Persuasive Grant Writing Workshop
Designed for junior faculty, this two-session UIC workshop teaches participants to analyze how common writing challenges are tackled in funded grant proposals and other successful scientific writing. Successful samples are examined as models for writing techniques that can be applied.
The perspective was unique among grant writing workshops I have attended in focusing on argument rather than mechanism-specific nuts and bolts. It energized me to revisit my grants in progress.
Session One: Clarity and Focus
As a writer, you may feel that you are often forced to choose between clarity and precision. If you include the details that your argument needs, your writing may seem overstuffed and cumbersome. But if you omit details, the keys to your argument disappear. In this session, participants learn how to focus arguments without sacrificing complexity. The true origin of the problem lies not in the complexity of the data, but in the structure of the sentences. Students in this workshop learn concrete techniques to build sentences and paragraphs that can adequately house ideas and data, without leaving readers behind.
Session Two: Communicating the Value of your Work
During the course of your career you will write many documents that boil down to some version of one of the following sentences: “Give me money because ” or “Read this article because.” This session will focus on what comes after the “because.” How can you make sure readers understand how your work contributes to the body of knowledge in your field? How can you do this without claiming too much about your work — or too little? Participants will practice writing techniques that make clear why the work is valuable and that help to focus proposals on the most important aspects of one’s research.