Health professionals often need to write grants or proposals in order to obtain funds to support their projects. For this assignment, you will create a proposal that aims to gain support for addressing the topic you’ll be addressing through a public health campaign – the same topic you’ve been working with all semester. Your goal for the project is show a granting institution (the folks with the money) how you plan to persuade community members to change their ways of thinking about a particular health issue and to persuade them to change their behaviors and institute healthier or safer practices.

For the RRA, you reviewed the existing literature on your chosen topic. For the HEM, you started the process of educating an audience in need and moving them to action. Now, you will use the information you gained from your past assignments and apply it toward identifying and proposing a solution to your chosen issue or problem in order to affect change for a specific audience. 


There are three key rhetorical goals for the assignment. First, you need to present a precise description of the problem that you want to address. Second, you want to describe a solution to the problem that is both visionary but also pragmatic. You want to present yourself as someone capable of delivering a solution to this problem. You achieve that rhetorical effect by creating a tight fit between the problem and the solution and by describing your project in a way that suggests it is feasible within the time and budget that you propose. Third, you will create a series of documents that represent the project you’re proposing and demonstrate how you plan to engage with your chosen audience. Employ the rhetorical devices of logos, ethos and pathos in framing both your proposal and your documents. Your campaign should have a short to medium time-frame, taking place within a three to twelve month time frame.


Public health campaigns require a multi-pronged approach, using multiple genres of print, audio, visual, and multimedia texts to reach several different groups. Consider these different dimensions of your project:

  • Audiences are not one large undifferentiated mass, so you will identify different segments of a community and examine each ones knowledge, attitudes, health practices, and media preferences. Examining the audience in a sharply focused way will help you to identify the best audiences for your campaign and the specific messages that you could tailor to each one. Are community members in the best position to change these health practices in a significant way, or are their barriers impeding their action that you first need to persuade policymakers, activists, and other public leaders to remove?
  • Media choices must be applicable to the message and to the audience, so you will examine a range of different media choicesfrom brochures, billboards, ads in newspapers and on public transit, and simple posters to informational presentations, scripts for video and audio Public Service Announcements (PSAs), and social media messagesand determine which ones are most applicable to the message you want to deliver and the audience you want to deliver it to.
  • Delivery strategies must be designed to ensure that the multiple textual components of your campaign circulate to their intended audiences. Your goal as a public health communicator is to reach these audiences in places where you can grab their attention and focus their thinking about the issue, so designing a strategy for delivering the documents will be critical to their success.
  • Research affords you insight on previous approaches to educating the broader public about this issue and persuading them to change their behaviors. What successes or failures in terms of the audience, the message, the media choices, or the delivery strategies can you learn from as you design your own public health education campaign? Research also enables you to understand policies or laws related to the same health practices that you target in your campaign. In what ways do or do not these laws work to change peoples health behaviors for the larger good?


You will create a minimum of 5 different texts that together constitute documents representative of a public health education campaign. These texts should differ, if only slightly, in their audience and their medium, if not also in their purpose and their message. As you might anticipate, your decisions about the textual content and the visual design of your materials can and should be influenced by the audiencepurpose, and context for each specific document. You will incorporate this information in various ways into your Grant Proposal (see below).

You will begin by developing a plan for your Public Health Campaign and anticipating the associated costs with conducting such a campaign. You will then determine what types of documents you can realistically create to represent the different aspects of your proposed plan. In determining the plans and the cost, you will also be seeking the funding you would need to conduct the campaign (to put your plan into action) through a Grant Proposal.


Rhetorical Situation

Although the format of proposals can vary depending on a particular granting agencys guidelines and its orientation to the particular issue, proposals generally cover the elements outlined in the following section, roughly in the following order. You will locate and choose a grant and thereby also identify your target audience for your proposal (which will be different from the targeted population of your campaign). Grants are most often advertised through Requests for Proposals (RFPs) or Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs); in these advertisements, you’ll find varying levels of instructions for how the granting institution wants you to write your document. Some will offer a lot of instruction; others will offer very little. Read and pay attention to what they’re asking for, and do your best to find a good fit between their requirements and the following general guidelines as you craft your own proposal. 

Typical Elements of a Grant Proposal [Use this section to understand the general overview rather than as a strict outline – outline suggestions are below.]

Cover Letter. Your proposal should begin with a cover letter that provides a *brief* explanation of the project, why the project would be relevant to the purpose of the grant / the granting institution’s mission, and the total amount you are requesting in order to fund the project. Indicate your organization’s credentials to handle such a project. 

Executive Summary. Summarize the entire proposal in a page or less. Information should follow in the same order as the proposal itself.

Background on the Problem/Issue. You’ll need to provide both institutional background information as well as background information that’s specific to the problem you want to address, and its impact in your area (targeted population/geographic location). Address the following (preferably in this order in corresponding paragraphs): 1) What has your organization done in the past? What types of projects have they worked on?  2) What is the depth/breadth/scope of the problem in your area? Provide data to support these claims. 3) Who will benefit from your project? Provide data to support these claims.

Review of Literature. As the section above will be data driven, there may not always be a need for a separate literature review, but including a brief one can often be helpful. The literature review presents a discussion of the most important research and theoretical work relating to your topic. Your presentation of research here helps you to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of relevant research, policies, and other projects related to this issue, and it also helps you to demonstrate your ability to undertake your own project. Specifically, it addresses the following kinds of questions: What have others said about this topic? What theories address it and what do these say? What health projects have or have not been done previously to address this issue? Are there previous findings about the efficacy of these prior approaches? Are there flaws or gaps in previous project that you will seek to remedy? 

You have already written a research review article on your topic, but you will probably find that as you continue exploring your topic, you need to revise your review, cutting out tangential or irrelevant research and adding other research that you have come across since you wrote the review. You may also find that you need to add methodological sources to support the design of your project.

If you choose to include an additional literature review in your Grant Proposal, it should be no longer than three paragraphs.

Goals and Objectives. Goals are the overall outcomes that this project will ultimately help the community to reach (lofty, “pie in the sky”); the objectives are the specific accomplishments you hope to achieve through each intervention.

Procedures or Methodology. 

This section describes how you will conduct your project in order to meet your objectives. You need to indicate how you will carry out your project so that others may judge its viability and its worth. This section includes a description how you will try to reach your targeted population (ie the specific means you will use to communicate with them). What kinds of interventions will you use? What kind of methodological approach will you take? Explain the logic and purpose of your approach.


Describe the kinds of measures you could use to determine the effectiveness of your interventions and explain why you have selected these.  How and why do you think they are the most appropriate means for assessing the effectiveness of your project? Also, describe how you would actually go about gathering this information for measuring the effectiveness of your intervention.


Most grant proposals require a schedule that outlines the various stages of the project along a timeline. Typically, this is written as a chronological list of procedures you will follow in designing and carrying out your project. Even when this is not required, it is a good idea to generate a timeline because this task forces you to think through the entire research and writing process realistically and may alert you to problems that you might otherwise overlook.


Most grant proposals require you provide a budget (a breakdown of expenses) for the amount you are requesting. Grant guidelines typically state what kinds of expenses are covered and what are not. You must do the appropriate research to justify your line items and include those references.


References for all cited information (data, studies, statistics, county demographic information, etc.) should be provided in APA, AMA, or Chicago style. Use “References” as the title for the works cited at the end of the document.


For our purposes, you will include a separate appendix for each of your five documents (the documents that will represent the interventions you’ve described in your Procedures/Methodologies section). Use letters to represent each document: Appendix A, Appendix B, and so on. When describing these documents in the Procedures/Methodologies section, include references such as “(see Appendix A)” to help guide your reader to the appropriate location.

You want your proposal to be specific enough for someone to understand what it is you plan to do so that they can decide whether your study qualifies for support, and you want it to be concrete enough to help you as you engage in your work. The point is to be realistic and be flexible.


Basic Outline of a Grant Proposal

I. Cover Letter or Letter of Intent (250-350 words; 1 page max)

II. Table of Contents (1 page)

III. “Executive Summary” (500 words max; format as its own page)

IV. “Introduction” or “Background” (Background on the Problem/Issue) (750 words max)

    • Background on the NPO/NGO on whose behalf you’re writing (1 brief paragraph)
    • Background on the problem you want to address, specifically in your area (1-2 paragraphs)
    • Background on the targeted population (1 paragraph)
  • Literature Review (optional) (3 paragraphs max) (may be formatted as a subheading under “Introduction” or as its own main heading)

V. “Goals and Objectives” (250 words max)

  • Identify one or two larger/overall outcomes that this project will ultimately help the community to reach (lofty, “pie in the sky” are descriptors I often use for goals) (1-2 sentences)
  • Identify three to five objectives describing the specific accomplishments you hope to achieve through your proposed interventions (bulleted list under goals sentence)

V. “Procedures” or “Methodology” (also sometimes called “Program Description” or “Project Description”)  

    • Describe the five “interventions” and the intended audience for each (2-5 paragraphs)
  • Evaluation (1 paragraph) – Can either be incorporated into the descriptions of each method/intervention; or it can be included as a subheading under “Procedures”; or it can appear as its own main heading after “Procedures” or “Schedule.”

VI. Schedule/Timeline (consider using a Gantt chart) (include an additional paragraph of prose explanation of the timeline)

VII. Budget and Budget Justification (include a table with specific numbers as well as a brief paragraph of justification/explanation; include citations)

VIII. References

IX. Appendices (Five or more documents representing the Public Health Campaign — see above)


  1. Length of GP: 2,000 – 3,000 words. Your word count does not include the TOC, budget, or schedule. The document is single-spaced.
  2. Text: 12 pt font, Times New Roman; title and sub-headings in a compatible font of your choice. 
  3. Include your word count at the end of your document.
  4. References in APA, AMA, or Chicago style
  5. Appendices: 5+ documents comprising the PHC. Formatted as separate Appendices (A, B, C, etc.).
  6. I recommend that the entire document be uploaded as a single PDF.
Final Note:
Please reach out to [email protected] if you have any questions or need more details about the essay and I will be able to follow up ASAP. Thank you.