To: ENG 3302
From: Mike Duncan
Subject: Description of a Problem, Due 8
This is the first in a sequence of three assignments that ends with a formal proposal.
The purpose of a proposal is usually to convince someone else – your boss or bosses (an internal proposal) or another company or the government (an external proposal) – to give you money to fix a problem that they have. However, a proposal can just as well be to share resources between individuals or groups, to give funding to another party in return for a service, or to convince someone that they have a problem they didn’t know about that you can fix for a nominal fee.
In this assignment, you will describe a problem facing your workplace, your community, your town or city, etc. Choose a problem that needs a modest amount of funding and that you can see yourself actually addressing. In one and a half pages, write a memo that gives a clear description of the nature of the problem. This problem should not involve UHD, as that was the subject of your feasibility report.
Do not go into possible solutions at all. Just give as elaborate and detailed a description as you can of the problem.
Try to keep your problem relatively small-scale. Houston lacks a comprehensive light rail system, the summer is far too hot, and there is no vaccine for malaria, but we’re not going to solve those problems in this class. You could, however, note that the computers where you work are out-of-date, a local business badly needs a website, a small grant from the school system would allow you to start a reading program, the operating manuals for a local product need revising, etc. The problem does not have to be gigantic, and it should not be large in any case; ideally, you should describe a problem that you, alone, could conceivably solve with modest funding, resources, and personnel.
Check out the Proposal assignment (posted Monday) and the chapter for today for more of an idea where this is going.
Deliverable: Description of a Problem, 8