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Commonly Confused Words Part 1: Comparison and Contrast

on March 18, 2017 by Proofreading Pal in Writing Guides
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Expressions of comparison and contrast are a vital part of language. It’s useful to be able to set things side by side and describe how they stack up in terms of size, number, or degree.

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2 Tips for Professional-Looking Fiction

on March 1, 2017 by Proofreading Pal in Writing Fiction
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The following come from my own mentors, most of them editors for publishing houses. I’ve found their advice to be solid gold, and these warnings have served me excellently as both a writer and an editor.

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MLA’s 8th Edition: Nothing and Everything Have Changed

on February 22, 2017 by Chris in MLA
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The authors of the leading academic style guide for the humanities write that “The problem . . . is the increasing mobility of texts. The sources with which we work are discovered in locations and formats different from those in which they were originally published, and we have no way of knowing today where those sources might end up tomorrow.”

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How to Avoid Fragments

on February 9, 2017 by Proofreading Pal in Writing Guides
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A sentence is a complete thought, almost always with a subject and a verb. At its most basic, a sentence has a thing doing something or having something done to it. In a fragment, at least one of these elements is missing, and so the fragment can’t stand on its own as a complete thought.

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5 Times to Write Good Transitions

on February 2, 2017 by Proofreading Pal in Writing Guides
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There are many transition words and phrases out there. I’ll highlight some of the most common ones by the situation in which they may be used.

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We’re Hiring Work-from-Home Proofreaders

on January 24, 2017 by admin in Proofreading and Editing
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ProofreadingPal LLC paid out over $471K to work-from-home contract proofreaders in 2016, and we're looking to expand our network of professionals! Are you looking to make extra money with your proofreading and editing talents? If so, we'd like to learn more about you. Please visit our career opportunities page for application details.

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“I Feel Badly”: Argh! No, You Don’t!

on January 21, 2017 by Proofreading Pal in Proofreading and Editing
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People like to say, “I feel badly," but it's wrong. Let’s look at exactly why this is not an idiom, a turn of phrase, a colloquialism, or anything other than a flat-out mistake.

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Affect vs. Effect: Commonly Confused Words

on January 16, 2017 by Proofreading Pal in Proofreading and Editing
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Let’s look at a word pairing that can trip up even experienced writers (and some proofreaders): the almost-twins affect and effect.

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Editing Grammar in Poetry

on January 9, 2017 by Proofreading Pal in Proofreading and Editing
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A good poetry editor fixes bad grammar just like a good prose editor does. But a better poetry editor must also pay attention when grammar is being manipulated to aid meaning.

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Keep Editors Separate in MS Word

on January 2, 2017 by Proofreading Pal in Proofreading and Editing
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Here’s a quick guide to how you restore individual editors to a document in Word 2007, 2010, and 2013 in Windows and 2016 in Mac.

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Keep It Simple, Seriously!

on December 21, 2016 by Proofreading Pal in Proofreading and Editing
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Professional and academic documents demand the principle of “Keep It Simple.” While some document styles can take a more flexible approach, academic documents in particular should always be simple, easy to read, and visually uncluttered. Let’s take a look at why.

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Does Fanfiction Improve Writing? Part 2

on December 6, 2016 by Proofreading Pal in Uncategorized
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I recommend writing fanfiction for people who need to work on their dialogue skills, pacing, and character development.

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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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