Proposal Project Evaluation
I will ask myself the following questions as I evaluate the rhetorical appropriateness of your two remaining project deliverables (the proposal and your reflective report).
- Does your proposal develop and present a compelling ethos to your audience—that is, do you come across sounding like the smart, capable people that you are? Or, do you presume that your audience will just automatically find you and your message persuasive?
- Does your report live up to your audience's expectations of a proposal document?
- Do you establish your ethos as someone who has done their research, looked at multiple possibilities to address the issue you identified, and made a considered, deliberate recommendation? Do the details offered in your proposal substantiate this?
- Have you approached the issue creatively, and have you proposed innovative, thoughtful solutions that will reflect well on you as the rhetor?
- Are you diplomatic about the problems and solutions you identify, and are you aware of potential sensitivities? Do you avoid the "cardinal sin" of presenting your audience with anything that might turn them away from you and your arguments?
Your Audience and Purpose
- Are you aware of the specific audience and purpose of the document, and does your proposal demonstrate that it was strategically designed for that specific audience and purpose? Or, does your document seem as if it was written for just anyone (or perhaps no one)?
- Will your proposed idea appear plausible and complete to your audience? Does your plan do as much as possible toward addressing the issue, but still remain attentive to possible challenges? That is, does your plan come across as both effective and feasible?
- Have you foreseen your audience's potential resistance to your plan, and have you developed strategies to win them over? Do you proactively defend against likely counterarguments?
- Have you demonstrated the sustainability of your plan beyond just its immediate implementation?
Organization, Usability, Design, and Style
- Is your proposal structured appropriately for its intended audience? Does your proposal have consciously designed document features that reflect your consideration of the audience and their needs?
- Is your writing style—your tone, manner of address, vocabulary, grammar, tense, etc.—tailored to the specific audience, purpose, and context of your proposal?
- Is your use of visuals, illustrations, headings, sections, and other document features in direct service to your rhetorical purpose, or do these things act more as a distraction?
- Does your reflective report thoroughly substantiate its arguments about the proposal strategies, or does it rely more on simple assertion? That is, do you just offer claims about the proposal's effectiveness, or do you also offer lines of reasoning to back up those claims?
- Does your reflective report convince me not only that you are a savvy rhetor in your proposal, but also in your reflective report itself? Do you see the reflective report as a persuasive document?
- Does your reflective report convince me that you knew what you were doing rhetorically as you composed your proposal?