Commonly Confused Homophones

August 7, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

Ah, the double-edged sword of spell-check. That little red squiggle under misspelled words can be so helpful in drawing your attention to words in need of correction. But the absence of that little red squiggle can give a false sense of security, leading you to think your writing is spelling-error free when it might be filled with correctly-spelled incorrect words. One troublesome group of word is homophones.

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Plotting Fiction: Keeping Track of Time, Pt 1

August 3, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Fiction

Our heroes live in a world, and despite all their antics, life goes on for everyone else. The sun rises and sets, the shops open and close. Keeping track of time means reconciling the activities of our characters with the big picture of our settings.

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Bad Parallelism, Good Parallelism

July 14, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

“Parallelism” means the same parts of a sentence must be of the same type. But I’m not sure how helpful that is as a definition, so let’s take a slightly longer look through a few examples.

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Implicit Racism in Writing

July 1, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Guides

Implicit racism is woven into the fabric of American society. It plays a part in everything, including writing. Writers may try to be inclusive and unbiased, but it can be hard to weed out bias without taking time to deeply examine language’s and culture’s meanings, bias, and oneself.

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Plotting Fiction: Keeping Your Story Straight

June 30, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Fiction

Keeping your story straight is mostly a matter of holding yourself accountable.

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Cell Phones and Why We Write

June 20, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Essays

Civility is the world’s second-best social lubricant, and from the first day of their public appearance, cell phones have interrupted parties, luncheons, meetings, and simple how-do-you-dos.

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5 Reasons Assembly Instructions Fall Apart

March 31, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Guides

If you find yourself in the unlucky position of writing a manual or set of instructions for how to assemble something from a bunch of other things, the following should help you understand and overcome your challenges in telling people what to do step by step.

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The Writer’s Bookshelf

March 28, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

However and wherever you find them, the right books can help improve your writing and make your home office a happier, more productive place.

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Write an Effective Blog Post

March 26, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Guides

No matter your motivation for blogging, you’ll want to make sure each post is high quality to keep your readers coming back. In today’s post, I’ll describe tips to make your blog more effective.

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5 Tips for Choosing a Paper Topic

March 2, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Essays

Writing is never easy; even professional writers and academics, people who have chosen careers with hefty writing requirements, can struggle mightily to get it done.

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Hearing the Music: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Writing (Again)

February 27, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Guides

There’s no rule saying that academic articles can’t be written in muscular prose, no law that business writing can’t have a sense of forward momentum and the occasional memorable line.

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Top 10 Changes in APA’s 7th Edition

February 24, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

Here are the top ten changes to the APA manual, selected because these are the issues professional editors are probably going to encounter most often.

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Poetry Tools to Enhance Your Prose: Still More Figures of Speech (Anaphora, Merism, Antonomasia)

February 4, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Guides

The kinds of figurative language described in this installment are not appropriate for most academic writing, where panache must occasionally be sacrificed for the sake of clarity. For less rigorous types of informational writing, such as business communications or informal reports, they represent ways to add color and spice to your message.

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How to Make Your Writing More Inclusive

January 20, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Guides

You should shun discriminatory language as you should shun discrimination; doing so also allows your message to reach the broadest audience and lends credibility to your words.

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Really Tricky Apostrophe Rules

January 9, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

In this post we cover the apostrophe rules that are, for lack of a better word, downright wacky. If you’re going to be an expert, you’ll have to memorize these individually.

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Poetry Tools to Enhance Your Prose: Analogy, Part 2 (Metonymy and Synecdoche)

January 2, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Guides

This time, let’s go way out there and look at a pair of related poetic devices that seem, at first glance, hopelessly roundabout and exotic: metonymy and synecdoche.

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Tips for Using Singular “They”

January 1, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

As an editor, I am naturally sensitive to language matters, and I took this criticism seriously. I’ve made an effort to modernize my pronoun usage, and in today’s blog I’ll provide tips to avoid gender bias in your pronoun use.

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Apostrophes with Singular and Plural Nouns

December 30, 2019 by ProofreadingPal in Grammar

Lets get into the complexities of apostrophes when dealing with singular and plural nouns.

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Special Post: ProofreadingPal’s 2019 Holiday Hours

December 19, 2019 by admin in News

ProofreadingPal’s 2019 Holiday Hours

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Poetry Tools to Enhance Your Prose: Analogy, Part 1 (Simile and Metaphor)

December 7, 2019 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Guides

The guidebooks’ prohibition on colorful language is really just a plea for clarity. Used sparingly, in commonly understood expressions or for illustrative purposes, simile and metaphor can make your prose more understandable and memorable.

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