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Avoid This Grant Writing Mistake

Grant writing is a distinctive genre of writing that incorporates technical writing, persuasive writing and narrative writing.

Opportunities abound to get funded for research and/or research ideas: by the government as well as private corporations and foundations; at the federal, state and local levels; in the United States and internationally.

A common mistake made by those unfamiliar with the grant review process is writing to the wrong audience. Most grants are reviewed by a panel, but not a panel of experts within the same discipline (sometimes, no one within your discipline or within academia, depending on the funder). Unfortunately, many scholars write about research in a way that only a colleague can understand the work.

Therefore, when preparing and submitting grant applications, remember the following:

  1. Learn as much about the people reviewing the grant application as possible

  2. Write to the person with the least amount of knowledge of your subject matter

  3. Avoid jargon and other uses of language that will prevent the non-expert from understanding your research

While many other factors determine what research projects obtain funding, you can be sure writing at a level that inhibits the panel from comprehending your research is a guaranteed way not to get funded.

In a few weeks, we will host a webinar that delves into successful grant writing. If you want registration information, email us at

Cultivating writers and tip at a time!

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