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How to Choose Good Proposal Essay Topics

When asked to write an essay proposal, it is not uncommon to be at a loss. It seems like a difficult task – coming up with a problem, as well as a feasible solution, all the while bringing your thoughts together in a cohesive, solid essay. Simply coming up with a problem might seem hard enough, but thinking about a solid plan of action too? It isn’t as hard as it sounds, and with a bit of guidance, you can quickly be on your way to writing a paper that earns top marks. You just need to know how to focus on a specific topic and pinpoint where changes will need to be made to solve the problem you proposed. If you are stuck and would like a bit more help, check out our essay samples for further assistance.


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Preparing a Proposal Essay

Your essay proposal will essentially be comprised of an argument, a plan of action, as well as refutations of any counterarguments that could be raised against your proposed plan. The first thing you will need to do is identify the problem you want to propose a solution for. You will need to find evidence that supports your argument that “x” is a problem and that what you have devised is a viable solution. It is also important that you note other potential solutions to your problem as well as any potential pitfalls of your proposal.

Creating an essay outline is important as it will help keep you on track when you go to actually write your paper. Once you have gathered all your evidence and have an outline, you will also need to take into account the audience you are writing for. Unless otherwise stated, it is generally assumed that you are writing for an audience that knows nothing about what you are writing about – this means that you will need to clearly define and identify important concepts and elements.

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Your Proposal Essay in APA Format

You are likely to be asked to format your essay proposal in a certain type of format. APA style research papers have their own formatting requirements that are unique to this formatting style. If you’ve been asked to write your essay in APA format, you will need to know the main aspects of APA format.

  • APA format requires you to have an essay cover page which includes the title of your work, your name, the name of your professor, as well as a running head.
  • You must include an abstract when writing in APA format. The abstract comes after the title page and is a summary of your essay proposal.
  • In-text citations: When using data, evidence, a theory, or an idea from a source that is not you, it must be cited. It must be cited directly in text, as well as in the resources section of your paper. In text citations use the author’s last name and the year the work was published (Last Name, Year).
  • Footnotes and endnotes are not generally used in APA format as there is an appendix section where detailed information can be added. However, if it is necessary to provide further detail than is allowed within the body of your paper, footnotes are used in the same manner as they are in other formatting styles.
  • All sources must be cited in the resources section of your paper. Even those sources cited in text must be included in this section of your paper. Sources should be cited alphabetically.

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Your Proposal Essay in MLA Format

You might also be asked to write your paper in MLA format. As with APA style formatting, there are unique elements of this formatting style that you will need to be aware of.

  • Title pages are not to be used in MLA format unless your instructor has asked you to include one. Your name, the name of your paper, course, and instructor should be in the upper-left portion of the first page of your essay.
  • Page numbers will be used starting on the first page.
  • The body of your essay should be double-spaced and have 1-inch margins.
  • End notes are used to provide additional information about a source cited in text. The end notes are to be cited on the page before the references section.
  • In text citations are to be used. Author’s last name and page number are used to cite a source in text (Last Name 1).
  • A work’s cited page, citing all the sources you used in your paper (including those documented by end notes) in alphabetical order.

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Effective Proposal Essay Topics List

One of the hardest parts of an essay proposal is finding good proposal essay topics. It is advised that you choose something that you are comfortable with and know a lot about. You do not want to choose a topic that is too broad, or that there are too many different solutions for. Choosing something that is near and dear to you will make your essay proposal more convincing and make it easier for you to determine potential solutions. What follows are just a few proposal essay topics that would make for good proposal essays.

  1. Going Green will Save Businesses Money – Explore environmental problems and show how going green can not only reduce one’s impact on the environment, but could also save money.
  2. Removing Soda Machines from Schools Can Help with Childhood Obesity – Discuss the implications of soda machines in schools and the correlation between early obesity and soda consumption.
  3. Natural Lighting Can Boost Retention – Arguments for natural lighting allowing students to think more clearly and thus retain more information in school.
  4. Ways to Improve Productivity of Office Workers – Productivity is also a topic of concern, show how this problem causes company to lose money and ways to improve levels of productivity.
  5. How to Increase College Retention Rate – College retention rate is vital as it is the mark of how many students return to finish their education, make proposals for how to improve this rate.
  6. Strategies to Improve GPA – GPA is a reflection of the level of commitment and effort put into education, poor GPA’s are not conducive to good overall performance, suggest solutions.
  7. Ways to Get Students Involved in Extracurricular Activities – Lack of involvement in student groups, find ways to make them attractive and viable to new generations.
  8. Local Efforts to Improve Literacy More Effective Than National Efforts – Illiteracy is still a problem in the US, how can local efforts glean better results than a national effort?
  9. Involvement in Community Improves Life Satisfaction – Community involvement at an all time low while life satisfaction scores are too, how being involved in the community increases happiness.
  10. Dorm Living Does Not Improve Student Grades – Dorm space at a premium and often required as it is argued that grades are better, show otherwise.
  11. Local Recycling Programs will Help Landfills – Landfills are stretched to the brink in many places, illustrate how recycling programs will not only make the community greener, but it will also reduce the strain on the landfill.
  12. Mobile Devices and Increased Accidents – Distraction leads to accidents, show how distraction by mobile devices increases accidents and promote banning the use of devices on the roads.
  13. Banning Texting While Driving Saves Lives – Distraction a leading cause of accidents, banning texting while driving will leave people less distracted while on the road.
  14. Social Media Reduces Social Politeness – Politeness at an all time low, the faux-anonymity of the internet causes us to lose our manners.
  15. Conflicts Arise from Excessive Use of Social Media Outlets – Conflicts increase with excessive use of social media, promote reduced use for better social relations.
  16. Coeducation Should Be Mandated to Improve Educational Experience – Mandatory coeducation helps improve socialization as well as broaden the educational experience.
  17. Banning Smoking On Campus Improves Health – Smoking a problem with college age students who spend most of their time on campus, banning smoking will reduce smoking in campus population.
  18. Participation in Student Government Should Be Mandatory to Teach Students About Leadership – Lack of leadership skills correlates with a lack of participation in student government, show how mandatory participation will improve leadership skills.
  19. Allowing Animals in Apartments Leads to Longer, Better Tenants – Landlords have difficulty finding good tenants who will stick around, having pets has been shown to improve lives, allowing pets could lead to longer term, better tenants.
  20. Getting More Students to the Writing Lab will Improve Essay Grades – Essays and writing skills are often not what teachers would like them to be, show how use of the writing lab improves overall writing skill and quality.

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