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General Writing Tips Part 2

A while back I wrote a post with a handful of brief writing tips and promised to cover the topic in more depth at a later time. That time is now and once again I would like to further discuss several aspects of writing a grant application that I did not cover last time.

One thing I find a lot of people do during a grant application that hurts their chances is being too vague. Saying in general terms what your project needs or is going to do might be a good intro, but without going into specifics it will not be an attractive proposition to potential funders and will be much less likely to get funded. Talking about exactly what your project will do and having concrete goals and objectives can go a long way towards making a project more appealing.

Another problem that many writers overlook is not having proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Having a professional looking narrative is of the utmost importance and submitting something filled with mistakes and errors can make a decent narrative be rejected. It is highly worthwhile to review any writing you are going to submit more than once, possibly by someone else if possible (as people sometimes overlook errors in what they write). It is hard to overstate the importance of having your grant submission looking its best. One of the best ways to learn how to write is to read a good book on grammar. This is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to get started. It is also very helpful for the writer to keep a thesaurus close at hand while working.

Since the grant writer wants to make as good an impression on the reviewer as possible, it is necessary to ensure that any writing is “letter perfect”. As I have said before, small errors give the reader the impression that the writer is not attentive to detail and has sloppy work habits. This is why accurate editing is so important. It is worth taking the extra time to make that second review.

Stay tuned for further blog posts about grant writing and the entire process from searching for potential funders to what to do after you’ve sent your submission in.

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