Bill of "Writes"

TheChisel’s Guide for Creating Effective Proposals

  • Be concise

    Be brief but thorough. Enlighten your readers as to why your proposal is a good idea. Don’t scare them away with walls of text.

  • Stick to the facts

    Back up your assertions up with facts and reliable sources. Writing a proposal with bias is one of the quickest ways to lose potential collaborators who may have differing opinions on the subject.

  • Use primary sources whenever possible

    Primary sources are first-hand records of information, like government data. Secondary sources, like newspapers, relay the content of primary sources, often with commentary or spin.

  • Quantify the variables

    Give your collaborators an idea of the size of the problem you are dealing with - and, of course, the scope of your solution. Use concrete numbers when possible.

  • Add visuals

    Compelling visuals add another dimension to your proposal. Use images that build on, and don’t detract from, your proposal. Effective images are ones that reinforce the main idea of your proposal or the point you are making.

  • Consider multiple perspectives

    Put yourself in someone else’s shoes and think about the issue from their position. No issue affects any two people in the same way.

  • Dissect the possibilities

    How will your proposed policy accomplish the results you are looking for? Stay focused on your goals. Do the inputs necessarily lead to the outcomes you want?

  • Welcome feedback

    The purpose of these proposals is to generate constructive collaboration. Use feedback to improve your proposal and garner support from a broader audience.

  • Be respectful of others

    Disagreement is a part of any decision-making process, but that doesn’t mean it has to be unpleasant. Remember to be kind and tactful in all your interactions on TheChisel.

  • Have a little fun!

    Reaching consensus isn’t always easy. Keeping things light-hearted will go a long way.