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Tips for Writing Project Titles and Abstracts

To streamline the process of reviewing applications and making grant announcements, the Federal Highway Administration utilizes electronic and automated systems that allow us to share grant information and release grant announcement information to members of Congress.  As such, data from your grant application gets pulled into these systems, and your project title and abstract frequently serve as the initial impression of your project and can result in talking points and the basis of Congressional press releases.  It is important that your project title and abstract succinctly describes how National Scenic Byways Program (NSBP) funds will be used to complete your project.  The following are some tips and examples to follow.

Project Title

Your title should uniquely capture the identity of your project as well as clearly define the scope.

Less Successful Title:

"Corridor Management Plan"

Issues

More Successful Title:

"XYZ Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan Update"

Less Successful Title:

"Adventure and Excitement!"

Issues:

More Successful Title:

"Develop Marketing Plan to Promote Adventure Opportunities on the JKL Byway"

Project Abstract

Your abstract should clearly express how NSBP funds will be used to complete your funding request.  Your abstract should say everything of central importance in a way that gives a grant reviewer a clear overview of what is contained in the application.  A well-written abstract can help you write a well-written application.  If you can lay out your argument for funding clearly in a few sentences - and in such a way that someone who doesn't know the subject will still be able to understand your request - you will have a good idea as to how to lay out your application in detail.  With very little revision, your project abstract can often make a good first paragraph or a summary paragraph in your introduction.  

Less Successful Project Abstract:  

This project will provide access to two county parks. The primary intrinsic resource of the byway is its recreational assets located on the scenic coastline. While many coastal areas restrict access to beaches, travelers are encouraged to discover and explore the rich habitats and recreational opportunities here, featuring several ocean and estuary parks along the byway. Hiking, biking, fishing, photography, and wildlife viewing opportunities compliment the intrinsic recreational values for which the byway was designated. Greenway System enhancements will give byway travelers access to the estuary side of the Preserve that is practically unused and just across the road from the popular Boardwalk. Visitors enjoy the community quality of life on free public beaches.

Issues:

More Successful Project Abstract:

This project will improve access to recreation at two PQR County parks along the MNO byway.  Improvements include: 1) expanded parking areas, 2) facilities for picnics and resting, 3) newly developed trails for access to the estuary side of the park for canoe and kayak launches, 4) signs, 5) accessible restrooms, and 6) dune walkovers to access beaches.   These enhancements will provide visitor amenities and access from the byway to the recreational opportunities such as biking, fishing, and photography on the estuary side of the Preserve across the road from the popular Boardwalk.

Updated: 09/03/2013
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