The Rhetoric of the Grant ProposalWriting grant proposals makes up a substantial portion of many scholars' workload. The content of the proposal, naturally, occupies the thoughts of most proposal writers most of the time. However, it is worth considering the proposal as a piece of writing: a document that has a particular audience and purpose, and thus creates rhetorical demands on the writer. The purpose of this article is to spell out some of those rhetorical demands in the hopes that considering a proposal as a piece of text can improve its organization and style. Although experienced writers may be familiar with some of these guidelines in an implicit way, we intend that their explicit statement will be helpful for both the novice and experienced writer of proposals. We also include some prag- matic suggestions for helping you to fulfill these goals. First a word about us: the basic ideas stemmed from a talk that the first author has given several times at proposal writing workshops sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR). The second author contributed examples and insights gleaned from his own experience with writing proposals and from many years as a program officer at a major national science funder. We developed this framework based on our experience as proposal writers, reviewers, teachers of writing, and mentors of the younger proposal writers we coach at the CUR workshop and elsewhere. What do we mean by rhetoric? What we do not mean is the current pejorative usage of the term as "insincere or grandilo- quent language" (Merriam-Webster 10th ed). We firmly recommend against using "lofty, extravagantly colorful, pompous, or bombastic style" (now defining grandil- oquent from the same source). Why, for example, must methods, instruments, and reagents always be "utilized" in scientific prose, when in fact we simply "use" them? Rather, we want to use the term rhetoric in its neutral sense of "the study of writing or speaking as a means of communi- cation or persuasion". A proposal is a document that both communicates and persuades, both about the content of the work and the competence of the proposer. The best ideas in the world will best succeed with funders if the presentation works as a piece of successful rhetoric. And successful rhetoric depends on writing to your audience and being clear in your purpose, both in the document as a whole and in each section. Audience z Who are they? Communication requires a sender and receiver, and success- ful communication requires that the message be tailored by the sender for the receiver. Therefore, the wise grant proposal writer finds out who the readers of the proposal will be. Some proposals may be read largely by specialists in the proposer's subfield, whereas others may be read by panels that include experts in the field, but not the precise subfield, or people with more general background such as fund administrators, or even lay members of the public. The closer that the writer and reader are in expertise levels, the more assumptions that can be made about the shared knowledge of the two parties. This awareness of shared knowledge is called "common ground" in the study of language. Incorrect assumptions about what each party to a written communication knows, or lack of common ground, can lead to serious misunderstandings (Clark, 1996). The greater the gap in levels of knowledge, the fewer assump- tions that can be made, so that the writer needs to be even more careful particularly in setting the scene for the project (overview), justifying it, and explaining its implications. The reviewers for a particular program are often listed on websites for public agencies, or the program officer can be contacted for this information. A quick database search for work done by the reviewers will suggest how much common ground you can assume they have with you.
All books listed here are available at the Galvin Library. Books are available in electronic format unless otherwise indicated. Links will take you directly to the text for ebooks or to the library's catalog record for print books.
The Craft of Scientific Writing **PRINT EDITION**This book uses scores of examples to show the differences between scientific writing that informs and persuades and scientific writing that does not. It identifies five key elements of style that distinguish the best scientific documents.
Effective Proposal WritingThis useful book demystifies a very important part of formal business practice-writing a quality proposal. It will help the reader put together a comprehensive, convincing and professional document. Covering all elements that are crucial for writing an effective business proposal, the book also spells out when and under what conditions a proposal should be submitted, the information required, and the ethical business issues involved. Vasudev Murthy provides useful tips for producing a professional document that will enable the writer to establish the credibility of his organization and persuad
The IEEE guide to writing in the engineering and technical fieldsHelps both engineers and students improve their writing skills by learning to analyze target audience, tone, and purpose in order to effectively write technical documents. This book introduces students and practicing engineers to all the components of writing in the workplace. It teaches readers how considerations of audience and purpose govern the structure of their documents within particular work settings. The IEEE Guide to Writing in the Engineering and Technical Fields is broken up into two sections: "Writing in Engineering Organizations" and "What Can You Do With Writing?" The first section helps readers approach their writing in a logical and persuasive way as well as analyze their purpose for writing. The second section demonstrates how to distinguish rhetorical situations and the generic forms to inform, train, persuade, and collaborate. The emergence of the global workplace has brought with it an increasingly important role for effective technical communication. Engineers more often need to work in cross-functional teams with people in different disciplines, in different countries, and in different parts of the world. Engineers must know how to communicate in a rapidly evolving global environment, as both practitioners of global English and developers of technical documents. Effective communication is critical in these settings. The IEEE Guide to Writing in the Engineering and Technical Fields: . Addresses the increasing demand for technical writing courses geared toward engineers. Allows readers to perfect their writing skills in order to present knowledge and ideas to clients, government representatives, and the general public. Covers topics most important to the working engineer The IEEE Guide to Writing in the Engineering and Technical Fields is a handbook developed specifically for engineers and engineering students. Using an argumentation framework, the handbook presents information about forms of engineering communication in a clear and accessible format. This book introduces both forms that are characteristic of the engineering workplace and principles of logic and rhetoric that underlie these forms. As a result, students and practicing engineers can improve their writing in any situation they encounter, because they can use these principles to analyze audience, purpose, tone, and form.
Models of Proposal Planning & WritingHow do you present the right balance of logic, emotion, and relationship-awareness to make a persuasive proposal? What is THE most important thing to do before submitting a proposal to increase your odds for funding success? What portion of the proposal must be stressed even when it has a low point value assigned to it in the reviewer's evaluation form? How can a site visit make or break the fate of a meticulously prepared application? Models of Proposal Planning & Writing: Second Edition answers all these critical questions and more for grantseekers, documenting how to write a proposal that will persuade a sponsor to invest in your projects and organization--and just as importantly, explaining why a properly persuasive application puts forth a seamless argument that stands the test of reason, addresses psychological concerns, and connects your project to the values of the sponsor. The book's comprehensive annotations provide practical information that walks readers step-by-step through a logical, integrated process of planning and writing persuasive proposals.
Stylish Academic WritingElegant data and ideas deserve elegant expression, argues Helen Sword in this lively guide to academic writing. For scholars frustrated with disciplinary conventions, and for specialists who want to write for a larger audience but are unsure where to begin, here are imaginative, practical, witty pointers that show how to make articles and books a pleasure to read -- and to write. Dispelling the myth that you cannot get published without writing wordy, impersonal prose, Sword shows how much journal editors and readers welcome work that avoids excessive jargon and abstraction. Sword's analysis of more than a thousand peer-reviewed articles across a wide range of fields documents a startling gap between how academics typically describe good writing and the turgid prose they regularly produce. Stylish Academic Writing showcases a range of scholars from the sciences, humanities, and social sciences who write with vividness and panache. Individual chapters take up specific elements of style, such as titles and headings, chapter openings, and structure, and close with examples of transferable techniques that any writer can master. --Provided by publisher.
Write Here, Right Now: An Interactive Introduction to Academic Writing and ResearchWrite Here, Right Now: An interactive Introduction to Academic Writing and Research utilizes PressBooks to create and host a writing e-textbook for first year university students that would effectively integrate into the flipped classroom model. The textbook could also be used for non-flipped classroom designs, as the embedded videos, diagrams and linked modules would act as an all-in-one multimedia textbook geared towards multiple learning styles and disciplines. The components of the textbook, including the embedded videos, could be swapped in and out in order to accommodate a professor’s best idea of his/her own course design.