A proposal argument is an appeal for change, a call to action that proposes a specific solution to a problem. For example, concern about teen pregnancy and abortion can become a proposal argument for prevention through comprehensive sex education programs. Whether you are writing a proposal essay, speech or presentation, select proposal argument topics that interest you.
Avoid Overused Topics
Unless you can find a new and unique way of arguing for a solution, avoid overused topics. For instance, you may think doping in sports is a significant problem, but this topic has been argued extensively and many solutions have been proposed. Instead, think how your subject area could be linked with a problem in another subject area. For example, if your school lacks diversity in its programs, you could propose that the physical education department include sports and related activities from other cultures, such as Nubian wrestling, tai chi and yoga.
Population growth, natural resources, fossil fuel energy and climate change are global problems that belong to the broad subject of sustainability. The University of Massachusetts proposed a curriculum in sustainability because future students face the “unprecedented challenge to redesign nearly every major natural resource based system on the planet." Significant subjects make good proposal topics when they have global significance and local applications. For instance, you could argue that local city parks should be converted to organic fruit and nut orchards as a way to educate the community about sustainability and promote healthy eating.
The best proposal argument topics are often found close to home. Maybe your community needs after school programs or the local playground needs updating. You could argue that your neighborhood or campus needs a bike path or sidewalks, or certain areas should be more accessible for the physically challenged. Your argument should include a feasible way to fund such improvements, such as federal grants available for bike paths and sidewalks. Your city council, Knights of Columbus or Rotary Club may also offer grant support and your Student Government Association may have funds for campus projects.
Reform Accepted Practices
Find topics about accepted practices that may be harmful. City policies, business practices, government regulations and food production methods can spark ideas for this type of proposal topic. For instance, you could argue that city ordinances should be changed so private citizens who feed the homeless are not penalized. You could argue that food corporations should stop using products from suppliers that abuse animals or propose a law that bans plastic bags or the production of polystyrene foam or that stops farmers from using herbicides just before harvest.
- Kean University: Elements of a Proposal Argument
- Care2:Nevada Teen Rallies Students to Fight for Comprehensive Sex Education
- University of Massachusetts Amherst: Creating a Sustainability Curriculum
- U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration: Bicycle and Pedestrian Provisions of the Federal-Aid Program
- Care2: Fort Lauderdale: Stop Punishing People for Feeding Those Who Are Homeless!
- Care2:Tell Pizza Companies to Say No to Animal Abuse
- Eco Watch: 22 Facts About Plastic Pollution (And 10 Things We Can Do About It)
- Mother Earth News: Is Roundup the Cause of 'Gluten Intolerance'?
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