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Grant Writing

ENGW 4345


Welcome to Grant Writing.


In 2006, a then senior member of the ENGW faculty noticed that several of my students had won grants with the proposals that we wrote in my tech writing class. The faculty asked me to develop a special topics course and it launched in the spring of 2007. The course was very successful, with students winning grants for organizations like The Wright House, Safe Place, and KLRU. After a few years of another faculty member teaching the course, I returned to it in the spring of 2016. I am happy to have each of you in the course.



Beth Eakman Re


Office: Andre Hall 302

Hours: TR 1-3 and by appointment


Course information

ENGW 4345.01

TR 11

MH 306



Winning Grants Step by Step, 4th Ed. (Tori O'Neal-McElrath)

*companion website,

--you can access electronic versions of all of the worksheets found in the workbook, live links to the references found in Resources for Grantseekers, and sample proposals. Your password on the first page of the workbook.


Course overview

Over the course of this semester, you will find a local non-profit to which to donate your work as a grant writer, write the grant proposal, and submit it. Whether your organization chooses to use it or not will not affect your grade.

Four major assignments:

1. Proposal/plan of work (200)

2. Progress report (200)

3. Oral presentation (pitch) (200)

4. Final written document (200)


Two tests:

Syllabus test (100)

Vocabulary and Rhetorical Strategies (100)



Instead of percentages, your grade will come directly from points--easy to calculate 1000 points. Each of the major assignments is worth 200 points and each of the two tests is worth 50 points. Your final 100 points will come from attendance and participation. You can use this as a grade calculator:


  • Plan of Work                         200

  • Progress Report                   200

  • Oral Presentation                200

  • Final Submission                 200

  • Test 1                                     100

  • Test 2                                     100

Total__________________________1000 points


Evaluative criteria

Because this is a practical course--one in which we apply training and rhetorical skills--half of your grade for each component will  come from the assignment being submitted one time and complete. On time and complete are make-or-break demands in the real world of grant writing (and most other kinds of professional writing). You might not win a grant because it isn't perfect, but you for sure won't win it if you don't submit it on time and complete.  

Think of your grade as happening in 25 point increments of the possible 100 points. You get 50 points (25 x 2) just for turning your assignment in on time and complete. Please note that on time and complete are calculated together (see the asterisks). That means that if the submission is either late or incomplete it will lose 50 points. Here's how that works. 

  • 25 points for submitting the assignment on time*

  • 25 points for submitting the assignment complete*

  • 25 points (+/-) for the assignment meeting specifications

  • 25 points (+/-) for excellence




This means that the assignment is submitted on Canvas before the assignment window shuts down with no exceptions. If your computer spontaneously combusts five minutes before the deadline and you can't run across campus to the nearest computer lab to upload it, then it's zero points. 


Quantitative: This means that the submission contains all of the required components. For example, if an article calls for 500 words. It should be as close to that number as possible. It should have a clear beginning, middle, and end and no missing information. Again, easy 25 points. 

Meets Specifications

Qualitative: Each assignment has detailed specifications described in the assignment prompt. Specifications describe these qualitative features. 25 points +/-.


So, if just submitting your assignment on time and up to specifications gets you up to 75 points, what moves that number up from 75? Excellence can come in many forms and I am looking for it--usually with a highlighter in hand: perfect word choice, tight editing, thorough development, logical organization, innovative style, timeliness, thorough research, narrative technique, etc. 25 points +/-. 

*A note on "complete and on time": These two must happen together or neither counts. This prevents students from turning in one paragraph on the due date or a complete assignment weeks late and expecting to lose only 25 points. 


Class lectures will be organized around the individual components of grant proposals--their structures, tones, and rhetorical purposes. Because everyone's project/experience will be slightly different in this course, a lot of what we do in class is create a supportive learning community, troubleshoot, and deal with challenges that crop up when we writers work with real-world non-profits. So, everyone needs to be in class. It is almost impossible to make a good grade in this class with more than two absences. Perfect attendance, however, adds 3 points to your final grade.



Ditto participation. Show up on time and prepared and make a contribution. This can be one of the most rewarding classes you ever have. Be a team player.



Academic integrity

St. Edward’s University, the English department, and I expect you to practice academic honesty in all of your work.  Please consult the SEU student handbook if you have any questions about what constitutes academic dishonesty. As an upper-level student of English, you are expected to know and practice the appropriate use of sources and documentation.


SEU takes academic dishonesty very seriously. Penalties include a zero for the assignment, a failing grade for the class, and expulsion from the university. (Note: if you can figure out how to cheat in this course, I will be astounded. You'll still be in big trouble, but I will be astounded.)


Support services

If you have a medical, psychiatric, or learning disability, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that your professors make appropriate accommodations. Please bring your documentation to me as early in the semester as possible. Student Disability Services is in Moody Hall 155, in the Academic Planning and Support offices.


Your student fees entitle you to a wide range of support services. I encourage you to take advantage of these resources.

Writing: The Writing Center in Sorin Hall

Research: Librarians in the Scarborough-Phillips library

Computers/IT: Academic Computing in Moody Hall or the Sorin Hall computer lab

Tutoring: Academic Planning and Support in Moody Hall

Personal issues: Psychological Services in Moody Hall or Campus Ministry in Mang House



Check your email and this website daily. The only reason I use Blackboard is to send you group emails (usually to alert you to updates on my website). You are responsible for information that I send by email. Let me know immediately if your email address changes during the semester.


Just as I encourage you to take advantage of the other resources that SEU provides, I encourage you to take advantage of the resource that I offer as your professor. If I can help, do not hesitate to contact me. Please feel free to come by my office or send me an email. I get paid to help you learn. Use this resource.







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