Book Proposal & Reflection
Book Proposal & Reflection
The aim of the first assignment is to provide the opportunity for you to demonstrate your understanding of work undertaken in the first sections of the Unit, ?
A Writing Framework’ and the first case study,
Organisational Writing’, covered in Study Guides 1-5.
You are asked to use one of the forms of organisational writing that we study (proposals) and to write a reflection on your use of that format, with reference to the key writing variables that we discuss in the early section of the Unit, ?�A Writing Framework’.
Make sure you answer both parts of the question.
Part A: Book Proposal.
Write a book proposal for a short non-fiction book or e-book, which would be of five or six chapters and about 100 pages, using the information about proposals presented in the Study Guides as a starting point.
Structure: Please present your proposal in a format that includes the following sections, in the sequence shown here, with each section identified by a subheading:
• Rationale (approximately one page)
• Content list of chapters, with the word length of each chapter and a short paragraph describing the content of each chapter
• Target readership(s)
• Market competition
• Statement of total word length (including references if relevant)
• Information on whether you propose that photographs (plates), diagrams, tables, etc. would be included, and how many.
• Biographical note on the author (you).
You must submit with your proposal a cover letter to your intended publisher. This letter is part of the word count for Part A.
NB: Some research and reflection are essential in order to identify a suitable publisher and to decide what should be included in the letter, so that it supports your submission as effectively and concisely as possible. This is an opportunity to write in two different genres (proposal and letter) and demonstrate skill in professional writing by showing how the use of each complements the other.
Notes on Part A
• The book proposal must be for a work of non-fiction (e.g. a biography, local history, travel book, a study of an academic or social or historical issue or set of events, etc.).
• The proposal must be a real one, in the sense that it is future-looking and for a book that you would write yourself. It cannot be for a book that would be written by someone else, and it cannot be a ?�retrospective’ proposal based on an already published work.
• The proposal should be based on some prior knowledge and experience and/or research into a subject of interest to you, which you can show would also interest others.
• A sample chapter is not to be included, but the relevant sections above should convey a clear sense of the contents and structure of the proposed book.
• The rationale explains why you are writing the book, why it is needed and has significance, and why it would be of interest for the publisher.
• Including the brief note on the genre (or form) relates not only to the coherence of your ideas but to the context of the publisher, showing you have considered the range and types of work that they are interested in. A proposal may be for a work that would include elements of different genres rather than fit neatly into one particular genre, but try to convey an idea of the form of the proposed work clearly.
• The contents list of chapters with a description of each should avoid repetition: this is the place to add concisely to, not duplicate, the ?�rationale’.
• The target readership(s) and market competition each require research. Be specific. Don’t rely on vague generalisations.
• Market competition requires reference to, and comparison with, competing titles. The publisher wants to know how your book will differ from the competition. If you think there are no similar books to your own, you still need to show that you have considered the issue of competition and say what the nearest works to your own are, and how yours differs. Market competition relates to establishing that there is a need for your work, for instance a gap in the market, and so relates to the rationale, but you need to think of the purpose of each section of the proposal and avoid mere repetition.
• If you propose to include plates, diagrams, etc. be realistic. These have significant cost implications for the publisher. You may wish to include a very brief comment showing why these would enhance the book.
• The biographical note should be written in a way that is directly relevant to the proposal, showing why you are well equipped to write the proposed book. Authors who have already published works would refer to these, possibly in a different section. If you have any previous publications, include them in the biographical notes. But it’s not an obstacle if you haven’t published before. Think about the particular aspects of your own experience, interests, education, writing, etc. that give you the knowledge and understanding necessary to write this book.
• NB: Even if your chosen publisher has its own template for book proposals on its website and this varies from the structure above, please follow the structure set out above for your proposal. If the publisher requires a type of information that you think is not covered by the above structure, you could integrate it into that structure in the most relevant section, and explain in Part B (the Reflection) how you have negotiated the structure to meet the need in your particular context of writing. All the sections above must be covered.
• A book proposal would not normally include the kind of academic referencing that is required in a scholarly essay or article, but any quotations should still be referenced on this occasion. Where other books are referred to (as in ?�market competition’), the basic bibliographic details should be included in the text of the proposal, that is, the title, author(s) or editor(s), publisher and date. Any further debt to the work of other writers can be acknowledged in Part B in terms of, for example, your context of writing.
Part B: Reflection
Write a reflection on your book proposal, commenting explicitly on how, in writing it, you understand and negotiate some or all of the key ?�variables’ that we have discussed in the Study Guides (context, purpose, relation of writer and reader, genre, content and structure, style, etc.).
Please include in Part B of the assignment a brief explanation of how and why you identified your publisher for the proposal.
Notes on Part B
• Part B of the assignment should not just re-state points from Part A. Rather, it should reflect interpretively upon the writing of the proposal. Be careful to reflect in this way on the proposal as a specific process and piece of writing, and to talk more about the book – which is a different and still virtual work that, in contrast to the proposal, you have not yet written.
• Remember to include in Part B a brief explanation of how and why you chose the publisher for your proposal (this relates to context, purpose, etc).
• Please make sure that in Part B you reference appropriately the sources that you cite or otherwise use, following the UNE Referencing Guide. Instructions on referencing can be found in the School of Arts ?�Referencing’ link in the right-hand column of the unit homepage.
The criteria that will be used in marking this assignment are as follows:
• Demonstrated ability to use the chosen writing format, reflected in the quality of exposition in the sections of the document presented in Part A
• Understanding of key ideas introduced so far in the Unit and of relevant readings
• Clarity with which ideas are organised and expressed
• Quality of written expression and formal presentation, including grammar, punctuation, referencing and ability to work effectively within the word limits
Please also remember the following general criteria by which your assignments will be assessed:
• Compliance with the UNE Referencing Guide (in those sections of assignments in this unit where standard academic referencing is required, as indicated in the instructions). Instructions on referencing can be found in the School of Arts ?�Referencing’ link in the right-hand column of the unit homepage.
• Compliance with the UNE Plagiarism and Academic Misconduct policy.
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