What Is a Proposal Argument Essay?

A proposal argument done well can persuade even a hostile audience.

1 Audience & Purpose

2 When writing a proposal argument

When writing a proposal argument, define your audience and your purpose. The tone and structure of your argument can vary widely depending on these factors; for example, a proposal argument to invoke limits on welfare would look very different if you are writing it to a senator as opposed to welfare recipients. Knowing your purpose makes the paper’s effectiveness easier to ascertain. If your purpose is to persuade your school’s president that core classes should not be required, use that purpose to evaluate whether or not the argument is successful.

3 Description of Problem

4 Is a description

One of the core elements of a proposal argument is a description of the existing problem. This description can include extensive historical or social context, a review of the surrounding issues and a clear and complete discussion of the significance of the problem. Keep your audience in mind so that this description shows how the problem applies directly to them and their lives, values and cares. Use concrete details, vivid examples and compelling facts to show how the problem has immediacy in the lives of your readers. This description is the key to setting up your argument for success.

5 Proposed Solution

6 In a proposal argument

In a proposal argument, you go beyond explaining the problem; you also present a solution that is well-considered and will resonate with your audience. The solution most likely will take research so you can back it up with facts. Use this section of your essay to set out your proposal in detail, showing any kinds of costs associated, how the solution will work in a step-by-step fashion, the difficulties and successes anticipated in undertaking the solution and how this proposal will solve the problem you laid out. This is the section to explore the solution in a manner that causes your audience to buy into your ideas.

7 Justification for Solution

8 You can have an excellent solution

You can have an excellent solution, but in order to convince your audience to accept it, you must justify how the solution you set out will impact your selected audience and work for them. This area is not a place for emotional appeals; rather, it is a place for solid facts and concrete conclusions that prove the efficacy of your argument to your audience.

Based in the Pacific Northwest, Arin Bodden started writing professionally in 2003. Her writing has been featured in "Northwest Boulevard" and "Mermaids." She received the Huston Medal in English in 2005. Bodden has a Master of Arts in English from Eastern Washington University. She currently teaches English composition and technical writing at the university level.