When writing that grant application, science proposal, report, or research paper, make sure you take a break from time to time to take that ‘helicopter view’ of things; what does the document look like from a distance?
• Is your story strong, to the point and convincing?
• Are the different sections presented in the right order?
• Is each section the right length for what it is meant to convey?
• Are the different sections in balance with each other?
• Are there unnecessary repetitions?
• Is something important missing?
• Is the language throughout the document consistent?
If the story isn’t complete, or the balance isn’t right, your document can never become first rate – and only that ‘helicopter view’ can reveal these flaws.