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Format of a Proposal

The preceding discussion of essential questions establishes the basic ingredients of most every kind of proposal—solicited or unsolicited, research or practical. But we should point out that not all proposals will answer each question in equal detail or necessarily in the order we have suggested. In fact, the formats will vary according to the emphases that the proposers want or need to make, and according to conventions of proposal writing within their fields of interest.

Basic Format

The elements included in the basic format (see Figure 6.3) are typical of most proposals. They may be arranged differently, however, to emphasize a particular element. With this basic format, most potential sponsors have what is necessary to make an informed and intelligent decision.


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