Say It Plainly

Yesterday I talked to two researchers on the medical campus. Both expressed to me the need for grant writers to share their drafts with colleagues before submitting them. You don’t want the second person to read your grant to be a member of the review panel.

The Faculty Development and Diversity website offers links to grant writing resources. Still, there’s no substitute for going over your prose with an experienced editor–or even an interested family member. If the specific aims of the grant are clear to an intelligent outsider, you’ve done your job.

A good place to start is with removing all jargon. There’s even an organization devoted to promoting clean prose. On their website, the Center for Plain Language gives key principles for writing in an accessible way. Using plain language does not mean removing complexity; it means bringing your ideas to a wider audience.


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