Proposal Writing Course

Available for groups as a self-paced online course, instructor-led virtual or instructor-led onsite training, and for individuals as a self-paced online course.

Download the Outline

Learn exactly how we structure this course to help you or your proposal writing team quickly become a better writer in weeks.


This course will teach the most efficient proposal process to plan and organize a business or government proposal. It also explains how to hone language and tone to make your service, product, or solution more compelling to your potential client.

This is a practicum course meaning the content walks through writing an actual proposal step-by-step. This ensures participants can apply the lessons to typical proposals while receiving instructor guidance and feedback at incremental steps in the process.

By enrolling in this course, you or your team will gain a multitude of benefits that will enhance your overall writing skills and improve the success rate of your proposals. You'll not only win more business, but you'll save time in the process.

The online self-paced course also includes a live one-on-one coaching session to review the final proposal. Instructor-led courses include custom exercises based on the proposals the proposal writing team often writes.



Online self-paced course available for individuals.


Online self-paced course and instructor-led training can be customized to match your needs. Group discounts apply.

Proposal writing skills gained in this course:

  • Close more deals and reduce writing time writing by at least 25% through effective proposals.

  • Discern what most matters to your potential client and articulate the unique value you offer.

  • Ensure content conveys information for business decisions within a readily absorbed format.

  • Express clear deliverables and terms, and present fees favorably.

  • Write in clear, direct sentences with no meaningless sales-speak.

  • Use correct grammar, vocabulary, and punctuation.


Individual written feedback and live coaching for every student

To truly improve writing habits and create strong writing skills, both course instruction and feedback on actual writing are needed. This practicum course includes written feedback at key points in the proposal writing process and concludes with detailed feedback on your final proposal.

Our feedback includes both subjective and objective feedback, in addition to a personal grammar diagnosis and additional helpful resources.

Objective feedback:

  • Is the proposal based fully on reader's need and perspective?
  • Does the reader have all the information needed to move forward with the sale?
  • Is the proposal logically organized?

Subjective feedback:

  • Is your tone too blunt or too timid?
  • Are your word choices clear, strong, and persuasive?
  • Can you cut any unnecessary words?
  • Are there any grammar errors?
View the Full Details in the Course Outline

Flexible training to meet your needs.

Online course for individuals or groups

Online, self-paced training allows individuals and teams to train on their own schedule with 24/7 access to the course. This online training method has flexible deadlines for busy professionals and groups across different time zones to all receive the same training.

Online Self Paced Proposal Writing Course Preview

Virtual instructor-led course for groups

Virtual training allows for highly engaging instruction, exercises, and discussion in a professional setting. Learners complete activities in breakout rooms with fellow students, break down proposals individually, and are encouraged to participate in conversations and ask questions.

Onsite instructor-led course for groups

In-person training is highly interactive, with many individual and shared activities. Groups work together at your location to deconstruct proposals, deep dive into individual writing concerns, plan an upcoming proposal, and more.

Schedule a call to find out more about group training options

Certificate of Completion

Participants will earn a personalized certification of completion after finishing this course. This can be displayed on a LinkedIn profile, downloaded to print and hang, or mentioned in a résumé.

What is included in this course?

This proposal writing course is split into several detailed lessons including video lessons and online resources.

Getting Started

An Introduction and Self-Assessment

This section outlines the necessary foundation for writing better proposals. Share your specific course goals, and tell us about the typical proposals you write.

Lesson 1

6-Steps to Effective Proposal Writing

Learn our step-by-step proposal process to write more effectively. This applies to consulting proposals, government proposals, technical proposals, non-profit/NGO proposals, financial proposals, engineering and logistical proposals, and any other proposal. Also, this frames a proposal response to an RFP (Request for Proposal), an informal proposal, and a proposal letter or email.

Lesson 2

Analyze Your Audience Deeply

Analyzing your audience and any evaluation criteria well frames everything about a proposal, including the content and organization. Learn to discern what really matters to your proposal readers so you can persuade them effectively and organize and present information that meets their needs.

Lesson 3

How to Plan and Organize Any Proposal

Nothing is worse than getting a proposal that is difficult to understand due to poor organization.

This lesson includes tips and tricks on how to organize the beginning, middle, and end of your proposal and make it quick to scan. The optimal process to organize a proposal is the same, whether the format is a formal RFP, an "informal" proposal, or a very informal email summary. 

Lesson 4

Drafting RFP Responses, or an Informal Proposal, or a Very Informal Email or Letter Proposal

Determining the best response: Request for Proposal (RFP), an informal proposal, or a very informal email that proposes a business offering. Proposals take several forms. Learn to use what is best in each situation and for each selection process and begin drafting.

Lesson 5

Visual Persuasion

Weave in at-a-glance persuasion hooks to engage your reader (whether that's the federal government, a small business, or a Fortune 500 company) and highlight the value of your offer.

Lesson 6

Sending Your Proposal

We will provide you with ways to ensure you create a good first impression and cover letter and guide the proposal recipient to the best next steps.

Lesson 7

The Money, Deliverables, and Terms

A proposal commits you to specific deliverables, so be careful you delineate exactly what you will do and the terms expected. This is especially important for government contracts and federal proposals and should include budget line items, direct costs, a price quote, etc.

Lesson 8

Style and Presentation

Learn to create a visually appealing, easy-to-scan proposal with clear proposal section content.

Lesson 9

Tone and Word Choice

In this lesson, we focus on improving clarity through word choice. Ensure your proposal is a pleasure to read with concise and engaging language that presents your company as competent and confident.

Lesson 10

Grammar and Syntax

Learn proofreading tactics to avoid embarrassing grammar and spelling mistakes. These go beyond simple tips and tricks. These are proven grammar and syntax strategies that will make your writing more professional.

Final Proposal Review

Live One-on-One Coaching Session

The course concludes with a live one-on-one coaching session with your instructor.

During this time you can ask any questions and review feedback about your report. The live coaching call acts to solidify the information learned during the course so you can apply your new knowledge to future reports and to provide detailed feedback on the report you wrote in the course.

View the full course outline and list of included resources

What will writing look like after this training?

Complex information is conveyed clearly.
Writing time is significantly reduced.
Well-organized, relevant content is included.
Designed and formatted to be easy to read.
Next steps are clearly outlined.
Writer’s block is avoided through planning.
Information is tiered appropriately.
Persuasion is clear and effective.
Competent, clear, and professional.
Grammar errors are identified and corrected.

This course’s expert instructors

Elisabeth O'Quinn

Elisabeth has a unique combination of business and business writing acumen, with an extensive background in effective writing, editing, and marketing.

She has supported a wide range of businesses, writing blog articles, white papers, presentations, and editing business documents. She has supported many of our clients, including countless government agencies, with rave reviews of her writing feedback, helping countless participants with the fundamentals of copywriting.

Elisabeth lives in Georgia with her cat and rescue pup. In addition to writing, she loves traveling with her twin sister, learning German, and creating watercolor prints.


Grace Cuddy

Grace has extensive experience in Instructional Solutions' online English courses and also works with individuals and groups from several international companies across Europe as a business writing coach. She is an expert in business writing and loves to help students advance their technical writing careers or new technical writing jobs.

She is bilingual in English and Spanish and has a keen sensitivity to global writing. She has a strong background in corporate communication and management plan and successfully developed cross-functional writing and communication processes in a large corporate team. She has also helped professional engineers and firms develop professional training programs.

She enjoys yoga, travel, and dance. She splits her time between New York City and Madrid.


Janet D'Angelo headshot
Janet D'Angelo

Janet is a business writing and marketing instructor, consultant, author, and public speaker with more than 20 years of experience working with individuals, small businesses, and corporations to develop all facets of business communication. She writes and speaks extensively on business writing and marketing writing, and has been a featured speaker at numerous business and education conferences in the U.S. and abroad. Janet taught analytical writing, marketing writing, proposal writing, and general business writing courses at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Janet holds a B.S. in Education from Salem State College, M.Ed. from the Boston-Bouve College of Human Development Professions at Northeastern University.

She enjoys gardening, yoga, hiking, and exploring the endless beauty of the New England seacoast where she lives on the South Shore of Massachusetts.


Katie Almeida Spencer

Katie is an experienced Business Writing and English as a Second Language instructor, business writing coach, content writer, and teacher trainer. She taught Business Skills and Academic Writing at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

She is very skilled at evaluating both the substance and language of business documents. Her writing critiques, instruction, and coaching have received stellar evaluations from our clients at Chartis Consulting, DuPont, Shell, Southern Middlesex Opportunity Council, and the World Wildlife Fund, as well as out clients with the Federal Government.

She holds a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Rhode Island and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her areas of expertise include business writing and technical report writing, proposal writing, English courses, government proposals, government contracts, and syntax and non-native writing.


Course feedback and testimonials

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I write highly technical proposals. This course helped me tremendously to organize and express technical solutions to our non-technical clients so they clearly understand our benefits.

Technical Project Manager
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My sales team is closing more business because our proposals better present the value we offer our clients instead of just the facts of our services. Huge improvement in persuasion and productivity.

VP of Sales
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We now know how to frame our RFP responses on the client's needs, and not so much about our company. Close rates are up.

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My writing skills are strong, but I got a major benefit from understanding a proven process that I can follow for each proposal I write.

Proposals Project Engineer
Fujitsu Network Communications

Become a better business proposal writer.

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We offer customized and flexible online, virtual, and onsite courses, workshops, and classes that match your company’s writing needs.