Identifying editing strategies for grant proposals: Results of coding editors’ approaches to comments, comment types, and edit types
Robblee, Sarah K.
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This study investigated the approaches editors take to making comments on grant proposals, the types of comments they make on grant proposals, and the types of edits they make in grant proposals. I first collected academic grant proposals, then asked professional editors to edit those grant proposals, then asked experienced reviewers to review and rate both the edited and unedited grant proposals. In addition to the editors’ approaches to comments, comment types, and edit types, I analyzed the reviewers’ feedback on the grant proposals and compare that feedback to the editors’ feedback. The goal of this research is to help grant proposal authors know what issues to focus on in their own writing based on editor and reviewer feedback on grant proposals. The results of this study tell us that both editors and reviewers are most concerned with issues of Content; specifically, improving clarity and development; in grant proposals when giving feedback. Grammar and Mechanics were also important issues to editors in the comments they left, but they made more edits in Punctuation and Design than Grammar and Mechanics or Style. Like editors, reviewers’ feedback mainly dealt with issues of clarity and development; most of their feedback was about whether or not something was clear, understandable, or had enough information. Finally, this study found that editors’ approaches to comments were most often in the form of suggestions but also often in the form of directives. Editors asked questions, gave explications, or explained their editing actions to authors less frequently.