Professional Writing for Performance Assignment #1: Biographical Statement

Write a biographical statement that introduces you and your work to an audience reviewing the applications for grants for young, emerging artists.  If it feels right, base this statement on your current reality.  If you don’t feel like you have enough material to write a biographical statement as an emerging artist at this time, talk to me, and we’ll devise a heightened version of reality for you to work with. (3 pages double spaced, plus two 1-page cover letters, one for draft and one for revision; total pages: 5).


A committee reviewing grant applications from emerging artists.  This committee dearly wants to help out young artists who show promise, but they are also hampered by diminishing funds, and need to make sure the money they have goes to the people who can make the most use of it.

Versions submitted

Two, first draft and final, with in-class peer and professor review after first draft

Learning Goals

  • Understanding format and tone for professional writing
  • Developing plans that are aspirational without being unrealistic
  • Gaining clarity through accurate punctuation and well-designed paragraph structure
  • Understanding explicit versus implicit argument

Pre-draft assignments

  • In-class exercise on Gordon Harvey’s terminology and how we might translate them to the grant-writing context
  • In-class exercise to put students in the shoes of their audience, asking them to make a choice of how to disburse limited funds
  • In-class partner interview exercise to clarify artistic biography and ambitions
  • In-class close reading of sample biographical statements
  • In-class technique exercise on proper punctuation
  • In-class technique exercise on paragraph structure
  • Blog assignment on “Portrait of the Artist”
Posted in Present research within conventions of a particular genre

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