Purpose: For this project, you will be writing a business letter and a proposal that both address a
specific aspect of a contemporary problem or issue (social, economic, environmental, etc.) that affects
college students and their education today. This issue or problem could be related to technology, class
size, or online education, for example. Choose a topic that interests you and that stands to influence
students at Stony Brook University, or SUNY students overall. Your purpose is to persuade two
audiences (one for your letter and one for your proposal) that this issue is worthy of consideration and
that some type of action, or solution, needs to be taken.
Part 1: Business Letter with Research
Your business letter should persuade a specific audience that this problem or issue is significant and
needs addressing. You will write this letter to a specific person (or group) at Stony Brook University, or
working for the larger SUNY system, depending on your topic. Choose someone who has a vested
interest or stake in this problem, and who has some power to effect change. For example, you may
choose to write to President Stanley, the director of an academic program at Stony Brook, or SUNY
Chancellor Nancy Zimpher.
• 650-700 words (approx. 2-3 pages, double spaced) + Works Cited Page
• 12 point Times New Roman Font; MLA style citations and documentation of sources
• One (1) research source:
o From a relevant and reputable news source, government document or website
(depending on your topic), or academic source (academic journal or book).
• Follows the conventions of a business letter and is proofread for correct spelling, punctuation,
grammar, and documentation. (Doing so will help build your ethos.)
This assignment is worth 10% of your course grade.
Part 2: Proposal Paper with Research
This proposal is an expansion and extension of your business letter. In it, you will address a wider
audience (perhaps students and faculty) and propose a solution to the problem or issue you raise in your
letter. You will need to adapt and adjust your writing to meet this new audience. You will also need to
provide additional research to support your argument and persuade your audience that your solution is
relevant and feasible. For example, if you decide to write about providing smaller (instead of larger)
class sizes at Stony Brook University, you might write your proposal to administrators and/or faculty
about the benefits of this solution. These readers would be in a position to encourage the university to
take action. As a Stony Brook student, and a key member of this larger community, you will want to
think about what your audience values and cares about to grab its attention.
WRT 102- Esposito Spring 2015
Key Components of a Proposal: A proposal will typically address several key components. You’ll
want to include these key components in your own proposal and think about using them to organize your
– Introduce and explain the specific aspect of the problem or issue you’re addressing: What is the
specific issue? Why is it important? Why should your audience care about it now? (Provide
– Explain how and why your proposed solution will specifically address this aspect of the problem: How
does your solution help solve a specific cause(s) and/or effect(s) of the problem? How will students
(and possibly others) benefit from this solution? Will your solution build upon an existing solution?
How and in what way? (Provide researched evidence.) Be sure to discuss any relevant
counterarguments or opposing views to your proposed solution as well.
– Provide the details of your solution: What specific recommendations are you making? What will
make your solution effective, relevant, and feasible? For example, if you’re addressing a decrease in
class sizes, what else should the university do? Add more sections of courses? Hire more instructors?
(You may also want to think about how your solution might be different from other solutions used in the
past or what is currently being done now.)
**If financial resources and costs are involved in your solution, consider stating them. Doing so will
help you appear knowledgeable and build your ethos. You don’t, however, need to create a detailed
budget or discuss specific dollar amounts.**
• 2,200-2,600 words (approx. 7-8 pages) + Works Cited Page
• Double-spaced; 12 point Times New Roman Font; MLA style citations and documentation of
• Eight (8) research sources total (1 can be the same from your business letter):
o Two (2) from established, reputable magazines and/or newspaper articles.
o Two (2) from any popular, credible sources you deem relevant (e.g., blog, news
broadcast, podcast, video, published interview, etc.).
o Three (4) from academic sources: Three (3) from an academic journal or book; and One
(1) from a government document or website (depending on your topic).
• Proofread your proposal for correct spelling, punctuation, grammar, and documentation. (Doing
so will help build your ethos.)
• This assignment is worth 15% of your course grade.
WRT 102- Esposito Spring 2015
Learning Objectives: At the end of this assignment, students should be able to:
Perform academic research on a topic.
Assess the validity of research sources.
Incorporate research sources as evidentiary support for a business letter and proposal.
Demonstrate an awareness of audience and genre.
Properly use MLA formatting for citing research sources.
**You will be composing drafts of this project. Please see the syllabus and Blackboard for