Typically before a writer would expend energy on a research proposal, s/he would ask for permission from a decision-maker to undertake the project. In this assignment, you will identify the decision-maker(s) in the community who has the authority to implement your recommendation. You will write a business memo to that person (or persons), requesting that you be given permission to move forward with your research and explaining why that person should grant you this permission. Remember that your decision-maker will likely judge the merit of your proposal based entirely on this letter. It is critical that the letter provide your decision-maker(s) with justification for the research project. Make sure to offer a summary of the benefits you believe the proposed idea will bring to the community. You should open with a clear and polite request for permission to move forward with the project. As you progress writing the letter, be as concrete as possible, with compelling details. Vague requests are discounted by an audience.
Tip: You are writing a memo (not a letter)―see page 173 of Business Communication for Success.
As you draft a memo, the readings help you to distinguish between a memo and a letter, and appreciate the difference between the two. A letter (more formal) is usually addressed to an external audience, and has a formal salutation and closing. A memo (less formal) is an internal document, and does away with the letter’s formalities.
Further help from the Purdue OWL: Memos (audience, purpose, format, samples):