[plee-uh-naz-uhm] noun. The use of more words than are necessary to convey meaning (e.g., see with one’s eyes ), either as a fault of style or for emphasis.

I have a sudden impulse to tell you something: there’s no room for redundancies in grant applications. In addition, you should not be wasting your precious word count on ‘fluffy’ words.

One common pitfall in trying to write something that sounds formal is to use more words than necessary. For example, phrases like ‘may have the ability to’ and ‘for the purpose of’ can be replaced by something shorter and sweeter: ‘May.’ and  ‘For.’

Words like ‘furthermore,’ ‘however,’ ‘in conclusion,’ and ‘therefore’ are helpful to the reader when you’re changing directions in your narrative. But be careful to use them sparingly, as they can quickly get excessive.

Why does it matter?

Funders don’t want to read a paragraph when a sentence would do. Hence word count limits and character limits on so many grant applications. Funders simply don’t have the time to read through the fluff, and so they appreciate it when you get to the point.

Remember, the most compelling grant proposals are clear and concise.

Read more Grant Writing Tips.