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ENGL 309: Proposals and Reports

Resources to accompany the English 309 course.

Resources on Business Communication

The Purdue Online Writing Lab, from Purdue University, is a good source for information about different aspects of business communication, as well as other types of writing and citing information.  For business communication, see specifically:

Additional Business Writing Resources

Writing Business Proposals

Although your texts provide the best information about writing business proposals, there are also some other library resources that can help:

Request for Proposal (RFP)

A Request for Proposal (RFP) is a document organizations use when soliciting bids for a project. RFPs are used extensively by government agencies where competitive bidding is required.

An RFP generally contains the following parts:

  • Brief project overview
  • Your organization's background
  • Project goals
  • Scope of the work & Deliverables (this would include technical requirements for the work)
  • Project timeline
  • Budget
  • Criteria for selection
  • Proposal format & Timeline

RFPs can be complicated documents with multiple appendices that break down technical requirements for a project. In the end, an RFP answers these questions:

  • Who - Describe the organization requesting proposal, e.g. "Iowa State University is a land-grant university located in Ames, Iowa"
  • What - What is the project?, e.g. "We are soliciting bids for replacement of parking lots at Jack Trice Stadium."
  • When - What is the timeline for the project?
  • Where - Where is the work site?
  • Why - What is the goal of the project?
  • How - Describe the scope of the project and any technical requirements.

Request For Proposal Examples

Requests for Proposal (RFP) are used to to solicit bids for projects. Government agencies frequently use RFPs to find bidders for competitively bid projects. Below are some examples of completed RFPs:

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Business and Economics Librarian
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External Documents

Annual Reports

Annual Reports provide many examples of corporate communication. If yo use the link below, you will get primarily the glossy annuala report provided to shareholders. In that report, look for the "letter to the shareholders" -  a communication from the CEO of the company that serves as an executive summary of the companies results for the previous ryear.

If you use Rank and Filed, you may be able to access the glossy annual report, but more likely, you'll  find the 10-K which is the annual report provided by the company to the Securities and Exchange Commission. When looking at the 10-K focus on Part I - the description of business. This is a summary of what the company does from the perspective of the company.

Product Recalls

News Releases

White Papers