Proposal writing tip: etc = “oops, ran out of things to say”

Think your proposal is ready to go? Do a quick spell-check and see if you can find any instances of the abbreviation “etc”. This is one sign that the proposal isn't yet ready for the customer to read.

At best, finishing a sentence with “etc” looks like you have run out of things to say; at worst, like you have run out of interest in what you were writing about. It doesn't matter whether you were stumped, distracted or just ran out of time.  You don't want one little three-letter word to tarnish an otherwise great proposal.

Luckily, this is easy to fix even if you don't have a lot of time left before the deadline.

Look again at any phrase ending in “etc” and see if you have supported the main claim with at least three pieces of evidence ("...for example, X, Y and Z").  If you really had run out of things to say, consider deleting it.  The customer won't notice it's missing - but they will notice your use of “etc”!