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Discourses and Tales of Grant-Seeking Activity

Academic Writing and Professional Expertise


Haying Feng

Grant seeking – the first step in knowledge production – has been an indispensable part of academic life, yet a challenging task for neophyte as well as veteran scholars. We are always curious about how grant winners compose their abstracts, cite previous work, present their proposed study, and negotiate with gate-keepers behind the scene. Building upon ethnographic data and a large corpus of authentic research grant proposals and grant reviews, this book intends to demystify the grant seeking activity. It is an invaluable resource for grant agencies, grant reviewers and grant writers, particularly novice grant writers and/or non-native English writers.
Discourses and Tales of Grant-Seeking Activity is however more than a resource book. It is one of the few studies that draw upon two genre theories, encompass both quantitative and qualitative research approaches, and unite an exploration of macro-level recurrences in discursive activity and micro-level examinations of individual writers’ agency, positioning, negotiation and identity construction. It enhances our understanding of the development of professional expertise in academia and thus will be of interest to researchers in the fields of academic writing, genre analysis and Language for Specific Purposes (LSP).


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Appendix 1: Interview Guide - 235


235 Appendices Appendix 1: Interview Guide Background Information on Informant’s Proposal 1. Can you briefly introduce this particular grant proposal? For exam- ple, what made you choose the topic? How do you perceive your proposed topic? Is it in the mainstream or at the edge of the special- ity? What publications have you come up with on this topic? How do your coworkers respond to your study? Grant Writing Process 1. When do you usually begin to think about the writing and decide on the topic? Could you briefly tell me some of the major events that took place in this particular grant application process? 2. How do you usually find your co-investigator(s) and what role do you usually play in this process? 3. When you revise, what do you usually focus on? Readability and accuracy? Content? Research methodology? Self-presentation and persona modification? 4. Do you think your proposed project has some controversial aspects that may arouse criticism? If you anticipate possible criticism or re- sistance to your proposal, how do you tactically deal with it in pres- entation? 5. If a proposal of yours is not funded, what would you do with the proposed project? 236 Text and Rhetoric (some are discursively based and raised in the interviews) 1. Do you think the rhetoric of a proposal important or not? 2. Do you think your citations are tactical? Could you please give some examples of your citational strategies? 3. How do you perceive the use of jargons in...

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