Proposal Writing Format: How to Create a Compelling Proposal and Get Results

proposal writing formatWriting a proposal is an effective way to show someone a problem, propose a solution, and explain the steps that must be take to solve the problem. When you write a proposal, you should write clearly, concisely, and persuasively; after all, a proposal is an attempt to convince a person or group of people that you have found a problem worth addressing. If your proposal is not persuasive, it is unlikely that your solution will be implemented.

Often, proposals are used to ask for financial help from potential investors, so learning persuasive skills can be extremely beneficial to your proposal. If you would like to learn powerful persuasive techniques to further assist you with writing your proposal, take Udemy’s 6 Shortcuts to Powerful Persuasion course.

Also, you should structure your proposal in an intuitive way so that it is easy to understand and follow. The structure may vary depending on the topic of the proposal; however, there are a few sections that should be present in virtually every proposal.


At the top of your proposal, create a title. You should make sure that your title adequately explains the subject; however, do not make the title so wordy that it is difficult to understand quickly.


Creating a summary section that is relevant and informative is a crucial part of creating a proposal. When you write your summary, imagine that the person reading it does not have time to read the rest of your proposal; everything they learn about your proposal will be from the summary. In doing this, you can keep yourself on track and make sure that you do not exclude anything important. You should state all of the necessary information in the summary without overwhelming the reader. Keep it simple, and make sure you hit all of the important points.

Problem Statement

In this section, you should clearly state the problem. Explain all of the things about the problem that make it relevant and important enough to need a solution. After that, you should go into further detail about why the solution is needed. Explain to your reader what he or she will gain by investing in your proposed solution. This section of your proposal should be very persuasive; you must highlight how serious of an issue the problem is in order for the reader to view it as an important enough issue to solve.


Your solution section should explain the features that will be needed in order to carry out your proposed resolution. You should fully explain what you plan to produce. Be sure to highlight all of the ways that your proposed solution is sure to be effective. You could even re-state the problem in this section to reiterate how critical it is for the problem to be solved. You need to persuade your reader to invest in you by letting him or her know that your solution is practical and likely to work. If you need help learning how to effectively persuade someone, take Udemy’s The Power Of Persuasion course. This course clearly explains several different persuasion techniques and teaches you how to easily use them; if you take it, you should have no problem creating a proposal that persuades your reader.


In this section, you should explain the step-by-step process, in detail, of how you will make your plan of action happen. It is important to be very descriptive and clear in this section; otherwise, it is unlikely that anyone will invest in you. Your reader wants to know that they can trust you to solve the problem, and they want to know specifically how you will accomplish your goals.


Your resources section should simply state the facilities, equipment, money, and other resources that you will need to make your solution a reality. Don’t be afraid to go into detail; it is better to be too specific in this section than too vague.


Including a schedule in your proposal is important because it shows your reader that you have a solid plan and have an idea of the amount of time it will realistically take for you to make your plan happen. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to accomplish your goals. You don’t want to be late, because that could make your investors think that you are unreliable. If you are unsure of how to create an appropriate schedule for your proposed solution, take Udemy’s Time to Thrivefor Family Leaders course. This course will walk you through how to set goals and how to accomplish them on time, which are two very valuable skills when trying to implement a proposed solution to a problem.


In this section, you should sell yourself; state all of the qualifications you have that are relevant. Your qualifications section should show that you are reliable and have the proper credentials to bring your proposed solution to life.


One of the most effective ways to create this section is by using a table. If you need help learning how to create a table in Microsoft Word, take Udemy’s Learn Microsoft Word 2013 course; this course also explains many other skills that will help you make your proposal document attractive.

In your costs section, clearly state the cost of everything you will need to complete the implementation of your proposed solution. You should state each specific item, the quantity of the item (if applicable), and the individual and collective costs. Also, include a final total at the bottom of the table. Don’t forget to include the wages for the time you will spend working on your project, if applicable. Double-check this section and be sure that you don’t forget anything; if you are presenting this to investors to ask for financial help, they will need to know exactly how much money you need.


If you have references, the last page of your paper should have a clear list that includes all of them. Be sure to format your references in a clear and formal way. The reader should have no problem understanding and accessing your referenced works.

While the structures of proposal documents can vary, the aforementioned sections are a good start and should be able to be used in almost any proposal. If you’d like to see an alternative way to structure a proposal, check out Udemy’s A Business Proposal Example, Simplified blog post. While this post is directed specifically toward business proposals, you should be able to find some advice that you can take from it to use in any type of proposal. It can be good to see several different ways that you can write a proposal; that way, you can figure out what you like and what structure best suits the subject of your proposal.

As previously stated, be sure to be very clear, concise and persuasive. Convince your reader that your problem is serious and make them want to invest in your proposed solution. Double-check your work for grammar and spelling errors. You should also read the proposal several times to make sure that the information is cohesive and easy to digest; if your reader can’t understand you, chances are, they won’t want to invest. Take a course at today, and learn how to create a persuasive, compelling proposal and get the results that you need!