Writing Assignment: Research Proposal Letter
For this assignment, you will write your research proposal letter. You are required to submit
only your final draft for this assignment (though we encourage all students to take advantage of
the additional feedback a draft can provide). Use the grader’s feedback and the rubric to make
revisions to your draft before submitting the final. Your second draft will be graded.
This research proposal letter will be directed to an audience who can create change
(Congressperson, business administrators, or other similar audience.) In the proposal, you
need to suggest a change or a solution to a current problem. As you have already chosen a
topic for your research proposal letter in Topic 6 and conducted an interview that will
become one of your sources for this letter, you do not need to choose a topic. You must use
the same topic that you began researching in Topic 6, and you must use your interview as a
Your research proposal should be presented in a letter format including the following
• Your mailing address (Note: For privacy reasons, you may opt to not disclose your
mailing address when you submit your letter to our graders for review; however,
should you choose to mail your letter to your chosen recipient, you will need to
include your mailing address, as this is a customary business letter practice.) Note
that a formal letter does not require your name in the header. Your name will go at
the end, with your closing.
• The date you wrote the letter
• A name and mailing address for the individual to whom you are writing the letter
• A greeting or salutation
• A closing and your typed name (Note: A written signature is optional for your
submission, but should you choose to send your letter, you would need to include
your written signature between the closing and your typed name.)
Scroll to the end of these instructions for an idea of how you should format this
To organize this information, follow the format included in the course site in the
For your proposal, follow this organizational framework:
For your researched proposal, follow this organizational framework:
• Introduction: The Problem
Identify the problem, including researched information to explain it fully. You may
devote more than one paragraph to describe the problem if needed. To determine
the extent of the information you must provide about the problem, consider the
letter recipient’s understanding of the problem.
• Body: Your Proposal
Explain the specifics of your proposal. What are your solutions to solve this problem,
step by step? What is the cost? How is this cost incurred? What ideas do you have for
funding your proposal?
Justify your proposal. How will your proposal solve the problem? Why is this proposal
Concede or refute the counterarguments: Will the letter recipient have certain
preconceived ideas about the subject? How can you address these counterarguments
without diminishing your argument? Note: You will lose points from the rubric if you
do not address the counterargument.
• Conclusion: Your Argument
Take into consideration your chosen audience and his/her interests. Use persuasive
techniques to align your proposal to the audience’s ideals. You may use more than
one concluding paragraph if needed.
See the end of this document for more specific information about formatting your letter
You are required to use source information, including ideas you learned from the interview
process wherever it will prove your point. In addition to the interview itself, you should have
at least two other credible sources, for a total of at least three sources. Note: If you do not
meet the source minimum, the rubric will automatically be scored down.
Since this is a letter, you will use signal phrases (i.e., “As Fugle describes…”) and omit
parenthetical citations (“Fugle”). You must include a Works Cited page for this assignment.
Good, informative signal phrases will be important in order to make sure your sources are
credited (example: “Fugle, a well-known environmental researcher, explains the problem
As with all college writing, you must include a strong thesis statement and take care to avoid
logical fallacies while following the other standards for academic writing.
You might use this as a guideline in crafting your thesis:
Valley City should (add solution suggestion), which (add how it can be funded) and (add justification),
although (add counterargument focus).
Here is a more specific example:
Valley City should (use its largest abandoned warehouse for a new recreational center to hold before
and after-school programs), which (can be conveniently funded by the tax stream that was being
used to construct Main Street until this point), and will (provide the final element—housing—in order
for local schools to also implement a before-school program(, and although (some community
members do not believe before- and after-school programs are necessary(, they should (review the
high number of students apprehended by law enforcement during the hours before and after-school
programs would operate).
The guidelines for this assignment are as follows:
Length: This assignment should be at least 500 words.
• This assignment has a special format (letter style), so you will not use a typical header
• Single-spacing, with a double-space between paragraphs (see below)
• Standard 12 point font (Arial, TimesNewRoman, Calibri)
• 1” margins on all sides
• Save the file using one of the following extensions: .docx, .doc, .rtf, or .txt
Since this is a formal letter format, you will not underline your thesis statement.