Tips for Writing a Good Proposal

A. Getting Started
  • Before you begin, review all available information about the submission guidelines, format, deadlines, evaluation criteria and process.
  • Outline the details of the proposal before you being to write; e.g., purpose, aims, background, theoretical framework, methodology, outcomes, timetable, personnel, and resources.
  • Know the literature and use current references to strengthen and justify the need for your project.
B. Suggestions on Writing
  • Use language that is clear, concise, objective and direct.
  • Write to the audience who will review the proposal; be sure they can understand your proposal.
  • Explain the urgency and timeliness of this work.
  • Define terms as appropriate and be consistent in the use of terms, concepts or variables throughout the proposal. Do not use interchangeable concepts that may have similar but different meanings.
  • Read the guidelines carefully. Then read them again. When you are completed, read them once more.
  • Follow the directions COMPLETELY - this is a formal process.
  • Consult with colleagues to review your proposal.
  • Be sure that the purpose, aims, framework, approach, and outcomes are logically linked and have been addressed in enough detail that reviewers have a clear understanding of what you propose to do.

For additional tips, review

Lisa Maroski's presentation, Grantsmithing, the Art of Getting Funded.

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