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UpWrite Press understands the importance of writing skills in business: We're business people just like you. On this blog you'll find tips to improve your writing, along with topics of interest to our staff.

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    Writing the Proposal: Prewriting

    Thursday, December 03, 2009

    This week, we're beginning a series of articles on using the writing process to create winning proposals. Today, let's look at how you can use prewriting to get your thoughts ready for the page.

    First, decide on your purpose for writing. What is your objective? What do you expect your reader to do after reading your proposal? What action is required? Find the right verb to describe this action: Do you want your reader to hire you or your company? Fund your project? Change a current goal?

    Second, think about your audience - who will read your proposal? Your target reader will determine the tone you take (formal or conversational) and the words you use. For example, if your audience doesn't understand your trade jargon, you'll have to define certain terms along the way.

    Third, gather support for your proposal. Explain why your ideas or service will make your reader's job, career, or life better. It's important to list the potential benefits of your proposal.

    Fourth, prepare a defense against any objections your reader might have. Do your best to predict opposing viewpoints, and then counter them.

    Once you have considered all of these factors, you are ready to begin writing. Next time, we'll discuss how to organize your ideas into an effective proposal.

    You can learn more about writing proposals beginning on page 67 in Business and Sales Correspondence, just one of the many helpful business-writing materials from UpWrite Press.

    - Joyce Lee

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