Writing a Persuasive Proposal in Quantitative Disciplines
Open to graduate students (and a small number of postdocs) in quantitative fields of science, social science, or engineering who are submitting proposals to their departments or to outside funding agencies.
Because research is expensive, most researchers find themselves regularly submitting proposals to obtain support, whether from external funding agencies, angel investors, or even collaborators within departments and fields. Yet most writers in quantitative disciplines are much more familiar with research articles than with proposals. In this course, students develop their expertise in research writing by drafting a proposal suitable for submission to departmental committees as well as to external funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Students learn the elements of writing a persuasive proposal in quantitative fields: 1) How to recognize and use the persuasive aspects of common proposal structures; 2) how to craft clear, concise, and compelling arguments to motivate original research; and 3) how to use analysis, feedback, and revision to develop and maintain a strong collaborative writing process.
WRI 502 is a half-term course and meets twice a week for six weeks. Each class includes opportunities to develop, write, evaluate, and respond to particular elements necessary for successful proposals. Throughout the course, students give and receive feedback on their proposal drafts from each other; they also participate in two individual conferences with the instructor.