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Writing a Research Proposal @ Pitt: Writing & Citing

This guide is designed to assist students or those with limited experience in writing a research proposal for scientific research.

When it's Time to Write . . .

  • Write clearly. Don't make your readers guess what you mean.
  • Write concisely. Don't waste limited space on repetition or unnecessary text.
  • Write from the reader's point of view. Make reasons, assumptions, and connections explict. 
  • Assume non-experts in your field will also read your proposal. Knowledgeable "lay" readers should understand the introductory and general sections. Avoid jargon.
  • Have a professional colleague read your draft for content.
  • Have a non-expert read and critique your draft for readability and comprehensibility.
  • If English is not your native language, have a native speaker review your draft for grammar and expression.
  • Check factual data -- numbers, dates, names, etc. -- when you enter them in the document. It may be easier than catching mistakes later.
  • Proofread very carefully!

Citing Sources Using a Citation Manager

Keep track of all of your reference lists and bibliographies. Pitt's library resources work with citation management tools and allow you to import citations from sources like PITTCat+ and article databases.