Tip #7: Pick the best and most relevant citations. A good rule of thumb is to pick the most relevant 3-5 citations for every main point. Relevancy is defined as being some combination of coming from a primary text, being published in an well respected journal and/or being presented by a well respected researcher. You don’t need to find 100 citations saying the same thing. Pick the best ones to focus on in your proposal. This is especially critical if you must write a pre-proposal, as these are normally shorter (20-25 pages) and lay out the foundation for the full proposal. Be sure to focus on the most relevant research to adequately persuade the reader.