Classmates and Professor Leon: Here is the first draft of my grant proposal. I will take out the prompts for the final draft.
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In particular, I would like you to focus on ways to cut down parts of the grant. Additionally, suggestions about how to improve the work plan, and whether or not you think how I chose to structure the environmental scan given the nature of my project would be welcome!
First off, I’ve a printed out a copy and made notes on it, which I will give you in class. I know, very low-tech.
You spend some time in your application reiterating points you’ve already made. If you touched on them briefly, it might work, but you tend to use up at least half a paragraph when you reiterate, and if you could tighten them up it might save space.
I’m not sure what exactly “start-up activities” means, but the first paragraph almost seems like something which could be in your work plan.
I think the environmental scan touches on a number of good items and your compare/contrast with the various sites sets up good justification for the need for your project.
Second paragraph of your start-up section, second sentence is – I think – really important. Primary sources is a vague sort of term, and it’s good when you lay out what sort of primary sources you mean. It would also be good if you said where they’re going to come from (your collection? DLC?)
Thanks for the helpful commentary! In answer to your question “start-up activities” refers to the period before funding for the grant kicks in, whereas a work plan refers to the period actually funded by the grant. The actual primary sources are outlined in the project scope section where I write that “the primary source research will include, but is not limited to, the use of maps, letters, diaries, political cartoons and demographic records.” On the whole however, you are undoubtedly correct, I use the term “primary sources” far too much—that is something I will correct for the final draft. Thanks again!!!
Also, a quick follow up question: what were your overall thoughts about the proposal?
I think it sounds really cool. It took me a few minutes to realize that there’s a modern website about slavery footprint, but once I made the connection that really clicked. And I agree that it’s important to point out the broader impact of slavery.
I also like the idea of the desk layout, because it’s something familiar to most people, so it helps bridge the gap between historical reality and present day. Limiting the who is helpful, and I think the cabinet makes sense. It wouldn’t be as easy to separate husbands and wives, since there are shared resources in play there.
(sorry for the multi comments, I apparent think in discrete boxes)
Scott, I really like that you’ve framed the creation of your project in terms of a real scholarly problem. That works really well. I’d also like to see some more of a sense of the larger scholarly field that will inform the content. Also, we need a clearer sense of the actual piece of the project toward the beginning of the narrative so that the technology always works with the humanities content. On the issue of specific technologies, Open Exhibit should be on your radar.
Second, you make a claim that the presentation of primary sources will make the reality of slavery more clear for visitors, but you’re not specific about how that happens. Give us an example or two. The presentation of sources doesn’t guarantee engagement, so you need to present your strategy and the ways that the technology works with the content.
Finally, there is some significant repetition of text that needs to be dealt with. Clean and tighten the prose so that you make the most of your space. You can gain back some room by tightening the environmental scan.
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