviewed a batch of paper proposals in which the following sentences appeared verbatim:

Another aspect in which I will ultimately show there is some importance here is . . .
Currently I am working hard at gathering more information and reviewing all my present information, maps, and resources that I have etc., etc., etc.
At this point in time my proposed topic that I have chosen is . . .
By the deadline of this paper I will have expected myself to have gone far more into depth about this interesting topic and would have all of the required information.

In the nearly 90 words above, there is nothing of use to the reader of the proposal, who wants specifics, not fluff. Empty phrases merely waste the reader’s time and even breed suspicion that the writer has no real specifics to report. If you complicate what should be simple with such bloated, undigestible, and unswallowable phrases, your poor professor only winds up with a headache and heartburn.

Style for Proposals

As you compose your proposal, follow these stylistic tips:

  • Try out a title, seeing it as a window into your introduction.
  • Include an immediately relevant introduction that briefly and professionally sets the context. Do not bother with such silliness as “Hi!!! Happy to be in your class. My name is Joseph. My social security number is . . . .”
  • Have a premise, objective, or rationale clearly stated. Label it as such.
  • Use brief, logical, concrete section headings to orient yourself and your reader.
  • Take advantage of enumeration or formatting so that your important points stand out. Consider some sort of outline form where appropriate, even if only for one section of the proposal. Make it easy to scan.
  • Do not waste any time at all. No verbal drumrolls.
  • In general, do not hesitate to use “I,” but do not overuse it. Sound like a person, even if it means taking a tiny stab at something that feels creative or bold. You may strike just the right humanizing chord and be invited to do so in your paper as well.
  • Pose questions. Actively speculate. Be thinking on the page.
  • Remember that a proposal is not an unbreakable covenant, but a thoughtful plan. Be specific about the work that you have not yet done as well as the work that you have. For example: “I am still speculating about how best to define the general characteristics of particle systems, and I know that I need to find more information on particle interactions, mechanics, and processing.” Such a comment might inspire a helpful professor to jot you a concrete note about where to find the needed information.
  • Cite sources in your proposal, using the same citation style that you will use in the paper. You may be expected to give an annotated bibliography, but even if not, consider giving a sentence or so of description about your sources to establish your credibility, show the relevance of your initial research, and begin to spark the thoughts that the sources will help you to generate.
  • Proofread the proposal with care, just as you should the final product.

Important Concepts

research proposal

argumentative thesis

discourse community 

Reflective Writing Prompt

Topic Proposal 

In an informal memo to a specific audience (for example your high school English teacher or other favorite teacher from high school), write a short reflection on your first assignment for English 1020. In your response, develop your response to address the following questions:

Part 1: 300-400 words = How has this essay helped you better understand the type of thinking and writing expected in a research proposal (a genre)? In your response, address the following questions:

  • What specific kinds of rhetorical knowledge and writing skills did you discover and see yourself using to accomplish this task? In other words, what types of knowledge that you possessed before (as a result of what you learned in high school and/or ENGL 1010) did you find yourself building on or refining in some way as part of completing this assignment?
  • As an example, describe how your understanding of audience helped you choose what to include or what to exclude.

Part 2: 300-400 words = Describe one way you’ll use what you learned in this project in another class you’re taking or in future courses that will require research and writing. Draw upon specific details and examples from your own assignment and explain why they are going to be useful and adaptable to other writing contexts and discourse communities.

Licenses and Attributions


Composing Ourselves and Our World,   Provided by: the authors. License:  Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)


This chapter contains an adaptation of Effective Technical Writing in the Information Age :  by   Joe Schall , College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University., and is used under an  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 US)  license.


  • Video 1:  How To Write A Research Proposal Essay – Get Good Grade Writing Tips by Get Good Grade .  Licensed: Standard YouTube License.

Composing Ourselves and Our World Copyright © 2019 by Auburn University at Montgomery is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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  1. 005 Essay Example Proposal Proposals Examples ~ Thatsnotus

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  5. 005 Essay Example Proposal Proposals Examples ~ Thatsnotus

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  6. 10+ Essay Proposal Outline Templates

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  1. How to Write a Research Proposal

    How to Write a Research Proposal | Examples & Templates Published on October 12, 2022 by Shona McCombes and Tegan George. Revised on June 13, 2023. A research proposal describes what you will investigate, why it's important, and how you will conduct your research.

  2. Academic Proposals

    One key tactic for ensuring you have clear language in your proposal is signposting — you can pick up key phrases from the CFP, as well as use language that indicates different sections in academic work (as in IMRAD sections from the organization and structure page in this resource).

  3. How to Write a Paper Topic Proposal & Thesis Statement

    1. Your proposed paper topic: This part of the proposal is one sentence. Keep your paper topic narrow (but not so narrow that there are no scholarly sources available on the topic). 2. Why the topic is interesting and important: Address how you will focus the topic. If you choose a topic that is not of interest to you, it will show in your paper.

  4. 6.5 Writing Process: Creating a Proposal

    Describe the elements of the rhetorical situation for your proposal. Apply prewriting strategies to discover a problem to write about. Gather and synthesize information from appropriate sources. Draft a thesis statement and create an organizational plan. Compose a proposal that develops your ideas and integrates evidence from sources.

  5. PDF Luc Writing Center "How to Write a Topic Proposal"

    The first draft of a topic proposal that you formulate on that sheet will help you 1) Establish the wider context of your issue, 2) explain the scholastic or professional perspectives of experts on the subject under discussion, 3) isolate any problems with prevailing viewpoints on the subject, and then 4) state your thesis, which usually explain...

  6. How to Write a Proposal Essay/Paper

    How to Write a Proposal Essay/Paper Deya Writes Sep 15, 2023 10:04 PM EDT This article will go over how to write an effective proposal essay and provide a sample that was actually submitted and implemented. What Is a Proposal Essay?

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    How to Write a Research Proposal Lindsay Kramer Updated on May 10, 2023 Students Once you're in college and really getting into academic writing, you may not recognize all the kinds of assignments you're asked to complete.

  8. Sample Academic Proposals

    Sample Academic Proposals. Select the Sample Academic Proposals PDF in the Media box above to download this file and read examples of proposals for conferences, journals, and book chapters.

  9. PDF How to Write a Paper Proposal

    The purpose writing a paper proposal is to give your professor, TA, and/or peers an opportunity to provide feedback on your topic, argument, and research goals. Perhaps most importantly, a paper proposal requires you to narrow your topic and begin formulating the argument you'll make.

  10. How to Write an Essay Proposal + Examples

    How to Write an Essay Proposal + Examples By: Tasha Kolesnikova 12 min 0 10.04.2022 For those who are interested in learning how to write an essay, the question "how to write a proposal for an essay" usually occurs first. Table Of Contents What is an essay proposal? What to include in an essay proposal Prewriting Stage What is an essay proposal?

  11. 30 Proposal Essay Topics That Are Easy and Fun to Write

    Choose something that interests you For many types of essays, you can fake it till you make it. But for proposal essays, it will be a huge advantage for you to select a topic you actually care about. You're most likely going to be spending a significant portion of time researching and writing this essay.

  12. How To Write An Essay Proposal

    The school, class, or institution you're submitting the proposal to will determine your proposal's format. Here's a general step-by-step guide for writing a proposal. Introduction: Start by introducing the issue you want to address to the committee. Present a firm introduction to enrapture the readers from the beginning.

  13. Essay Proposal

    How to write a proposal essay The following are five helpful steps on writing a proposal essay for college: Address counterarguments The most important aspect of writing a proposal essay is addressing the opposing argument, or counterargument.

  14. How to Write a Proposal: 12 Steps (with Pictures)

    6. Edit your work. Be meticulous in writing, editing, and designing the proposal. Revise as necessary to make it clear and concise, ask others to critique and edit it, and make sure the presentation is attractive and engaging as well as organized and helpful. Have another set of eyes (or two) read over your work.

  15. Sample Proposal Argument

    Argument & Critical Thinking » Argumentative Purposes » Sample Proposal Argument Sample Proposal Argument Now that you have had the chance to learn about writing a proposal argument, it's time to see what one might look like. Below, you'll see a sample proposal argumentative essay written using APA 7 th edition formatting guidelines.

  16. 348 Interesting Proposal Essay Topics and Ideas for 2023

    Print 348 Interesting Proposal Essay Topics and Ideas for 2023 (110 votes) A proposal argument is an essay in which you describe a specific issue that needs fixing. It focuses on problem solutions. Our specialists will write a custom essay on any topic for 13.00 10.40/page 308 certified professionals on site Learn More

  17. Top List Of Proposal Essay Topics in 2023

    How to write essay Type of essay Essay Planing Essay Topics Essay Structure How to Format Essay Research Paper How to write research paper Type of research paper Research paper topics Research paper structure How to Format Research Paper Top List Of Proposal Essay Topics in 2023 06 May 2022 Quick Navigation What Is a Proposal Argument Essay?

  18. How to Write an Extended Essay Proposal

    The Timeline A key use of the proposal is to help your teachers determine if your Extended Essay topic is viable. One of the main ways that they assess this is through the timeline that you suggest. The IB say that your EE should take 40 hours to complete.

  19. 100 Best Proposal Topics For Your Essay

    Blog 100 Best Proposal Topics For Your Essay Benjamin Oaks 43.8K Published: 7/2/2021 Table of Contents 25 Great Proposal Paper Topics 25 Good Research Proposals Ideas 25 Smart Proposal Argument Topics 25 Interesting Proposal Essay Topics 5 Tips for Proposal Essay From Grademiners.com

  20. How to Turn an Essay into a Book Deal

    You could pilot your big novel idea as a short story. You could also pilot it as an essay on your main topic or theme, or the autobiographical experience which inspired you to write the book. Whatever genre you're working in, the process remains simple—dare I say easy. Step 1: Write the pitch. Begin by crafting a compelling pitch for your ...

  21. Top 100 Proposal Essay Topics to Spark Your Creativity

    Strong Rationale Audience Engagement Feasibility Thorough Research Logical Structure By mastering these key characteristics you can craft proposal essays that captivate and drive change. So it's time to get down to the nitty-gritty. By that, I mean the list of the best essay topics. List of Top 100 Proposal Essay Topics

  22. 170 Innovative Proposal Essay Topics on Various Themes

    If you want to write a brilliant proposal essay, then follow the below-mentioned steps. First, identify a good proposal essay topic. Do thorough research and come up with a unique thesis statement for your topic. Prepare a well-structured proposal essay outline. Jot down the main points and arguments supporting your proposal.

  23. How To Write A Proposal Essay In 2023?

    How To Write A Proposal Essay: Learn essential tips and steps for crafting a compelling proposal essay that persuades and informs. Contact Now for more!

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    The document deemed the plan to be the best option for Israel's security in the wake of Hamas' deadly Oct. 7 terrorist attack, while acknowledging that the proposal "is liable to be ...

  28. 12. 1 The Topic Proposal Assignment

    The purpose of the idea exploration is 1) to show that you've done your homework and 2) to give your readers an understanding of the conversation you're entering with your research project. The second part is the research proposal, where you'll propose what you expect to accomplish with your research project and how you expect to conduct ...