5 Essential elements for proposal writing plans

There are multiple terms used for the initial writing tools used in proposal development. Some use the term storyboard. This term comes from the movie industry in which the director blocks out scenes so she can visualize the action plot sequencing. Others prefer the term annotated outline to indicate the depth to which the flow of text is being developed. Writing plan is a generic term Lohfeld Consulting Group uses to refer to whichever method (storyboard or annotated outline) you select for a particular proposal development effort.

Regardless of the term and the form used, the essentials of the writing plan template include:

  1. Reference to the section being addressed
  2. Theme or lead-in statement
  3. Substantiating evidence
  4. Offer design strategy for text and graphics
  5. Bulleted details for the text

Writing plans provide the road map for the actual proposal. They give your writers a mechanism to organize their thoughts, gather evidence to support their claims, develop graphics ideas, and determine whether their proposed inputs are coherent, consistent, and complete.

Developing writing plans and pulling together critical elements needed to write various proposal sections before actually beginning to write final text gives your team an edge on the proposal effort, clearly directs your writing efforts, reduces frustration among proposal team members, and improves your ability to maintain the final proposal-development schedule. It also enables identification and resolution of internal issues that could change the course of the proposal.

By Brooke Crouter