Writing Effectively Part 1

Comments (20)

Copyright 2004 by http://www.organicgreens.us and Loring Windblad. This article may be freely copied and used on other web sites only if it is copied complete with all links and text intact and unchanged except for minor improvements such as misspellings and typos.

Knowing how to start a home based business is the first step to actually creating your own home based business.

But knowing how to write effectively is the difference between "having a home based business" and "having a very successful home based business".

There is an old adage in bridge: "Everybody makes mistakes, beginners and experts alike. But by the time the expert makes a mistake it usually really doesn't matter; the beginner has already lost the hand!"

These words of wisdom apply equally to effective writing: either you have already learned to write effectively, you are going to learn to write effectively, or you never will learn to write effectively.

50 years ago a friend of ours, John, started a business raising chickens. He did all the work himself - fed, watered and cared for the chickens, butchered them, took them to market and sold them. He made his first couple of million doing business this way. And he didn't hire outside help until his volume of business forced him to do so - he did it all himself.

The first secret of a successful business - Do it yourself until you can afford and need to hire outside help.

John decided that he'd been doing the chicken business long enough and he wanted to do something new with his life. So he "leased out" his chicken business and bought a 48-acre farm. Now you may wonder what, in this modern day and age, you can do with a little 48-acre farm? Well, John planted trees - nuts - on 10 of those acres. He turned several acres into blueberries, more into red currants, more into black currants, more into raspberries, more into thornless cultured blackberries, more into several other fruits. And he devoted the central 4 acres to his home, a bar for his farm equipment, and a couple of larger outbuildings for this 'n that.

This 'n that turned out to be a jam- and jelly-making enterprise. He made specialty jams and jellies. Well, how are you gonna compete with the big jam and jelly makers, Kraft, , etc., nationwide, with only 44 acres of fruits? You aren't. Well, John found his niche. He began producing specialty high-quality products for sale from his farm in gift baskets and stand-alone. And he began producing the little packages that you get in restaurants with your toast, and developed a local market for these products

The second secret of a successful business - Find your niche, make sure it fits what you are doing and can do, and develop it. Expand only to meet expanding demands.

Then John got into our bailiwick. We had been friends for years. He knew what we did, we knew what he did. John decided to expand his business into specialty fruit wines. In spite of being a millionaire several times over, in spite of having a very successful first business sub-contracted out and still making him money, in spite of having a very successful second business which he wanted to expand, John now committed the common error of the uneducated self-made man (or woman).

He needed to raise money to go into the wine-making business. To do this he had to have a comprehensive business plan showing potential investors how he planned to make their money back, along with a reasonable profit and in a reasonable period of time. Not much formal education himself he knew he needed someone to write this business plan who knew more than he did. So he did his due dilligence and investigated all the possible sources of writing expertise he could come up with.

He found a young lady with a PhD - the magic words to the uneducated - who was a professional writer, and he hired her to create his business plan. PhD in English Writing means A skilled writer, no? Actually, it does mean No!

She wrote his business plan and he went out to raise the money he needed - and couldn't raise a farthing! Her business plan was so ineptly done that he could not entice any offer of financial support, not even for $10,000, let along the $1 million he was seeking. He came to me for help and I re-wrote the business plan from the ground up. After the damage done by the first business plan it took him quite a while to find an investor willing to take a chance.

The third secret of a successful business - When you need help outside your area of expertise, be very, very careful. A "degree" in a field does not mean a person is expert in that field. Particularly true of writing.

Another example: You have personal experience in this or your know someone who has. For every job advertised there are literally hundreds of applicants. The first step of the process is to submit a resume. One job, 250 resumes. How do you get your resume even to be selected as a "finalist" let alone be the one of 250 who gets the job!

Well, this is your business. You have gone into a home based business as a Desk Top Publisher, which means, among other things, writing. Not just writing, but writing effectively, writing so that the person who's business plan you wrote will get the money he or she needs. Writing so that the person who's resume you wrote is at least a finalist for the position, preferably the finalist!

How do you become an effective writer? It's a learning process. Some of us learn more quickly than others, but none of us are born with this ability; we all had to learn our writing craft the hard way, through failures and successes.

The point here is: if you understand that formal education and degrees do not necessarily equate to skill at the task, you are well on the way to becoming a successful and effective writer. This brings us to....

The fourth secret of a successful business - You must know that you are at least equal to the best alternative out there....then make sure that your clients do benefit from your expertise.

Good luck.

About the Author

Loring Windblad has operated his own HBBs for nearly 40 years, is a published author and freelance writer. Loring has written grants, business plans and resumes that got the job done right. His latest HBB endeavor is http://www.organicgreens.us


Way To The Dawn 28.05.2013. 11:17

My story has 3 main characters should i write in 1st person or 3rd person? Well my story has 3 main characters (their all boys) and I'm wondering whether it would be better to change pov's depending on the chapter or just write in 3rd person. The story is supposed to be really sad, like reeeeeeeally bloody sad and so would it kill the sad background/atmosphere by writing from too many people's perspectives?
Thanks sooooo much for all the answers I get!

Way To The Dawn

Admin 28.05.2013. 11:17

I just finished a novel where the writer changed pov every chapter. At the beginning of every chapter she just wrote the name of the person, nothing else. For example:

Chapter one
Jane Doe

Chapter two
John Doe

It was very well done, and not once was I troubled with the change of POV.
If you are careful, it can be done quite effectively. Make sure they think, talk, or act differently. I would say the last part is the most important.

Warning: I am a big fan of first person POV. I am reading a book right now that is written in the third person POV and although it's quite good, it is hard to empathize with one of the main characters. I thought it was just me but people who reviewed the book said the same thing.
So I would advise you to choose the POV you are the most comfortable with. That's what really count after all.


Chad 05.04.2010. 19:49

Interview questions related to the reliability of eyewitness testimony? Im writing a research paper on the unreliability of eyewitness testimony. I need to perform an interview consisting of 5-7 substantive questions and I am planning on interviewing either a local criminal courts judge or D.A. Do you have any recommendations of the type of questions to ask during my interview. Thank you in advance.


Admin 05.04.2010. 19:49

The bedrock of the American judicial process is the honesty of witnesses in trial. Eyewitness testimony can make a deep impression on a jury, which is often exclusively assigned the role of sorting out credibility issues and making judgments about the truth of witness statements.1 Perjury is a crime, because lying under oath can subvert the integrity of a trial and the legitimacy of the judicial system. However, perjury is defined as knowingly making a false statement?merely misremembering is not a crime.2 Moreover, the jury makes its determinations of witness credibility and veracity in secret, without revealing the reason for its final judgement.3 Recognizing the fallibility of witness memories, then, is especially important to participants in the judicial process, since many trials revolve around factual determinations of whom to believe. Rarely will a factual question result in a successful appeal?effectively giving many parties only one chance at justice. Arriving at a just result and a correct determination of truth is difficult enough without the added possibility that witnesses themselves may not be aware of inaccuracies in their testimony.

Several studies have been conducted on human memory and on subjects? propensity to remember erroneously events and details that did not occur. Elizabeth Loftus performed experiments in the mid-seventies demonstrating the effect of a third party?s introducing false facts into memory.4 Subjects were shown a slide of a car at an intersection with either a yield sign or a stop sign. Experimenters asked participants questions, falsely introducing the term "stop sign" into the question instead of referring to the yield sign participants had actually seen. Similarly, experimenters falsely substituted the term "yield sign" in questions directed to participants who had actually seen the stop sign slide. The results indicated that subjects remembered seeing the false image. In the initial part of the experiment, subjects also viewed a slide showing a car accident. Some subjects were later asked how fast the cars were traveling when they "hit" each other, others were asked how fast the cars were traveling when they "smashed" into each other. Those subjects questioned using the word "smashed" were more likely to report having seen broken glass in the original slide. The introduction of false cues altered participants? memories.

Courts, lawyers and police officers are now aware of the ability of third parties to introduce false memories to witnesses.5 For this reason, lawyers closely question witnesses regarding the accuracy of their memories and about any possible "assistance" from others in the formation of their present memories. However, psychologists have long recognized that gap filling and reliance on assumptions are necessary to function in our society. For example, if we did not assume that mail will be delivered, or that the supermarkets will continue to stock bread, we would behave quite differently than we do. We are constantly filling in the gaps in our recollection and interpreting things we hear. For instance, while on the subway we might hear garbled words like "next," "transfer," and "train." Building on our assumptions and knowledge, we may put together the actual statement: "Next stop 53rd Street, transfer available to the E train." Indeed, we may even remember having heard the full statement.

Once witnesses state facts in a particular way or identify a particular person as the perpetrator, they are unwilling or even unable?due to the reconstruction of their memory?to reconsider their initial understanding. When a witness identifies a person in a line-up, he is likely to identify that same person in later line-ups, even when the person identified is not the perpetrator. Although juries and decision-makers place great reliance on eyewitness identification, they are often unaware of the danger of false memories.

Memory is affected by retelling, and we rarely tell a story in a neutral fashion. By tailoring our stories to our listeners, our bias distorts the very formation of memory?even without the introduction of misinformation by a third party. The protections of the judicial system against prosecutors and police "assisting" a witness? memory may not sufficiently ensure the accuracy of those memories. Even though prosecutors refrain from "refreshing" witness A?s memory by showing her witness B?s testimony, the mere act of telling prosecutors what happened may bias and distort the witness?s memory. Eyewitness testimony, then, is innately suspect.

Lawyers place great import on testimony by the other side?s witness that favors their own side?s case. For example, defense attorneys make much of prosecution witnesses? recollection of exonerating details. In light of psychological studies demonstrating the effect of bias on memory, the reliance and weight placed on such "admissions" may be appropriate, since witnesses


Amanda B 04.08.2009. 04:50

What are some methods to prevent police corruption? Police corruption seems to be an increasing problem in the United States as well as most of the world. With higher reports of police brutality, racial profiling by police, and plain system abuses, many people have a growing distrust of the police and their methods.

In your opinion, what are some methods that can reduce and even prevent corruption? A reward based "tattle tale" system sometimes works as it rewards officers for reporting others, but many police officers seem to "stick together" preventing this from working effectively. What are other methods that could help? What are you thoughts in general about police corruption? Have you directly been affected by it?

Amanda B

Admin 04.08.2009. 04:50

Controlling police misconduct involves two main tasks. First, prevent it from occurring in the first place. Second, reduce and eliminate it once it exists. There are two main approaches to the control of police misconduct: internal and external.

Internal approaches take place w/in the dept and generally are more effective when the problem is not too serious. Some internal approaches include:

1. Strengthening police leadership - the chief and top administrators have to clearly and publicly show their commitment to anticorruption policies
2. Developing clear written dept policies and procedures that ?draw the line? and make it clear to the officers and the community what behaviors are and are not acceptable. Violations of policies must be followed up with disciplinary action. The problem here is often where exactly to draw the line.
3. Focus on administrative control. The dept environment must be changed to emphasize an anti-corruption stance. This involves increased supervision of line officers, giving supervisors increased responsibility for combating corruption, and eliminating dept practices that encourage corruption (e.g., arrest quotas). In addition, opportunities for corruption must be reduced. To do this, depts might make public appeals to citizens to stop offering "gifts" to officers and/or make high-visibility arrests of people attempting to offer bribes. Police work could be made more visible to further reduce opportunities for misconduct - requring officers to keep daily activity logs, requiring regular check-ins during patrol, and so on. Rewarding honest officers and encouraging officers to report corruption within the dept also should be implemented.
4. Depts need to develop and/or expand their internal affairs division (IAD), with an increased focus on internal corruption investigations
5. Increase the responsibility and authority of non-IAD supervisors to take action against most types of corruption. Require all administrators and supervisors, even first-line supervisors, to deal with corruption among officers under their command and give them the authority to deal with problems. This would also include disciplining members of the chain of command who fail to deal with corruption by officers under their command
6. Finally, put more emphasis on corruption control at the selection and training phase of policing. This would include greater focus on each applicant?s integrity recruitment phase (background checks, integrity tests, polygraph tests) as well as providing more anti-corruption and ethics training at the academy.

External approaches are activities by other agencies. This becomes necessary when misconduct has so pervaded dept that some sort of independent and unbiased control is needed External approaches include:
1.Set up watchdog groups and special investigations. Use external and politically independent commissions to investigate corruption. BEcause they are not part of the department, hopefully they will be unbiased and not influenced by corruption in the dept. The problem with this, is that because the members of the commission are not police officers, they may not understand how policing really works.
2. The courts could act as a greater mechanism of police accountability. Officers who violate the law may be subject to criminal prosecution. OF course, his only deals with individual corrupt officers, not the problems in the dept that led to the corruption.
3. Use the mass media to expose corruption, mobilize public opinion, and provide chief with support for anti-corruption policy which may be unpopular with officers
4. Increase citizen involvement. Some depts have civilian review boards or oversight committees who monitor the dept and review allegations of police misconduct. They work separately from but parallel to IAD.
5. Decriminalize some vice offenses. This removes police involvement and reduces opportunities for corruption (which is usually a serious issue in vice bureaus)
6. Change the political environment. If corrupt politicians are forced out of office or encouraged to retire, and replaced with non-corrupt ones, a political climate that does not support corruption may develop and spread to the police as well as elected officials


Dave 26.01.2013. 12:10

Why did protestants want the monastries to cdlose down in the 1500s? Hi
I am doing a piece of homework and we have to write a speech protesting against the closure of an abbey. Why did the protestants want to close the monastries and what would their arguments be? I just need bulletpoints so I can add the arguments into the speech.
Thanks for your help everybody!


Admin 26.01.2013. 12:10

I presume you are asking about the dissolution of the monastries in England during Henry VIII's reign.
The monastries were not closed down by protestants but as a result of Thomas Cromwell's commission to inquire into the monastries. This commission was ordered by Henry VIII who himself was a catholic throughout his life, despite his excommunication and the subsequent break from Rome.
The break with Rome was part of the English reformation, which was essentially different from the reformation that was sweeping Europe at that time. On the continent there was a religous reformation led by people such as Martin Luther who protested (viz they were protestants) against the widespread corruption and extravagent living of the catholic church. In England the reformation was not so much religous as political. Henry VIII wanted his marriage to Catherine of Aragon anulled by the Pope which was refused. Despite this Henry married Anne Boleyn (in secret and before his marriage to Catherine was anulled). Henry then had his archbishop Thomas Cranmer declare his marriage to Catherine anulled against the Pope's wishes. The Pope excommunicated Henry who then declared himself supreme head of the church in England, and set up the commission to investigate the monastries.
Thomas Cromwell found that in many of the monastries there was rampant corruption.
This gave Henry his reason (/excuse) to close down the monastries. Hence we can see that there were probably three main reasons for the dissolutiuon.
1. To cleanse from England the rampant corruption that was endemic throughout the catholic church at that time.
2. To raise money to fund Henry's extravagent lifestyle. By closing down the monastries and confiscating their lands and property he could raise those funds.
3. To neutralize the resistance that existed within the monastries towards the Act of Supremacy which made Henry (rather than the Pope) supreme head of the English Church.
If you wished to argue against the English closures you would probably want to
- criticise Henry's extravagent lifestyle which was now being funded by what were church assets
- argue against Henry usurping the Pope's authority and declaring himself supreme head of the church.
- criticise Henry's matrimonal state of affairs (eg: effectively marrying Anne Boleyn bigamously and having his marriage annulled without Papal authority as this more than anything else led to the break with Rome and the subsequent Thomas Cromwell commission.
However, those that did argue against the King at that time were apt to lose their head (quite literally). Even disagreeing with the King but remaining silent (as did Sir Thomas More) was no protection against the King's wrath.


Souvik.Gamer 31.05.2011. 06:13

What are the major differences between Windows 7 and Windows XP ? If i compare windows 7 sp 3 fully updated, and win 7 sp 1 fully updated, what will be the significant differences one will get apart from the visuals.
Pls dont give me a comparison pages from microsoft, as ive already seen them.
im talking about answers that u have personally got by using.
Hmm..y didnt anyone say anything about the direct x 11 feature ?


Admin 31.05.2011. 06:13

you NEED 4GB of RAM or more plus a dual-core or better processor to run 7 effectively.

also, if your computer (or video card, if you have one) is an OLDER one, there MAY not be video drivers for Win7, and even with "generic" drivers, your visuals will be crappy...

beyond THAT though, Windows 7 is alot like Vista (which i'm sure you've heard), but many of the Vista issues have been fixed (nothing too specific, but things just seem to work better on 7 than Vista, plus less crashing in general).

comparing 7 with XP however, is like comparing XP with Vista: some commonly used apps are located in different places (or removed altogether) in Win7, so there MAY be a learning curve there. Windows 7 has "XP Mode". but what they don't tell you is that it DOESN'T let you run EVERY XP compatible program, and in fact, anything requiring the drivers to run ALL THE TIME will fail to work properly on it. if you have any Windows 98 or earlier programs, they may not work at all on 7, even when they could work just fine in XP (i've not come across more than a few things which wouldn't run in XP, even if it took some "tinkering").

my new Win7 box at work can do just about everything that my XP box did, although in some cases i've needed to get "replacement" programs, since it is 64-bit. oh, that's another thing: 64-bit Windows WILL NOT run 32-bit apps, unless they were written SPECIFICALLY with 64-bit Windowses in mind (there is an x86 Program Files folder for such programs). you can also install EITHER 32- or 64-bit Windows 7 using the same Product Key, so if you change your mind, you can always redo it.

other than THAT, you may not notice too much difference, unless you use some of the more advanced features of Windows. the Disk Defragmenter is WORSE than ever, as it now doesn't even give you a progress bar to be able to tell when you are done, nor does it pop up to TELL you it's done, you just have to look at the button, and when it is no longer greyed out, then it is done. doesn't really matter, since i use O&O Defrag anywayz, but it's important to note, sine it is an important task.

the Task Scheduler is abit more complex, and you may have to sift thru the rubbish to find out what your PC is doing and when.

Win7 DOES have a handy tool for those who are used to using the Print Screen button. you can highlight a part of the screen and save it as a picture file. simple, but useful, sine you don't need to do the extra step of running it thru Paint or such.

it also comes with a neat 3D Chess program, for challenging the mind, though i still miss Ink Ball from Vista. it was the ONE thing Vista had going for it!

all-in-all, i would wait until SP2 for Win7. i still use WinXP at home, and it does ALL i want and more than i need. the only programs it CAN'T run are a few newer games that i probably would play on PS3 anyways, and a couple of 64-bit only programs which i have 32-bit progz that do the same thing but faster anywayz! perhaps SP2 will fix some of the minor problems that remain in 7, and THEN i might upgrade (since i would need a better system than i have to run it well). XP didn't run well til after SP2, so maybe the same will hold true for Win7. people have ALREADY had issues installing the SP1 update on their systems (myself included, on two VERY different Win7 PCs), so i'm not quite ready to use a still-buggy OS!

and maybe SP2 will have Ink Ball! hey, i can dream, right?


Jake 29.09.2011. 17:28

How to start writing in third person? I'm writing a book, mostly in first person. I had the idea of writing part of it from the perspective of an enemy officer, but I can't work out how to do it. Should I change the other eleven thousand words to third person so the change is less jarring?
Personally, I don't mind POV switching, be it third-to-third, first-to-third or vice versa, but I've heard a lot of people find it annoying.


Admin 29.09.2011. 17:28

You're dealing with a slippery slope. It is much more difficult to write purely in first person because the narrator must be in every scene. This does have its limitations. Third person accomplishes two important things: multiple points of view allow the reader to "live" in a character's head and understand their motivation to do what they do. It also gives you flexibility. Don't EVER use multiple POVs in the same scene. That is the kiss of death. One thing about first person, if done well, it creates an intimate relationship between reader and character almost immediately. And remember, a writer's #1 objective (no matter what he or she writes), is to engage the reader and evoke emotions. If your writing doesn't do this, you have failed as a writer. One more footnote. Some experienced authors effectively us multiple first person by dividing the book into sections--each from a different characters' POV. But beware! This technique may be difficult to pull off for an inexperienced writer. Good luck.


ASDFGHJKL 19.08.2012. 05:29

Any ideas of what to do to release stress and anger because of dead father? My father died about 1 year ago and it has changed my life so much. My mom is depressed and has some serious issues. My father was my best friend and i hat my life without him. I don't know how to release my emotions and i cannot cry in front of people, it just makes me feel so weak. Anyone have any ideas of what to do to release some emotions and stress and anger and sadness? Any good songs or something?


Admin 19.08.2012. 05:29

It is always difficult to tell someone how to release their stress and anger caused not only by the loss of a parent but even by just everyday life. Everyone has their own methods, and what works for me may not work for you.

A solution that works for many people, though, is called "sublimation." In general, sublimation is taking a negative emotion (such as anger or stress) and channeling it into a socially acceptable and productive activity. For some, that activity is a sport (e.g. venting anger by practicing kickboxing or lifting weights, thereby improving your fitness). For others, it is an art (e.g. writing poetry or music about what troubles you, thereby creating beautiful art). For other still, it is service work or charity (finding solace by alleviating other people's suffering).

I know that's kind of broad. It's just food for thought--it might really help you if you can find some activity in which you can effectively turn your negative emotions into good things. The important part is to -do- something, get active, not just sit and stir on it and keep thinking negative thoughts.

In the meantime, if you're looking for something quick and easy, there's always the simple things to temporarily alleviate stress, like listening to your favorite music or beating up a pillow. A google search will provide you with huge lists of those types of things. In the long term, though, you'll want to find something to which you can commit yourself that you can do whenever you feel down, like working out or writing poetry or playing music. It's up to you to decide what that something is.


Yuri 01.12.2008. 08:05

What were some of the positive aspects of the European colonization of Australia? I'm writing an essay on the effects of colonization on indigenous people and for Australia, all I can find are the negative aspects.


Admin 01.12.2008. 08:05

Background Information:

The British settled this Great Southland in 1788, when captain Arthur Phillip landed upon the shores of Botany Bay. Admiral James Cook provided a report about the isolated continent in 1780, and encouraged the expedition. Anyway, penal colonies were established for convicts, where they would serve their sentence. Gradually widespread migration from Europe was endorsed by the government.

Advantages: The Europeans mainly benefited due to the colonization of Australia. However, Aborigines did gain something.

1. Australia was officially part of the English Empire - it contained numerous natural resources like gold, iron ore and coal, that could be extracted. Extensive farming practices and a wool trade progressed slowly. Britain capitalised on this economically, which helped stimulate growth and development. It soon became essential for Britain to claim their funds and assets from international bodies, especially during World War II. There was a heavy dependence on oil, tanks, jeeps, soldiers, food and navy support in the 1939-1945 conflict.

2. The country had a strategic position and a great geographical location. At the time, the English were at war with the Netherlands, who had control over Indonesia and several small fragment islands. The Dutch East India Company were centred here, and Britain could use Australia as a good area to block trading vessels from docking. Often the Dutch sailed by the East coast, an example is the Batavia in 1629. Keep in mind it is also bordered by water from all sides - very hard to attack effectively, as the land itself is so huge.

3. Technology was brought to this rather primitive place. Aboriginals didn't have the concept of the working wheel, nor did they understand how to build roads, buildings, sewerage systems, aqueducts or even work farms. Even the Romans had engineers and architechts who could design these projects 1,800 years before. European colonization brought all of the modern innovations to Australia. Everything became mechanized through the introduction of commercial business and industrial sectors. A more civilized and advanced nation was constructed upon the prinicples of political institutions.

4. It brought reality to the indigenous Australians. Their simple nomadic lifestyle of hunting and gathering was similar to that of civilizations in 5000 BC. They reaped many rewards from English domination of Australia, but we must not forget their mistreatment. It was not until 1967 that Harold Holt held the referendum to change the constitution. This altered phrases from section 51 and 127, which stated Aboriginies required special laws to govern them. Basically the revision of the document assured them full citizenship rights. In this day and age, the opportunities, freedom and privileges for Aboriginals are within their own capable hands. They have been the given the ability to create their own destiny and live in a prosperous, rich society which is the total opposite before colonization.

5. A totally unique culture emerged, surfacing from a profound sense of nationalism. Australia was declared a seperate entity from the Motherland in 1901, when they became a federation. Their attitudes, beliefs, customs and values had all changed over the lengthy 120 years period.

To conclude, I would like to say, that despite these good aspects, Aboriginals suffered significantly initially. Disease from smallpox was unknowingly unleashed upon the population (no it wasnt intentionally), and many indigenous Australians perished. There is a strong debate among historians as to whether there was a deliberate genocide policy, but this cannot be proven. An interesting point is that in 1837 the British parliamentary commitee accussed Aussies of purposelly killing natives. This cannot be confirmed and with lack of evidence, probably will never be. Aborigines lost a lot of their original culture as a result of much devastation. It has affected generations of children who deserved equality and peace, but were denied it under British imperialism.

Anyway, Good luck.


Aaron 16.12.2006. 11:03

How does one become a grant writer or a proposal writer? I've heard about it and there are always a million listings on CraigsList for grant writers and proposal writers, but what is one and how do you train for it? I have seen grants and proposals come through occasionally at my job and they seem like long applications asking for project funding - nothing too special, just a lot of detail. It seems like if you follow the instructions, you can fill out the paperwork. Based on the job listings for grant writers, it does not seem that the writer has to know the field they are writing a grant for. Clarification anyone? Is it like doing taxes where just "filling out the paperwork" isn't enough?


Admin 16.12.2006. 11:03

Grant writing is more than filing the blanks and requires a LOT MORE thoughht than filing in taxes. There's no special education or certification required to be a grant writer, but you need to have:

Excellent writing skills. You need not only know how to write, but you need to write extremely well. Your client's success in obtaining the grant hinges in large part on the quality of your written proposal. Whether you are writing for a request of $1,000 for a community activity or a $5 million research project, you must be able to clearly communicate how the funds will be effectively used to reach a worthwhile goal. Write, write and write constantly to practice and improve your writing skills.

Clear understanding of the project process. Your role as a grant writer is to convert your clients' ideas and concepts into a workable and concrete program. You will serve as the bridge between the grant applicant and the grant provider, where your role is to put into writing the clients' concepts and transform it into a project that the funding institution will support. Your document must assure the funding institutions that their funds will be put to the best possible uses. You must have also loads of imagination. Part of your work will be to visualize how a $75,000 project, for example, is going to play out over three-year project duration.

Strong research skills. More than just providing a well-written document, you need to possess strong research skills. Part of the work of the grant writer is the identification and selection of appropriate potential donors. You will research grant-making organizations and analyze them to identify likely funding sources for specific projects and programs. A philanthropic organization focusing on children's education is not likely to approve an application for a tree-planting project. Or an organization that funds medical research projects may not support a diversity project. You will increase the chances of getting the funds if you submit the proposal to the right institution.

Discipline and organization. A grant writer must be able to keep track of grant application deadlines and follow-up on submitted applications. It is also essential to keep track of trends in the field and be aware of changes in the priorities of funding institutions, as well as new funding sources.

Here are some resources on how to be a grantwriter

Teaching Yourself to be a Grantwriter http://www.grantproposal.com/starting_inner.html
Minnesota Council on Foundations Writing a Successful Grant Proposal http://www.mcf.org/mcf/grant/writing.htm
American Association of Grant Professionals http://www.grantprofessionals.org
Non profit Guides http://www.npguides.org/
GrantExperts.com http://www.grantexperts.com
Association of Fund Raising Professionals http://www.afpnet.org/
Foundation Center http://foundationcenter.org/getstarted/learnabout/proposalwriting.html

You may also want to check out the following books

Demystifying Grant Seeking: What You REALLY Need to Do to Get Grants
I'll Grant You That: A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Funds, Designing Winning Projects, and Writing Powerful Grant Proposals
Winning Grants: Step by Step, 2nd Edition
Grant Winner's Toolkit : Project Management and Evaluation
Grant Writing For DummiesŪ


PezBoy 28.04.2007. 19:51

What is the best way to teach students how to create a THESIS statement? 1. I must teach 10th graders how to create an effective thesis statement.

2. What is the best way to teach effectively how 10th graders should compose a THESIS statement for their expository research paper?



Admin 28.04.2007. 19:51

If I may so suggest:
1) Start
2) body
3) conclusion

For this age group who is not use to writing elaborate papers, the argument piece should be structured similar to the above three part system.

1) begin by stating the argument...ie, what you want to prove or disprove and why.

2) Elaborate why this particular premise is important for discussion and to whom it should apply. Offer 2 or 3 opponents of this idea, and what you will offer to prove you are correct and the opponents are not. Explain, demonstrate, using any necessary visual aides, to prove your hypotheses/ theory is correct.

3) summarize the entire paper and conclude that your views must be correct and offer the basic reasoning for this conclusion.

VIOLA!...the Standard Written Argument...or "Thesis" if you would rather. I would further suggest you give the students a couple of practice runs before you ask for the "real deal." This will build their confidence..and yours. And decide the length (# of pages) of each paper if time restraints are a consideration. Just a thought.


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