Grant facilitators are engaged in document development at many different levels, from actual drafting of application sections to reviewing and suggesting improvements to work generated by others. Regardless of where you fit in this spectrum, you will most likely make use of editing skills on every grant you’re involved with.
Clarity and consistency are your primary goals when editing grant applications. Use the tools and templates included in this section to help you achieve these goals.
The Editing Checklist is a handy guide for examining a piece of writing on several levels. This document actually combines evaluative statements from three different editorial roles: developmental editing, copy editing, and proofreading. Use the checklist to help you identify problems and search out appropriate language to articulate solutions.
Editing Checklist Template (.pdf)
Most editing you will do at work probably takes place online using the tracked changes option in a word processor. If a document is very large or involves many authors, however, tracked changes can be messy and confusing. The Query Sheet is a record of questions and suggested changes for the author. You may want to present this as an alternative to tracked changes if the researcher you’re working with prefers to make his or her own changes to the document. The first line in the Query sheet template included here is filled in for illustrative purposes.
Editing print (rather than electronic) documents is less common in the workplace, but there is reason to consider this approach. Research has shown that eyes fatigue faster staring at a screen, and reading rates decrease, which impacts your editorial accuracy. You may consider printing off sections of a grant proposal and taking the old school approach. When editing print documents, use standard proofreaders’ marks to indicate changes.
Standard Proofreaders’ Marks (.jpg)
When working with longer documents, one of the biggest challenges is to maintain consistency. Editors use a tool called a style sheet to help with this. A style sheet is a record of all the editorial decisions (e.g., spelling punctuation, formatting, capitalization, etc) you make about a document. If you need guidance for some of your editorial decisions, consult a style guide (essentially a rule book on grammar, style, punctuation, and usage) such as the Chicago Manual of Style or Scientific Style and Format (the Council of Science Editors Manual).
UBC now has its own style guide to ensure consistency in written documents across campus. The online guide highlights common errors as well as preferences or UBC-specific style conventions. This resource is publicly available at www.publicaffairs.ubc.ca/styleguide.
Sample Style Sheet (.doc)