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This Element is an excerpt from The Truth About the New Rules of Business Writing (9780137153152) by Natalie Canavor and Claire Meirowitz. Available in print and digital formats.


How to write successful proposals and grant applications.


Two technology companies regularly apply for government defense contracts by responding to requests for proposals (RFPs). One reaps modest success. While the executives usually voice a “win some, lose some” attitude, they are always surprised when a bid fails because “our engineers are the best in the business.” The second lands a steady stream of contracts; some of which are a distinct reach. What’s the difference?

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