Streamlining Your Writing Continued

by Kevin C. Peters, Research Specialist,

Once you've written your draft and cleaned up your writing at the sentence level, you can begin looking at the organization on a paragraph level and, if you are writing a longer proposal, on a section level.

Organize Efficiently

Keep in mind that every paragraph or section should focus on one main idea. Also, to keep your writing as efficient as possible, you want to avoid unnecessary repetitions of ideas.

A good way to examine your organization is to go through your writing paragraph by paragraph. Ask yourself what idea each paragraph is examining. Make a comment in the margin next to each paragraph, or write the topics on a separate sheet of paper to form a rough outline. Then make sure that everything in each paragraph refers to that paragraph’s specific topic. If you shift topics, create separate, smaller paragraphs.

When you have finished this exercise, look at the topics you have written in the margins or on your outline.

If any of them repeat or are very similar, consider combining those paragraphs.

Also look at the...

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