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Tips for Better Sentence Structure

May 24, 2017 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Guides

My two tips today deal with the most common mistakes in sentence structure I see here at ProofreadingPal.com: bad parallelism and bad sentence chronology. Big words, but easy fixes.

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Between vs. Among: Commonly Confused Words

May 18, 2017 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Guides

Before we consider the question of between vs. among, let’s look at the distinctions of degree that follow. When we speak of “more people” or “a larger number of people,” the meaning is functionally the same, but we choose the adjective based on whether we’re talking about countable objects or mass or abstract nouns. Between and among are also affected.

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When to Use Who and Whom

May 6, 2017 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Guides

I see this one done incorrectly all the time—not just at work, but also in published writing. The problem doesn’t seem to be confusion between the subject “who” and the object “whom,” but confusion about how sentences work. So let’s start there.

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Harvard Citation Style Explained

April 28, 2017 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

Harvard is just another parenthetical author-date citation style. If you can learn a few key points, you can successfully cope with Harvard referencing.

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Using PDF/A Format to Make Digital Files Permanent

April 19, 2017 by Chris in Business Proofreading and Editing

Your PDF may not be compatible with future versions of PDF reading programs. To ensure your document remains accessible in exactly the same format, you need to create a PDF/A version of the file. By following some principles of interoperability, your file will remain as you intended no matter what program you’re using to open it.

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Top 4 Misspelled Words

March 31, 2017 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Guides

I’m interested in writing about these four words in one post because, apart from being misspelled all the time, they seem to have nothing in common.

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The “Misunderstood” Scare Quotes

March 28, 2017 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Guides

Scare quotes should rarely be used. For one thing, they frequently send the message that the writer couldn’t be bothered to state things clearly.

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Comparison and Contrast: Commonly Confused Words

March 18, 2017 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Guides

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

March 1, 2017 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Fiction

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

February 22, 2017 by Chris in MLA

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

February 9, 2017 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Guides

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

February 2, 2017 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Guides

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

January 24, 2017 by admin in Proofreading and Editing

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!

January 21, 2017 by ProofreadingPal in Proofreading and Editing

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

January 16, 2017 by ProofreadingPal in Proofreading and Editing

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

January 9, 2017 by ProofreadingPal in Proofreading and Editing

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

January 2, 2017 by ProofreadingPal in Proofreading and Editing

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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