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How-To: Develop as a Professional

Grant Writing Tips--Part II Ed Clement

(Have you read Part I?)

When I'm writing a grant proposal, I:

  • Research the current literature and media reports for the latest educational "buzz words" and then incorporate as many of them as possible into my grant proposals. Words and phrases like "cooperative groups", "critical thinking skills", "integration of technology", "team teaching" and "inclusion" are a few buzz words that were bouncing around during the 98-99 school year.
  • Make sure the budget section of the grant proposal is as accurate as possible and includes EVERYTHING you need to complete the proposal. (With some of my earlier successful grants I ended up spending as much of my own money for copying, shipping charges, paper clips, price changes, etc. as I did before I started writing grants. I now include enough extra money in the budget proposal section of the grant to account for unexpected expenses. Sometimes I've had to request a budget item revision, but for the most part I haven't had any problem purchasing necessary items not specifically listed on the grant proposal, provided I didn't run over the original amount requested.)
  • Never write out my grant in long hand, even if the grant instructions permit it. I don't own a type writer so if I can't reproduce the blank grant document on my computer and fill in the spaces electronically, I word process the proposal and physically cut it out and past it into the blanks. I sometimes send it off like that or copy the document on a copy machine, which gives it the appearance of having been typed.
  • I always submit my grant by e-mail, if possible, as opposed to sending it by regular "snail" mail . (A few year ago I took a graduate class that required a written log for each class. I submitted the first log by e-mail and as a precaution turned in a hard copy version before class. My e-mail version received a B+ but the identical hard copy duplicate only received a B-.)
  • Get as many people as possible to proof read my grant proposal before I submit it. The cliché "two heads are better than one" definitely applies to grant writing.
I like to conclude this "How To" with this quote from Joseph Conrad's book "A Personal Preface"
"He who wants to persuade should put his trust not in the right argument, but in the right word. The power of sound has always been greater than the power of sense."

 

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