Test Your Grant Writing Skills

Oct 20, 2022

Hi colleagues:

It’s really hard to write clear grants. You have a lot of dense information to convey. And limited space.

But if you don’t work at this grant writing skill, reviewers will say, “This was really hard to read. I couldn’t understand this grant.” Those words are a death knell. It’s the sound of reviewers losing enthusiasm for your grant.

So let’s get to work! Try this exercise to test and develop your clear writing skills. Read the white box and look for the inconsistencies. Try to rewrite the sentences. Then see my commentary below.


Commentary. The consistency changes are subtle. The rewrite may not look like much on the handout. But multiply the effects you see here across a whole grant. Writing for consistency makes a big difference in how your full grant reads. For more guidance, see this post on consistent writing and this post on line edits. And visit the archive for more writing strategy posts. 

Keep working at it, and soon reviewers will say, “Gosh. This grant was so easy to read.”

As always, thanks for reading and believing that scholars deserve support for incredible ideas!


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P.S. If today's newsletter was helpful to you, would you mind sharing it with a colleague? Sharing strategies is one way we create kinder and more supportive spaces.

P.P.S. My youngest drew this family portrait. I’m the one on the left. I think it’s the best I’ve ever looked. Hope you are getting to spend time with your loved ones!

[Hand-drawn family portrait.]