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ENGL 15 Proposal Assignment

Welcome to the library guide for Professor Beecham's ENGL 15 Proposal Assignment at Penn State Berks!

Reference Librarian

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Brett Spencer
Office 108, Thun Library, Penn State Berks
(610) 396-6261
Subjects: Campus: Berks

Step 1: Brainstorm a topic by doing background research

A group of PSU Berks students walking, talking, smiling

Have you ever walked around campus and thought about how you might change things? 

Your proposal paper will give you a chance to make a case for that change!

Please download the Proposal Argument Source Stack below to kickstart your research:


Start by doing some background research on your idea in the resources below.  You might read about something that sparks an idea.  Or, you might find articles about a problem at Penn State, or in colleges in general, and use those articles to prove the problem is real and important in your paper--and then propose a solution to the problem.

Penn State Resources

Additional Resources

Step 2: Research what other colleges are doing

To write a convincing proposal, cite successful examples of your idea at other colleges.  Point out what made those efforts work in your proposal.  


Robin, a communications major, dreams of creating a radio station at Penn State Berks.  She finds sources from the newspapers of other colleges about how students at these other colleges raised funds, persuaded administrators, and designed radio stations.  She writes a proposal that cites the ideas that these fellow students used, and she argues that these ideas could likely make a radio station happen at Berks as well.

You would like to propose that Berks create a program to teach dating safety tips.  Here is how you can limit your search to university web sites:

college students dating safety tips site:edu

Step 3: Explore university departments and student clubs that could support your proposal

University Departments

Think of university departments that might be able to provide resources or staff that could help implement your proposal.


--Emile would like to propose that Penn State Berks start a student safety patrol.  He points out in his proposal that Police Services could provide the training to student volunteers to make this idea happen.

--Luke is going to propose that Berks have an international food festival one night each semester.  He strengthens his proposal by noting that Food Services and the Diversity Office have the skills, facilities, and expertise to sponsor this event.

Student Clubs

You could involve a student club in your proposal in several different ways:

--Amani wants to propose that Penn State Berks provide a session about coping with stress in all the PSU 5 (first year seminar) classes. She  scrolls through the list of student clubs at Penn State berks below, and finds out that there is a group called the Caring Conversations Club dedicated to helping talk about problems in their lives.  In her proposal, she can say that she'll collaborate with that Club in coming up with a session for PSU 5 students.

--Marcus wants to argue that we install solar cells on all buildings at all PSU campuses.  He discovers that there is a student group called American Solar Energy Society.  He explains in his proposal that he will ask to attend one of the group's meeting, and ask them to help him advocate for solar cells at all campuses.

Step 4: Find a scholarly journal article about your proposal topic

To receive full credit for your proposal, you will want to use at least one scholarly journal article to support your proposal.  Since scholarly journal articles are written by experts, they are a great way to strengthen your proposal with an expert testimony.

1). Please watch the short video below from Wayne State Libraries to review what a scholarly journal article is.

2). Search for your topic using the LionSearch box at the bottom of this box.