Avoiding Common Capitalization Errors

on December 3, 2016 by Proofreading Pal in Proofreading and Editing
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I describe some areas of confusion about capitalization I have often observed in my work here at ProofreadingPal.

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Commonly Confused Words

on November 29, 2016 by Proofreading Pal in Proofreading and Editing
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There are word pairs, even trios, whose meanings are similar, but distinct. The shades of difference are subtler, and so sometimes even educated speakers find themselves unsure of which is correct.

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How to Edit PDFs

on November 9, 2016 by admin in Editing Tools
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PDFs can be scary for an editor. After all, you can’t just turn on Track Changes as in Word and go to town. The entire point of a PDF is that it always looks the same. So how do you make changes or suggestions?

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Lie vs. Lay vs. Lied vs. Laid vs. Lain

on October 27, 2016 by Proofreading Pal in Editing Tools
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One of the hardest irregular verbs in English to use properly is “to lie,” and another is “to lay.” The verbs have a multitude of overlapping meanings, and then they’re conjugated differently while being spelled the same. However, you can become an expert if we take it one step at a time. And we’ll start with the hardest one.

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5 Tips for Personal Statements

on October 21, 2016 by Proofreading Pal in Admissions Essays
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Your personal statement will help your application if it shows that you’re a well-qualified individual and nicely suited for the program you’re applying to. Your personal statement will hurt your application if it’s poorly written or demonstrates a lack of academic focus. But never fear, Proofreading Pulse is here with tips for crafting a personal statement that will help you no matter where you’re applying.

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Rules of Canadian English

on October 3, 2016 by Proofreading Pal in Proofreading and Editing
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Canadian English is unique. Neither American nor wholly British, it’s a robust hybrid of British Commonwealth English and cross-border influences. Before we can assess the Canadian dialect, though, we need to understand how global languages become localized, and for that we need to examine the origins of American English.

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Capitalization in APA, Chicago, MLA, and AP

on September 29, 2016 by Proofreading Pal in Proofreading and Editing
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I have been noticing recently that willy-nilly use of upper- and lowercase letters is pretty common, although it is far from correct. So I thought it time to review some basic capitalization rules. Here are the types of words that should be capitalized:

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Does Fanfiction Improve Writing? Part 1

on September 19, 2016 by Proofreading Pal in Writing Fiction
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Despite its occasional bad rap, writing fanfic is a great way to improve your writing. I’ll go so far as to say that anyone looking to write original fiction can learn quite a few things from giving fanfiction a spin.

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2 More Great Tips for Self-Editing

on September 6, 2016 by Proofreading Pal in Editing Tools
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Another way to get your brain to take a fresh look at what you’ve written is to print it out and read it on actual paper. These days, most of us do our writing on the computer; we type and the words appear on the screen. By printing out your document and reading it with a pen in hand, you may notice problems, errors, and quirks that you didn’t see on the screen.

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Proper Use of Comment Boxes

on August 29, 2016 by Proofreading Pal in Proofreading and Editing
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So much can be done with good comment boxes here’s an old-fashioned list of dos and don’ts.

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Strunk & White Still Good Advice

on August 12, 2016 by Proofreading Pal in Writing Guides
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When it comes to writing well, you’d be hard-pressed to find better advice than that contained in William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White’s The Elements of Style. First published in 1935, this slim volume provides wise guidance still relevant in today’s world of instant communication.

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Proper Geographical Abbreviations

on August 5, 2016 by Proofreading Pal in Writing Guides
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These rules do not arise organically but are handed down by self-appointed arbiters usually speaking for an affiliation of publishers. The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS), for instance, serves as the argument-ender for hundreds of magazines and newspapers.

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5 Obsolete Grammar Rules

on August 5, 2016 by Proofreading Pal in Writing Guides
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Grammar is as subject to fashion as everything else. So to keep you up to date, here are five grammar rules that rule no more.

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Hyphens in Numbers, Prefixes, and Modifiers

on July 20, 2016 by Proofreading Pal in Writing Guides
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In today’s post, I look at some specific grammatical constructions and how hyphens are used in them.

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How Reliable Is Spell Check?

on July 8, 2016 by Proofreading Pal in Editing Tools
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The first time I saw Office Suite’s spell check function, I just about cried with joy. (Shut up. I’m a nerd.) Gone forever would be the days of having words like “metaphore” and “ocurrance” litter my papers and irritate my professors, dragging down my grades and self-esteme . . . uh, esteem.

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Guide to Using Hyphens in Compound Words

on July 7, 2016 by Proofreading Pal in Editing Tools
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Recently I’ve gotten a little obsessed with compounds words and the hyphen, that little punctuation mark that can cause so much confusion. My interest in this started when I was looking into the spelling of the word “healthcare.” Oops! I mean “health care”… or “health-care”?

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2 Great Tips for Self-Editing

on July 7, 2016 by Proofreading Pal in Editing Tools
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Whether you’re a writer, professional editor, or client for a professional editor, you can always benefit from a little self-editing. However, we’re all too close to our own work; we know what we meant to say, and this can get scrambled up with what is actually on the page.

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How Many Spaces After a Period?

on July 1, 2016 by Proofreading Pal in Writing Guides
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Typing two blank spaces at the end of every sentence is one such habit. Lots of people still do it because it used to be a rule, and that’s how they were taught. And they, in turn, pass the “rule” along to the next generation of writers. But for most kinds of writing, the two-space habit is, in fact, no longer the rule.

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How to Write a Business Plan

on May 28, 2016 by Proofreading Pal in Professional Writing
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Okay, so there is some paperwork involved, you do have to keep good records of what you’ve spent and what you’ve made, and you should really look into setting up a dedicated office (even if it’s just a corner of the spare bedroom), but I promise, no suits are required. Structuring your writing as a business is the smart thing to do, and you can do it in your pajamas.

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4 Fixes for Comment Boxes in MS Word

on May 28, 2016 by Proofreading Pal in Editing Tools
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Whether you’re an editor orworking with an editor, you’re going to deal with comment boxes, which can bring up a whole new realm of issues, which can lead to a whole new range of curse words. But here’s a quick guide to fixing the four most common problems:

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