CAE – proposal

Paper 2 Writing – Part 2

A proposal

and a report have a similar layout (see reports in this same section). Reports are based on current circumstances or situations whereas proposals are action plans for the future. You give more space to the current situation in a report and more space to recommendations for future actions in a proposal.


First things first…

  1. Begin by brainstorming ideas, in any order, and don’t worry about language at this stage.
  2. Group your ideas under headings for each section of your proposal.
  3. Write a first draft, paying attention to the level of formality of the language.

Don’t forget!

  • Begin by stating the purpose of your proposal.
  • Use an impersonal, semi-formal style.
  • Use clear layout with headings.
  • Express opinions and make recommendations in the last section of your proposal.
  • Include a final sentence summarising your opinion.
  • Use bullet points but not too many.

Useful language for a proposal

Stating the purpose of the proposal

  • The principal aims/objectives of this proposal are to…
  • This proposal is intended to…
  • In this proposal I describe/evaluate/present/assess…

Background information

  • Comments made at the end of the questionnaires suggest…
  • Following a survey among families of young children…
  • Concerned members of the local community were invited to attend…
  • A number of concerns with regard to the most recent street party were expressed by locals…

Making recommendations and suggestions

  • A working group should be set up by…
  • There should be an enquiry into…
  • I recommend that a larger survey should be conducted before a final decision is reached…

Final recommendations

  • The results of the survey/questionnaire suggest that the introduction of heavier fines would seem to be the best option/choice/solution.
  • If these recommendations are implemented, the situation is bound to improve.
  • Unless these suggestions are implemented, it is unlikely that there will be any improvement in the short term.

Model questions and answers

Proposal- Model question 1


Your college currently doesn’t provide enough support for students planning to spend time studying in another country. You see this notice in the library.

The college is planning to introduce a special course for students planning to spend time studying in another country. The college principal invites students to send a proposal outlining any problems students may face whe studying abroad and suggesting ways in which the course could address these problems. A decision can then be made about what to include on the course.

Write your proposal in 220-260 words in an appropriate style.

Proposal- Model answer 1


This proposal is intended to outline common issues students have when studying abroad, and suggest ways that a course could help them to deal with these. The final section makes recommendations about what should be included in the course curriculum.

Problems when studying abroad

Interviews were conducted with 20 students who have recently completed a student exchange programme. The majority of students were of the opinion that overcoming the language barrier in their new country was the biggest challenge and nearly half also said that they experienced culture shock. Other problems cited included unrealistic expectations, loneliness and packing the wrong things – particularly being unprepared for a different climate.

Ways a course could address these

A course could prepare students for culture shock by raising awareness of the phenomenon and describing cultural differences that students may encounter in their host country. To aid participants with language, a course could include some useful phrases for the first days after arrival, in addition to some resources for language learning. The course could also include a discussion about combating isolation and adjusting expectations.


I would like to make the following recommendations:

  • Invite students who have previously studied abroad to share aspects of the culture they found surprising and give advice on what to take.
  • Provide a list of useful phrases, together with suggestions of useful resources for language learning such as websites, blogs or e-books.
  • Facilitate a discussion about engaging with people to avoid loneliness and isolation.

If these recommendations are implemented, young people are bound to feel more prepared for their experience.

[+/- 265 words]

Proposal- Model question 2


Students at your college have to give a spoken presentation as part of their final assessment and need some help. The school director has invited you to send a proposal outlining any problems students have with presentations and suggesting how these problems could be overcome.

Write your proposal in 220-260 words in an appropriate style.

Proposal- Model answer 2

Helping with students presentations: a proposal


In this proposal I will describe some of the difficulties students at this school have with preparing their final presentations, present the key needs to be addressed and conclude by making a series of recommendations on how teachers at the school could assist students with overcoming the obstacles to giving a successful presentation confidently.

Current situation

Following discussion among the students, it has become clear that many of them are feeling very nervous about the upcoming presentations. A number of students are struggling to select an appropriate structure. Comments made suggest that students lack previous experience in public speaking and would like opportunities to practise before the final assessment.

Key needs to be addressed

Students require additional help with topic selection and presentation structure, and opportunities need to be provided for students to gain experience in front of others.


I would suggest the following actions to teachers at the school:

  • Provide students with a list of possible presentation topics.
  • There should be a lesson or workshop on structuring a presentation for those who are interested.
  • I recommend that students are given time during class to practise their presentations in small groups.
  • Additional upfront speaking opportunities should be incorporated into classes including plays and games.

If these suggestions are implemented, it will lead to increased student confidence and performance for the final presentations.

[+/- 225 words]

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