How Do You Write a Proposal?

What Is a Proposal?

A proposal is a proposed plan or suggestion that is usually formal in style to put the idea, projects or products into considerations and provide agreements or contract that are expected to follow after negotiation. The proposal is written first before the actual plan or suggestion to know if it has the benefits needed.

Most proposals include the following:

  • The title
  • The executive summary
  • The introduction
  • The body
  • The background
  • The methods and analysis
  • The timetable and budget
  • The conclusions
  • The solution, recommendations, and result
  • The appendices

To know more about the proposal, check out our proposal examples in PDF.

The Executive Summary of the Proposal

Just like in any business plan, the executive summary is the most valuable part of any proposal. It acts as a doorway to your proposal. If it does not capture the interest of the clients or the audience right away, then chances are, your proposal will be abandoned.

But if it is done well, it can pull off your proposal and might even get them to read the rest of your proposal and approved it right away. So, to the key to this is, you have to write the best executive summary you could think of.

Uses of Proposals

Although most proposals are used in a business where it offers products, service, or something of value from a seller to the other party or a prospective buyer. The proposal also has also other uses other than the business proposal. Take a look at the examples below.

  • Project proposal. This proposal is used in proposing a project to the client or to the project stakeholders.
  • Book Proposal. The book proposal is used to sell a nonfictional book to the publisher.
  • Research proposal. This proposal in used to approve your research.

Check out other examples of the proposal templates here.

Guidelines for Writing a Proposals

Whether it is a business proposal, project proposal or other proposals, what you write and how you write it is the most critical part in creating a proposal. It is one of the key components in making your proposal a success. Your proposal will be most likely to be approved it is written clearly, concise, well-organized and has a proper structure. Not every proposal are the same, it differs on how it is used but the basic guidelines apply for all of them.

The proposal must have this following basic information:

  • What is your proposal all about?
  • Why are you doing this project? conducting this research? selling this product?
  • How will you do it?
  • What are the client’s needs?
  • How long does it take?
  • What is the estimated budget?


All proposals don’t have any format followed unless the request for proposal requires a specific format. However, your proposal should always have a simple proposal format:

  • Clarity. Your proposal should be written clearly.
  • Title page. The title page must always be present
  • Visual aids. Use tables and charts to make it easy to read.
  • Formatting. Use easy to read fonts and size; leave a blank space between paragraphs; use bullet points to highlight ideas

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