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How Reliable Is Spell Check?

on July 8, 2016 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools
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The first time I saw Office Suite’s spell check function, I just about cried with joy. (Shut up. I’m a nerd.) Gone forever would be the days of having words like “metaphore” and “ocurrance” litter my papers and irritate my professors, dragging down my grades and self-esteme . . . uh, esteem.

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Guide to Using Hyphens in Compound Words

on July 7, 2016 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools
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Recently I’ve gotten a little obsessed with compounds words and the hyphen, that little punctuation mark that can cause so much confusion. My interest in this started when I was looking into the spelling of the word “healthcare.” Oops! I mean “health care”… or “health-care”?

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2 Great Tips for Self-Editing

on July 7, 2016 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools
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Whether you’re a writer, professional editor, or client for a professional editor, you can always benefit from a little self-editing. However, we’re all too close to our own work; we know what we meant to say, and this can get scrambled up with what is actually on the page.

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How Many Spaces After a Period?

on July 1, 2016 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Guides
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Typing two blank spaces at the end of every sentence is one such habit. Lots of people still do it because it used to be a rule, and that’s how they were taught. And they, in turn, pass the “rule” along to the next generation of writers. But for most kinds of writing, the two-space habit is, in fact, no longer the rule.

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How to Write a Business Plan

on May 28, 2016 by ProofreadingPal in Professional Writing
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Okay, so there is some paperwork involved, you do have to keep good records of what you’ve spent and what you’ve made, and you should really look into setting up a dedicated office (even if it’s just a corner of the spare bedroom), but I promise, no suits are required. Structuring your writing as a business is the smart thing to do, and you can do it in your pajamas.

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4 Fixes for Comment Boxes in MS Word

on May 28, 2016 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools
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Whether you’re an editor orworking with an editor, you’re going to deal with comment boxes, which can bring up a whole new realm of issues, which can lead to a whole new range of curse words. But here’s a quick guide to fixing the four most common problems:

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MS Word Formatting Errors

on May 26, 2016 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools
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When it comes to the controlling the flow of text across lines and pages, many MS Word users treat this sophisticated, responsive software as if it were an old IBM Selectric. Here are some of the formatting errors we see multiple times a week, errors that can actually keep Word from functioning properly.

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Research Tips for Better Writing

on May 26, 2016 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Guides
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Writing a research paper is like following a recipe. You take certain “ingredients,” follow the right steps, and end up with a finished product. Skip important steps or ingredients, and your finished product will suffer, as will your grade.

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Professional-Looking Book Layout

on April 15, 2016 by ProofreadingPal in Books and Manuscripts
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It might be unfair to judge a book by its cover, formatting, and layout, but all these conventions make it easier to read the book, and we should all think carefully about breaking these rules. If you have a good reason that fits with the content and tone of your book, go ahead and get creative. But by knowing the conventions of book design, you’ll be able to make more informed choices that lead to a stronger book overall.

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3 Tips for Writing Better Dialogue

on April 14, 2016 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Fiction
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Stories survive on their dialogue. Yes, there are some great novels with page after page of narration and description, and if you’re a future Nobel-winner wunderkind, more power to you. For the rest of us, it’s in conversations that characters primarily reveal themselves, interact with each other, and live out a story’s social life.

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10 Tips for Writing Effective Recommendations

on April 14, 2016 by ProofreadingPal in Business Proofreading and Editing
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So if you’ve been asked to write a letter of recommendation, you’re in a pretty good place. You’re probably feeling flattered to have been asked, and you get to dole out some social rewards to a valued protégé or colleague. Here’s a double fistful of pointers to help you get started.

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Does Good Grammar Really Matter?

on April 4, 2016 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Guides
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OK, because I make a living fixing people’s grammar, I’m obviously going to say that good grammar is super-duper important. But give me a moment anyway, if you please, because I’m going to explain why and when.

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How to Set Up a Writing Business

on March 28, 2016 by ProofreadingPal in Professional Writing
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Thankfully, setting up a writing business really isn’t difficult. There are a few steps that need to be done carefully and some details to pay attention to, but once you get the structure in place and get used to a few routines, you’ll be in good shape.

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Avoiding Comma Errors Part II

on March 26, 2016 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Guides
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More advice, explanations, and examples about those pesky commas errors and how to avoid them.

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Easy Formula for LinkedIn Recommendations

on March 26, 2016 by ProofreadingPal in Resumes
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To follow up on our look at using testimonials in your resume, let’s flip the script. Maybe one of your colleagues is looking for consulting work, or perhaps a young person whom you have mentored is setting off on a new career path. A recommendation from you could help that person land a position. How do you write an effective testimonial?

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How Taxes Work for Writers

on March 2, 2016 by ProofreadingPal in Professional Writing
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Whether you’re a full-time freelance writer, a weekend blogger, or publishing as part of your regular career, writing at a professional level carries with it some duties and deductions at tax time.

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How to Use Testimonials in a Resume

on February 27, 2016 by ProofreadingPal in Resumes
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Using someone else’s words is an accepted and valid strategy. Let’s look at testimonials and how to use them in your resume. Remember, when you borrow words that belong to other people, take good care of them.

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Common Idiom Use Errors

on February 5, 2016 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Guides
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But being fluent in a language doesn’t just mean memorizing a list of idioms (hundreds of which will come up on a quick Google search). You have to know how and when to use them.

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5 Tips for Better Writing Habits

on February 3, 2016 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Guides
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Bad writing is everywhere, and it’s often not a lack of knowledge about the mechanics of writing that causes problems, but a flawed writing process. So, if you want to blow some mids (er, minds) with your writing, follow these tips to improve your writing habits.

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How Do Teachers Grade Papers?

on February 3, 2016 by ProofreadingPal in Essays
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Wssay grading is no more subjective than other methods. Here are four simple, hard-and-fast quality measures that universally apply to grading papers.

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