As we near the Thursday, April 5 (midnight) deadline for you to complete your proposals, and as you hone your arguments, do your final research, and finish the actual write-up of your proposal, there are some other key structural steps to which you must attend. Be sure that:
· Your preambulatory clauses clearly and succinctly define the problem your proposal is addressing, and should persuade the reader that this is a problem needing to be solved.
· Your operative clauses clearly and in detail state the solution you are proposing (that you’ve chosen from among the three potential solutions you outlined earlier). These clauses are not where you make the argument for your proposal (that is done in the operative clauses) but are, in effect, your directions telling the legislature exactly what needs to be done to implement your proposal.
· You’ve thoughtfully outlined and responded to possible counter-arguments to your proposals.
· You’ve carefully described your research process.
· You’ve described your consultations in some detail, outlining what you learned, how your perspective was expanded, and where you received useful “push back” on your ideas.
· In cases where the proposal was created by a team of two, you’ve described which partner did what.
Some of you have asked for examples of formal proposal language. See these proposals from a past MSC platform for examples of language for the formal proposal section (noting that the overall format has changed somewhat in the last few years) and also this guide to suggested vocabulary for the preambulatory and operative clauses.
While we encourage you to continue participating in general discussion topics, at this point you should be focusing most on commenting on proposals written by others, offering them your thoughts about their proposals, raising questions, and seeking clarification where warranted. Of course you should also respond to comments on your proposal from others.
The spirit of MSC is helping one another to do the best possible work, so please read some of the proposals written by your peers and offer comments, specific praise, and any suggestions you might wish to pass along.