8 Tips to Make Your Writing Sound More Formal

26 Mar

Here at ProofreadingPal, we get a lot of requests to “elevate tone,” “create a scholarly tone,” and “increase the formality,” and even “help this sound smart.” Truthfully, we cannot make you sound “smart.” There is no substitute for good ideas, but we can (and do) help you elevate your tone and make you sound like […] read more »

Publishing Payments Explained—Part 1

20 Mar

Once you’ve written the manuscript and had it professionally edited, the hard part is over, right? All you have to do is sit back, relax, and let the money come in. Unfortunately, publishing is never that easy. And the business part of publishing is a complex, often frustrating wilderness for which many writers aren’t quite […] read more »

Got You Covered #1: How Not to Get Hired

12 Mar

Let’s start with the hard truth: No one ever got a job on the strength of a cover letter. That’s a bold claim, but I can support it from years of engagement with Corporate America in a variety of roles. I’ve moved from freelancing to academia to the private sector, and I’ve worked in many […] read more »

Proofreading Services Rates

rates
13 Jan

As the president and founder of ProofreadingPal, I’m going to try to offer you some simple advice on the various questions you’ll likely encounter, along with advice on the proofreading rates you should expect to pay. read more »

Fast Proofreading Services for Rush Projects

Fast Proofreading Service
21 Dec

ProofreadingPal offers fast proofreading services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our 3-, 6-, and 10-hour turnaround speeds make us one of the fastest proofreading services available. read more »

MLA Formatting

MLA Handbook
20 Apr

Although students may feel intimidated by the requirement to strictly follow any specific style, including MLA, the truth is that MLA style really is not that complicated. Following are a few quick tips we suggest at proofreadingpal.com for properly formatting an MLA document: read more »

How to Write a Thesis Proposal

28 Mar

Students often cringe at the challenge of writing a good thesis proposal, uncertain of how to select an appropriate topic (one broad enough to include supportive research, yet specific in theme) and create a polished, professional document. At proofreadingpal.com, we regularly edit thesis proposals of all shapes and sizes. Some papers require only minor polishing and helpful suggestions for clarification where needed, but other papers require a great deal of work in all areas—grammar and punctuation, sentence structure, document organization, and style formatting. read more »

Professional Writing

Professional Writing
14 Mar

I’ve edited many books, short stories, and even papers by authors who seemingly believed that ambiguous, dramatic, and descriptive words (and even repetition) somehow increased their document’s level of professionalism. Perhaps they were attempting to make the scene come alive for the reader or evoke a sense of rambling thought—very noble intentions indeed. Regardless, unnecessary wordiness and redundancy are generally considered unacceptable in professional writing. read more »

Be Yourself When You Write Essays

essay writing
11 Mar

Unfortunately, we see many misguided essays here at ProofreadingPal on a daily basis. And one of the fundamental suggestions we always offer to those clients is to “be yourself when you write.” read more »

Know Your Enemy – The Modern Language Association (MLA)

mla enemy
9 Mar

Perhaps it would help if we knew our enemy. Most of us would surely feel better if we knew these format formulators were neo-Nazis, mafia henchmen, or Iowa State Cyclone fans. Alas, ‘tis not so. Instead, the creators and protectors of the MLA format are not unlike you and me. They are sons and daughters, husbands and wives, athletes and nerds and singers and dancers and, perhaps even a few are acrobats and stand-up comedians. But the thing these folks all have in common is their membership in the Modern Language Association. Yes, this is our common enemy: the MLA. read more »

Win $100 in Academic Proofreading Services!

asian-female-college-student
5 Feb

ProofreadingPal is giving away $100 in free academic proofreading and editing services. Three lucky winners will each win $100 in free services. The winners will be announced at 10:00 a.m. on March 2, 2012. Enter now for your chance to win! read more »

“On Em dash, on En dash, on Prancer, on Vixen”

en dashes and em dashes
23 Dec

In the spirit of the holidays, I thought I’d have a Yuletide-themed article this month. One of Santa’s eight tiny reindeers is, of course, Dasher. So let’s talk a little about dashes. (Okay, that’s the lamest Christmas connection ever. Well, that’s all I’ve got. Apologies to all of you, whether you celebrate Christmas or not.) Having a client who is adept at em and en dashes is indeed rare. Usually we see the plain ol’ regular hyphen being used where an em or en dash would be more appropriate. Or we often see random hyphens in varying multiples scattered throughout a paper like sprinkles on a Christmas cookie (okay, I’m still trying, but I’ll quit). read more »

Read Before You Write (Part II)

23 Dec

But no, I get it, really. You are busy. Work piles up. Dinner won’t cook itself. You’re knitting an umpteenth Doctor Who scarf for your bestest friend. Errands need to be run, the dog needs to be walked, the kids need to be driven to and from soccer practice or violin recital, and the spouse has been making noises about wanting to feel like a human being worthy of attention. Life happens. You can’t always commit to a book or three. But there are other ways to get your literary fix: we have the technology. Welcome to the twenty-first century, in which a book doesn’t have to be a codex to be enjoyed. read more »

Read Before You Write (Part I)

22 Dec

Most of us have heard the cautionary phrase, “Look before you leap.”  It’s sound advice, and alliterative, to boot.  Here’s another one for ye: “Read before you write.” I’m not being funny here.  I mean it. Every now and then, people hear of rising stars in the literary world by clicking through the entertainment section […] read more »

Knowing What to Look For

14 Dec

Effective writing is not so esoteric as to be beyond description. There are many elements we can specify. Let’s look first at structure. read more »

Livestock Judging and You

judge-writing
14 Dec

Most skills are learned largely through imitation. It’s common sense that if we want to improve as an ice skater, we find someone who is better than we are and watch them skate. The more skilled we are at observing, the more effective we’ll be at adapting what we see another skater do into what we can do. We have to know, as precisely as possible, what to look for, and then we have to practice what we’ve observed. The same concept works with writing. read more »

How Writers and Proofreaders Can Live in Peace

peace
10 Dec

When Alexander Pope (1688-1744) warned, “A little learning is a dangerous thing,” he was, among other things, explaining why editors and proofreaders – even us here at ProofreadingPal – so often find ourselves in antagonistic relationships with writers. read more »

Creating a Memorable Résumé

10 Dec

At ProofreadingPal, we see dozens of résumés a month. While some are pretty sharp, most are…well, in need of some assistance. Beyond blatant grammatical and spelling errors, many résumés have unwieldy objectives, inconsistencies in formatting or language use, and in this job market, it is imperative to make your résumé as sharp as possible before sending it out! read more »

The Unexamined Page

Proofreading Carefully
22 Nov

As a proofreader at ProofreadingPal, I see a lot of otherwise well-written documents with some gaping flaws caused by carelessness. I understand. And I like to make suggestions in addition to corrections – changing a word may fix a document, but changing a way to think about how to write is rewarding. read more »

How to Let Them Know Who You Are

17 Nov

How to let them know who you are in your personal statement. read more »

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