English for Information and Communication Technology


Text type 1: Proposal

Writing a good proposal is a critical skill in many occupations, from school to business management to geology. The goal of a proposal is to gain support for your plan by informing the appropriate people. Your ideas or suggestions are more likely to be approved if you can communicate them in a clear, concise, engaging manner. Knowing how to write a persuasive, captivating proposal is essential for success in many fields.

Introduction: You should give a context about the topic or theme that you will address in the proposal. For example, if your theme is about how to protect computers in a company from hacking, you may first describe the background of the company that you referred to, and the importance of protecting computers from being hacked. After you have illustrated your context, you can then state the purpose of your proposal, i.e., to provide feasible solutions to handle the problem.

Problem: In this section, you should describe the problem in a detailed way. Consider these questions when writing the contents, “What is the problem? What is causing the problem? What effects does this problem have?”. You should also emphasize why your problem needs to be solved and needs to be solved now. You may also tell your readers how the problem will affect them if left alone. When you are addressing these questions, please remember to support your claims with research and facts from credible sources.

Solution: This section is the most important part of your proposal as it where you get into how you will address the problem, why you will do it in this way, and what the outcomes will be. To make sure you've got a persuasive proposal, think about the following:

  • Discuss the larger impact of your ideas.
    If you have provided ideas with limited area of application, then it is likely that your audience will find your ideas not convincing. They may doubt if your solutions are possible and feasible.
  • Justify your solution.
    Similarly, if you failed to provide reasons for your solutions, your audience may criticise if your proposed solution is the best way to solve the problem. Explaining why you will solve the problem in this way can also show your audience that you have a full understanding of the problem and you have thought from as many angles as possible.
  • Research your proposal extensively.
    The more examples and facts you can give your audience, the better -- it'll be much more convincing. Avoid your own opinions and rely on the hard research of others.
  • Provide a proposed outcome of your solution on the problem.
    To further convince your audience, apart from providing reasons and examples, you may also state some predictable outcomes brought by your solutions.

Procedures: In order to convince your audience that your proposal is a feasible plan, you should provide detailed procedures to illustrate how to carry out the solutions you proposed. You may assume your audience have no technical knowledge to understand and conduct the procedures, therefore you should describe the steps in laymen terms, if possible.

Conclusion: This should mirror your introduction, succinctly wrapping up your general message. Summarize the benefits of your proposal and use a persuasive statement to reiterate that your proposed solution is the ideal way to articulate the issue. Appropriate use of emotional appeal can help you connect with your audience but make sure you have substantiated your claims with facts and reliable sources.

Appendix: If you have extra content that doesn't exactly fit into your proposal, you may want to add an appendix. If you have two or more appendices attached to your proposal, letter them A, B, etc. This can be used if you have data sheets, reprints of articles, or letters of endorsement and the like.

Remember to use APA style (7th ed.) for all your in-text citations and reference list.

Text type 2: Report

Report writing is prevalent in academic studies, ranges from book report to scientific report. When you’re assigned to write a report, it can seem like an intimidating process. Fortunately, if you pay close attention to the report prompt, choose a subject you like, and give yourself plenty of time to research your topic, you might actually find that it’s not so bad. After you gather your research and organize it into an outline, all that’s left is to write out your paragraphs and proofread your paper before you hand it in.

When you are formatting the report, make sure you have followed the guidelines provided by your course teachers. Generally, your report should be formatted like this:

  • Font: 12-point Times New Roman
  • Line space: Double-spaced
  • Margins: 1 inch (= 2.5cm), all around
  • Cover page: Title of the report, your name, course name, date

You may also include table of contents and abstract / summary if necessary. If your report consists of figures and tables, you should also include a list of figures and a list of tables after the table of contents.

Introduction: In this section, you need to provide the background, rationale and thesis statement of your report. Your introduction should be two to four paragraphs summarizing what you will cover in the report as well as your reason for writing the report. Be as specific and concise as possible when writing your introduction so that the reader can clearly understand what they will find in your report. Giving an overview of your report, i.e., stating the contents to be covered in the following paragraphs, can also serve as the final paragraph of your introduction.

Body: This is a bulk section that usually includes several paragraphs, such as literature review, methodology, findings and discussion, depending on the nature and topic of your report. Nonetheless, the contents in body should build on or support the thesis statement from the introduction. In the literature review and discussion, in particular, you may need to include relevant credible sources to substantiate your claims. Thus, in-text citations are required.

Conclusion: In this section, you are going to give an overall summary of your report’s contents. Refer to your findings and discuss what they mean. While your body was more for demonstrating your results, you can use the conclusion to talk about their context in the real world. You may also discuss the implication of your findings and propose some future plans of improvement if your results were not as expected. You should not include any new information in the conclusion, otherwise your readers may be confused.

Remember to use APA style (7th ed.) for all your in-text citations and reference list.

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