S: The only proposals I've heard of are marriage proposals. What does a proposal mean at university?
L: Well, a proposal is a sort of plan for something that can be done in the future. And a justification for that action in the future.
S: Can you give me an example?
L: Yes. You might be writing a proposal for a building, for example, explaining why you need to build the building and how it will be built. Or it could be a proposal for a catering plan, or a tourist resort or a research proposal where you're describing in detail why you are going to do the research and how you're going to do it.
S: Oh, I see.