379: introduction to professional writing
short assignment #3: feasibility study
feasibility study attempts to determine the practicality of a project.
The simplest type
of feasibility study answers the yes-or-no question: "Should we undertake
the project?" More complex studies must answer a more difficult question:
"Which (if any) of several projects should we undertake?"
Most feasibility studies are internal. A plant pathology laboratory considering
a new soil mixture might commission a feasibility study from one or two
of its technicians; a manufacturer of aircraft engines might ask its research
and development division to consider a change to ceramic parts.
For this assignment, your study will determine the feasibility
of one (or several) formal proposals you will write as the final paper
for this course.
formal proposal is an offer to gather information, provide a service
or provide a product. Detailed descriptions may be found in the
Johnson-Sheehan's Writing Proposals and the Online
Textbook's Chapter 11: Proposals. For purposes
of this assignment, the most useful description may be on the Formal
Proposals assignment page.
study may address either of two questions:
1) which of several
possible subjects suits your background and interests? or
2) which of several possible granting institutions is likely to fund
question will require introspection as well as some old-fashioned research.
In addition, your study will address and discuss:
1) your own
expertise in the area of specialization,
2) the granting
institution's record of funding projects like the one you imagine, and
3) the likelihood
that you or the parties you represent will actually be able to carry
out the project.
the claims you make here, especially the last, will require support with
evidence. In other words, you must show that you can actually perform
The study should be five to eight double-spaced pages.
It should be addressed to me and written in memo
You may wish to discuss
the possibilities of seeking funding from three or four foundations, and
the likelihood of gaining funding from each. You should include a timetable
or schedule, and I recommend including a Gantt chart. Most importantly,
you should describe any problems you can foresee. Do all the research
you can, talk with people who might know something you don't, and consider
what might go wrong.
Feasibility studies you may wish to use as models (downloadable here as a PDFs) are:
Feasibility Study (1)
Feasibility Study (2)