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  • Be sure that the proposal is neatly typed and is readable.

  • Use plenty of white space in your layout.

  • Use heading and topic listings to assist the reading.

  • Read carefully and follow the guidelines and requirements. Be certain to include the required number of copies.

  • The proposal should be clear, concise and direct. Reviewers particularly dislike jargon, poor grammar and spelling, vagueness about key terms (e.g., what exactly you mean by "team teaching", etc.)

  • Open the proposal with a clear, succinct explanation of your request. Rambling unclear proposals will fare badly in competition.

  • Write in a positive manner. Try to communicate your energy and enthusiasm for the project, but do not promise benefits that are obviously out of reach.

  • Write in active rather than passive voice.

  • Write in third person.

  • Write in a crisp, clear style with short, vivid sentences.

  • Tell the reviewer who you are and make a case for why you are the best person to carry out this project. Modesty is an atttribute which should be held to a minimum.

  • In the absence of specific guidelines, double space and provide generous margins not so large as to make the proposal appear too long.

  • Write at least one, and preferably two, preliminary drafts of your proposal, allow time for colleagues to review it and for you to rethink and revise it as necessary. Request the Office for College Advancement and the Office for Administration and Finance to review your proposal for an "outsider's" view.

  • Include tables or charts if doing so will add important information. Don't overload proposal with graphic depiction of information that could be summed up concise in a sentence or two. Well-planned tables and charts can provide a visual image of project's conceptual frame as well as present much information in a succinct fashion.

  • Do not be overwhelmed by the task of proposal development. Break it down into pieces. Also take advantage of the available assistance from the Office for College Advancement and the Office for Administration and Finance as well as these grant writing resources at this web site.

  • The cardinal rule to remember in grant writing is that you will not get funded if you do not try. Don't abandon a project that has been turned down once or even twice; reconsider and revise it, or submit it to a more receptive agency for consideration. Do not be discouraged by rejection. Fund-seeking is hard competitive.

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