Thursday, March 5, 2015

Nouns Are Us: End Your Sentences with a Strong Word

Normally, I do not talk much about writing style when I speak about grant writing techniques. Nevertheless, there are some simple tricks I have used over the years to make my words easier to follow in the mind of the reader. One of the simplest of these techniques is my habit of ending sentences with a noun.  

Visit to OC's The Great Park
Visit to OC's The Great Park

As I read through various grant applications by new or inexperienced grant writers, I often find them ending the sentence with a verb or a gerund. For example, they will write: 

Clients go into the park to explore. 


Clients enjoy the park by exploring.

Instead, my typical approach is to write something more grounded such as

Clients will go and explore in the park.


Clients enjoy exploring in the park.

My sense is that ending the sentence with a verb is sort of like not allowing the reader to breath at the end of your sentence. The other endings seem to imply more action or activity is coming and thus leave the sentence reading less precisely or as if it is incomplete in its thought.

Since charities are often unstable, even unreliable entities, I try to use language to reflect the idea that they are a safe and traditional place to invest social monies. I do this by almost always ending a sentence with a noun.

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