How Long Should A Proposal Be (And Why)?

Exact Answer : About 50 pages

A proposal refers to a written offer that serves as a medium of communication between the seller and the sponsor making both of them acknowledged the basic details of the project like, the project, the purpose behind the project, the strategies to be implemented in the project, etc. It informs both the seller and the sponsor about the basics of the project and the results to be drawn out of it.

It is a crucial professional document that initiates a healthy professional relationship between an organization and a customer. Sometimes, a concept note is even provided before the proposal which describes the project in minimum length.

Most ideal proposals have an average length of 2500 – 3000 words, which in pages may be extended up to 7. But, some proposals which have a depth analysis of any problem may be extended up to 50 pages.

Just like the project in the proposal has a proper framework of actions, the proposal even has the same timeline of actions that determine the course of the project. In a proposal, one should try to provide maximum information in minimum length formally.

How Long Should A Proposal Be?

Type of ProposalAverage Length
Research Proposals7 pages
Business Proposals50 pages
Any other kind7-15 pages

A proposal provides a basic overview of the project including all the minor details. It is the first impression made by an organizer in the minds of his / her client.

There are various kinds of proposals each for their own purpose. While research proposals generally specify the details of any research work business proposals provide the minute details of the project.

Each proposal has its definite length serving the same purpose. It is recommended to carry out in-depth research before writing a proposal.

The basic components of a business proposal include an abstract, statement of need, methodology, evaluation and dissemination, and budget. The abstract plays a pivotal role in the entire proposal because it is the summary of the entire project.

The abstract must be developed with keen time and interest. It should be limited to one page at maximum and should have the details of the project in short.

The statement of need should be developed strategically focusing on public gain and interest. The profit of the organization should be kept away as far as possible.

The methodology section should include the main purpose of the actions to be taken during the course of the project chronologically. Statistical data may be presented to enhance the impression to be set by the proposal.

The methodology section should also include the results to be achieved within a specific time boundary. It should be crafted beautifully to get approved at first sight.

The evaluation should be done keeping in mind the methodology of the project. It should basically represent the success rate and the project’s estimated profit on average.

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The dissemination should include the medium of communication between the organization and the customer. The budget should include the monetary details of the project in tabular form.

The budget should include the sources of funds for the project. It should also include how the project would sustain when the funds would be exhausted.

Why Should A Proposal Be So Long?

The different types of proposals have their respective length boundary. While research proposals are supposed to be 4-7 pages long, other proposals like business proposals are comparatively longer.

A proposal, especially a research proposal must have the title, background, research questions, methodology, the timeline of actions, and bibliography. Basically, all the proposals have the same basic components.

The title, as the name suggests, should clearly indicate the target area of the research activity. The background should include the required basic knowledge which would enable one to work on the research project.

The background should also have a short synopsis of the previous researches done in the same field and the purpose of the current research. The research question should indicate the questions to be answered by the end of the research.

The research methodology should provide an analysis of the methods and techniques to be employed to reach the target area. It should also speak of the pros and cons of some previously taken approaches in the same field.

The timeline of actions states the time limitation for completing the research work, both in part-time and full-time work mode. It also has a systematic, chronological sequence of the methods to be employed during the research work.

The bibliography should include a list of resources that one can refer to for a better understanding of the project. It should also contain the resources which have paved the path of success to the target question.

Conclusion

A proposal is very essential for the beginning of a healthy relationship between the organization and the donor. Hence, it should be crafted with the proper investment of time and effort.

While proposals don’t have a fixed length to be followed, it is generally recommended to provide the basic details of the project within the minimum length.

The shorter and more concise the proposal, the easier it is for the donor to go through the proposal, the more chances it has for its approval. The final agreement should also be mentioned at the end of the project.

The proposal, besides the basic details of the project, should also have a section where the organization and the key objective of the organization are well explained. This section must be cleverly crafted as it plays a vital role in the approval of the proposal.

References

  1. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/368924.368928
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/20642317
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