Author: Mike

Be Yourself When You Write Essays

on March 11, 2012 by Mike in Essays
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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.”

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Know Your Enemy – The Modern Language Association (MLA)

on March 9, 2012 by Mike in MLA
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The MLA currently claims about 30,000 members in about 100 countries. Although founded in the United States in 1883 and headquartered in New York City, the MLA’s membership and influence extend worldwide

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Knowing What to Look For

on December 14, 2011 by Mike in Proofreading and Editing
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Effective writing is not so esoteric as to be beyond description. There are many elements we can specify. Let's look first at structure.

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Livestock Judging and You

on December 14, 2011 by Mike in Proofreading and Editing
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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.

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How Writers and Proofreaders Can Live in Peace

on December 10, 2011 by Mike in Proofreading and Editing
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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.

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What to Say and How to Say It

on November 9, 2011 by Mike in Admissions Essays
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So what should you say in your admissions essay and how should you say it? Read this blog post to find out.

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How to Make One Essay Work for Most Prompts

on October 23, 2011 by Mike in Admissions Essays
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Most schools follow a much less intriguing path to college application essay prompts, and that’s why you can adapt one basic essay to fit almost any of them.

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Writers vs. Editors – Cage Fight for the Centuries

on October 17, 2011 by Mike in Proofreading and Editing
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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?”

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

on October 16, 2011 by Mike in Essays
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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.

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Strunk and White are Dead

on October 13, 2011 by Mike in Essays
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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.

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How to Address the Prompt and Still Tell Your Story

on October 5, 2011 by Mike in Admissions Essays
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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.

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So How Do You Impress that Admissions Committee?

on October 5, 2011 by Mike in Admissions Essays
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if you're a high school senior intent on winning admission to a selective college or university, relax. Writing the college application admissions essay shouldn't be as scary as your weird neighbor's haunted house.

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