Writing the Plan Proposal Essay
GATHER: Collect the basics about your coursework, co-curricular work (anything outside of your courses that relates to your studies), and FWT information to begin.
List your areas of study so far with faculty names:
List your favorite ideas, things, and/or figures in your studies so far (authors, artists, creators, scientists, historical figures, activists, inventors, movements, organizations, etc.):
OBSERVE: Fill in these sentences.
I’m curious about or I want to learn more about…
I want to create/make/examine/test/explore…
I have engaged with these people/sources/things/groups…
I wish to develop my skills in…
I see parallels and connections between…
CONSIDER: Fill in this sentence.
I thought that I understood…, but I discovered that I…
• Gathering Your Content: Make a list of the courses you have taken. Make a list of powerful quotes, facts, ideas, conclusions, or images (and so on) from your studies so far.
• Free-Writing: Write about what has been exciting in your classes, co-curricular work, and FWT. Write about what you have loved; what you have discovered; what you have created; who and what has engaged and challenged you.
• Questioning: Write a list of questions you have about your areas of study. What are you curious about? What do you want to learn more about?
• Focusing Your Proposal: A focus can emerge from a question, a problem, a quandary. For example, write about something you thought you understood, then write about how you discovered you were just beginning a process of understanding.
• Drafting: Make time to write a first draft. Often you will discover your best idea at the end of the first draft. Take that idea or argument, and put it in the first paragraph of your next draft.
• Remember the Capacities: Create, Engage, Inquire, Communication, and Research.
• You can begin in a number of ways—with an anecdote, a memory, a fact, an observation, a quote, an idea, a question. • Your audience is your Plan Committee, so the tone can be academic and personal.
• You can organize your Plan proposal in many ways: chronologically or thematically; by subject or project; or by courses, co-curricular work (anything outside of your courses that relates to your studies), and FWT experience.
• Do you have a main question, idea, or argument? If you don’t, you may find your focus at the end of your first draft.
• Write about what you have learned, what you want to learn, and what you’re going to do.
o You can address what you have discovered, created, and accomplished so far; what inquiries you have made and challenges you have encountered; which skills you want to develop; what you wish to learn more about or research; what you want to make, test, examine; which courses you would like to take and which faculty you want to work with; what risks you could take next; and, how your Field Work Term and co-curricular work connect to your proposal.
• Include specifics: quotes from texts; ideas, images, or facts; and anecdotes and evidence from your courses, research, and individual work.
• Find connections between your classes; use words and phrases, such as in parallel, in relation to, paradoxically, simultaneously, by analogy, in comparison, similarly, before I/I want to, in order to.
• Does each paragraph support your proposal topic or idea? Your ideas may lead to more questions—and even doubt—which is useful in this process.
• At the end of you Plan Proposal, what else do you want to articulate about your studies so far and the work you want to do?
• What are you proud of? What are you looking forward to?
• If your conclusion only summarizes what you have already written, write a list of questions you have about your proposal and include those questions in your conclusion.
• How can you end on a powerful note? As in your introduction, you might include an anecdote, a memory, a fact, an observation, a quote, an idea, or a question.
• Give your proposal a specific title.
• Take time to edit and proofread your proposal.
• For more help, meet with a Peer Writing Tutor or with the Writing & ELL tutor, to work on any stage of your Plan Proposal (bennington.mywconline.com).
• Edit generalities like “Since the dawn of time, people have liked to tell stories.”
• Share your Plan with a friend and proofread together. One of the best ways to edit your writing is to read it out loud; usually, you will hear your mistakes and be able to generate ideas to fix them.
• If necessary, have you properly cited your quotations and evidence according to the expectations of your discipline (in MLA, APA, or Chicago/Turabian styles)? • Check your punctuation. Have you accurately used commas, semicolons, quotation marks, colons, dashes, brackets, etc.?