IM APP 1-4
• you have a strong grasp of communication knowledge (i.e., evidence that you know what
you're talking about). You can do this by including vocabulary and principles you’ve learned
in class and by describing specific examples of how you can apply these principles.
• You can communicate effectively via written language. Grammar, spelling, neatness, and
format will add to or detract from your credibility (see Adler & Elmhorst, Appendix II,
Business Writing, Writing Well).
Content and Format for this Proposal: Your proposal should be arranged under several headings, as
follows. Use a heading for each section except the title page.
Title Page: On the title page, center the following information. Each item should be on a separate
line, single-spaced: title of the report; (skip two lines); Submitted by [your name]; college name;
class and section; date submitted.
Overview: Start the overview on a new page. This section serves as a preview of the contents of
your report. This section should only consist of about six to ten sentences.
Your goal in the overview is to convince the reader that your proposal is worth reading. One
effective approach is to briefly summarize the problem, then briefly state how your proposal will
solve that problem. End with a strong constructive statement about the value your
recommendations will bring to the organization, team, class, friendship, or family. In the
overview, be very brief and get right to the point. Reserve the details about your proposal for
later. Use powerful language (recall Chapter 4), but be very sincere... don't oversimplify or
exaggerate your claims. It wouldn't be realistic to claim that you evolve to instant, perfect
communication overnight. Communication habits take a LONG time to change.
Description of Problem: Convince your reader that a communication weakness exists that needs
to be managed. Be specific. Integrate terminology from the text as you identify what is wrong.
Include page references from the text. Provide one or two specific examples of the weakness. It
might be helpful to include quotations of words you've said that were problematic and a
description of the ways others have reacted to your communication. Consider how these
drawbacks impact the organization, team, friendship, or family as a whole.
Resources and Constraints: This section will be probably be shorter than the problem
description and recommendations sections. Take stock of the current situation. What resources
can you identify that could help you improve your communication? The text is one example.
Excellent role models might be another resource. How can you use these resources to help you
improve your communication? Describe any constraints that are likely to impede your progress in
improving your communication habits. For example, if you are working three jobs and taking a
full-time class load, your ability to put time and effort into this project is likely to be curtailed. (If
this were the case, you might realize that improving your communication habits can bring
lifelong benefits, so you might suggest in your recommendations that you will drop one job or not
take as many classes at a time, to enable you to work on your life skills.)
Recommendations: This is the most crucial section of your proposal. This will probably be the
longest section of your entire document. Propose how you plan to improve the communication
weakness. Describe exactly what you plan to accomplish. Detail the specific steps you will take
to achieve your objectives. Be realistic. Be specific. If you quoted examples of detrimental
language in your problem description, it would be helpful to include here some examples of
effective phrases you could substitute. Explain why your plan is desirable for the organization,