Making a Mark in Proofreading World

Brian Kaldenberg
24 Oct

ProofreadingPal was recently covered in the Iowa City Press Citizen newspaper. read more »

How to Make One Essay Work for Most Prompts

23 Oct

As we said last time, the University of Chicago is a unique institution and perhaps the leader in the ponderous college essay prompt competition. The university actually contacts newly admitted and current college students and asks them to submit essay topics. “We think of [college essays] as an opportunity for students to tell us about themselves, their tastes, and their ambitions,” Chicago’s admissions officers say. “The [essays] can be approached with utter seriousness, complete fancy, or something in between.” Here are a few examples of the essay topics Chicago has offered its applicants in recent years: read more »

Submitting Short Fiction to Literary Magazines

20 Oct

So you’ve written a short story and are looking to getting it published in a literary magazine. There are still a few steps you’ll want to take before you can see your name in print. read more »

Writers vs. Editors – Cage Fight for the Centuries

17 Oct

Some proofreaders and editors like to think there are rules, rigid rules, rules that transcend life itself. But no matter how earnest and well-meaning these folks are, they remain earnestly wrong. There is only one rule for writers, and author Mildred I. Reid phrased it as well as anyone: “The only rule for effective writing is: Does it work?” read more »

Strunk and White are Still Dead or How Writers Can Stay Alive

16 Oct

There are some rules of English grammar that are, and probably will remain, nearly absolute. But that does not mean all grammar rules are immutable. After all, while gravity is the law, much of grammar is only a suggestion. So how do you know when to obey the gods of grammar and when not to? The applicable law is complex in its simplicity. Here it is: If it works, it’s right. If it doesn’t, it’s wrong. read more »

Strunk and White are Dead

13 Oct

I admit it. I used to teach grammar. But it wasn’t my fault. I was merely a product of my upbringing. I had been taught that grammar rules. As a student in what was then called junior high, I had excelled at diagramming sentences. I never dangled participles. Moreover, I created conventional transitions with such gracious terms as “However” and “Nonetheless.” I could spot a gerund with my eyes closed. When I advanced to high school, I never sought to foolishly split infinitives. I never used a preposition to end a sentence with. I never used the first person. I didn’t use contractions. And I never started a sentence with a conjunction. I fervently sought to compose fully developed paragraphs, each containing a clearly identifiable thesis statement and at least three supporting points. Sentence fragments? Never. Structure was everything. Those imposters, style and voice, were the enemy. Intellectual, academic, “proper” writing required nothing less than full submission to pedantic tradition and the gods of grammar. And so it was that, as a young student, I dutifully read Strunk and White’s venerated tome, The Elements of Style. But I never liked it. Originally written and self-published in 1919 by Cornell University English professor William Strunk Jr., the 43-page opus was edited and revised into an 85-page work by Strunk’s former student, E.B. White, in 1959. By then White was a revered author, essayist, and editor. In his updated 1971 introduction, White calls Strunk’s original work “an attempt to cut the vast tangle of English rhetoric down to size and write its rules and principles on the head of a pin.” White admired that effort, but he did not find it infallible. He explained that his revised edition deleted “errors and bewhiskered entries.” White wrote that his revised edition was “a thorough overhaul” of Strunk’s original. read more »

How to Address the Prompt and Still Tell Your Story

5 Oct

No, you can’t ignore the prompt. If the folks on the admissions committee wanted you to write on anything you wished, they would have told you so. And many do exactly that. But those who go to the trouble of providing a specific prompt want you to deal with it. How you do that? Glad you asked. read more »

The Importance of Proofreading and Editing for Your Business Documents

5 Oct

Let’s face the facts: People judge you based on your appearance. When you need to impress a client, colleague, or boss, you don’t want to leave anything to chance. You want to communicate clearly, succinctly, and flawlessly. You want to demonstrate that you’re a credible source and a professional. What you don’t want to do is ruin a great business idea or lose an important client just because you failed to pay attention to the details. read more »

How to Choose a Business Proofreading Service

5 Oct

Choosing the right business proofreading and editing service is essential. There are a lot of proofreading companies out there. It’s important to give careful consideration before choosing to trust one with your important documents. read more »

So How Do You Impress that Admissions Committee?

5 Oct

If it’s October, it’s the World Series, it’s Halloween, and it’s college application admissions time. Learn how to impress the admissions committee. read more »