t’s happened to me more than once. I’ve finished a manuscript to submit for publication and then I realize that I still need to write the abstract before I can submit it. I hate writing abstracts. They’re famously difficult to write, but they’re required for submitting articles, conference proposals, grant proposals, theses and dissertations, and some professors even ask for them for term papers.
An abstract should be a short, self-contained statement that describes the study or article. It’s not a review of the article or paper, and it is not meant to evaluate or assess the study. Really, it is just suppose to describe the work, including the various components of the study. It is difficult to summarize an entire study or an entire proposal using only the limited number of words permitted for an abstract. What information do you include and what do you leave out? I’ve struggled with this a number of times, but I have now learned a few strategies to make the task of writing an abstract a lot less daunting.
Here are some tips… Read More
Fellowships, grants, and scholarships are the essential lifeblood of academia. In addition to helping achieve your immediate goal of securing funding for your thesis or dissertation, they enhance your – and your project’s – scholarly credibility in the eyes of the wider academic community.
However, major awards offered by prestigious institutions like Fulbright, the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), and the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) are extremely competitive. These groups receive thousands of applications each year and only a handful of those ever make it past the preliminary selection round, let alone result in an award offer. Even smaller organizations such as the Central European History Society or the Smith Richardson Foundation, for example, attract dozens of applicants for a relatively limited number of grants or fellowships.
Unfortunately, there is no “winning formula” for grant writing or fellowship applications; the entire process is more of an art than a science. Still, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure that you’re putting the strongest proposal possible forward and increase the likelihood that your project will be selected for an award. Read More