Week 12: Drafting Strategies for the Big Idea Proposal

I hope our class discussion about people with Big Ideas helped you think about your own Big Idea. I know I was impressed by the range of people and topics that you discovered, and I hope you’ll keep our discussion in mind as you begin drafting your proposal.

Next week, we will focus on writing the first draft of your Big Idea proposal. Here’s how we’ll spend our time:

  • On Monday, you should come to class with a short proposal (200–300 words, typed) that answers the following questions: What is your big idea? What is your plan for putting your plan into action? I will give you feedback on your proposal by Wednesday. In addition, please read pages 99–110 in the Norton Field Guide before you come to class and bring your book with you.
  • On Wednesday, we will analyze several fundraising letters to better understand what makes proposals successful (or unsuccessful). You should bring a description of the imagined audience for your proposal (again, shoot for 200–300 words). This description should explain who the person is, why he or she might be interested in your Big Idea, and what you plan to do to persuade this person to support your proposal with money, time, legislation, etc.
  • On Friday, we will consider how proposals are shaped by the media in which they are composted. Please read pages 523–533 in the Norton Field Guide before you come to class. In addition, bring a brief description (you guessed it—200–300 words) of your “current situation” for the Big Idea Proposal. At this point, you shouldn’t be presenting your solution to the problem; rather you should be describing the unresolved problem or unrealized opportunity that your Big Idea will address. In other words, try to describe how things are right now, not how they’ll be when your proposal is accepted.

If you have any questions about these brief assignments, or if you want to discuss your Big Idea with me before we meet on Monday, just let me know.

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