Weasel Words Are Not A Grant Writer’s Friend

KSBNE

 

Author: Kate Sunners

 

Weasels. They can be adorable (or terrifying, depending on your stance on rodents). But one weasel that’s never good is the weasel word.weasel

Weasel words are broad, sweeping statements without any real meaning or specificity. Commonly used by politicians. Really commonly used by one particular political ‘leader’ whose hue is not unlike that of the sun he directly stared into during an eclipse.

After you’ve written a grant application, make sure you do a sweep for weasel words: words like ‘helps, supports, improves, gains’ that are not followed by any specificity.

An example (weasels underlined): ‘Our organisation supports many refugee children to increase their confidence in school.”

How many refugee children? Many doesn’t give us any specificity. What supports? And, if you’re saying your project outcomes are something like ‘increased confidence’ you need to show what an increase in confidence looks like.

A less weasely example: ‘Our organisation supports 300 refugee children per year to increase their confidence at school, measured by engagement with literacy and numeracy activities, classroom discussions and social play.’

Now our weasels are no longer weasely as they are followed by specificity!

Weasels be gone!