Why Proofreading is Important for Internet Articles

from suite101:

There are millions of articles online, and many of them contain errors. Set yourself apart by carefully proofreading everything you publish.

The ease of publishing on the internet has given rise to pages and pages of content that are riddled with errors. If you want to succeed as a writer and be noticed by publishers who are looking for quality content, you have to set yourself apart from the masses. One way to accomplish this, in addition to writing timely and accurate articles, is to carefully proofread your work.

The Article is Never Finished Until the Proofreading is Done
You researched keywords. You wrote an outline. You expanded on the points in your outline. You wrote an attention-getting introduction and an effective conclusion. You used the spell-checker on your word processing software. Are you finished? Definitely not.

Read the article carefully from beginning to end. Now read it aloud. Consider the way the sentences flow. Does it read smoothly or do you hesitate at any point in the text?

Read it again to review spelling and grammar. The spell-checker won’t notice if the sentence says “you” when it should say “your.” Any word that is a correct word as it stands will not alert a spell-checker, even if it is used in the wrong place.

If possible, set the piece aside for a while and come back to it with fresh eyes. It’s possible to miss obvious errors if you’ve been looking at the same group of words for too long. Another option is to have a second person read the article and give you feedback.

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About suite101:
Suite101.com Media Inc. is a private Canadian company based in Vancouver, British Columbia with offices in Berlin, Madrid, and Paris and an international staff of 30…MORE.

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10 Tips for Proofreading Articles for Mistakes

Some People Are Great at Proofreading, I Am Not One of Them


from Associated Content/BuntingResources.com:

I have been writing for Associate Content for about two months now, to say that I practice these tips at all times myself isn’t true, and I have had my share of spelling errors and typos, but I am trying my best to learn from my mistakes. One thing I have learned after eighty plus, and counting, articles is that there are a few things that can do to help prevent mistakes in an article.

1. Re-read Your Work
Read your work as many times as you can, if that would drive you insane at least re-read it once.

2. Read Your Finished Piece Out Loud
By reading it out loud you will likely not just scan through what you wrote. I mean you know what you meant to say but is that what you wrote? When you scan when you read you might see the phrase “apples are good” and read it as “apples aren’t good” because that is what you knew you wanted to write. Well those two phrases have very different meanings which can lead to your entire sentence having the wrong opinion or fact.

3. Use Spell Checker
Remember to use a spell checker, this way you can instantly see and change any spelling errors that you made.

4. Use Grammar Checker
If you have a program that has a grammar checker then you should use that as well. That way if you use homonyms like “there” and “their” the grammar checker should point them out when the wrong word is being used. This can also be handy if you meant to type the word “of” and hit the I key, since it is right next to the O key, and F key, “if” being a word won’t get picked up by the spell checker.

5. Search Common Errors
Now if you have made mistakes in the past, and we all do, you will want to search for those. Sometimes forgetting to add an S to the end of a word can lower the readability of your work as well as how serious that you are taken by your readers. Watch out for words that end in IST because when you read them out loud they will still appear to sound right if you want them to be plural. Say the word scientist and now say the word scientists. Not a huge difference in sound.

6. Read Slowly
By reading both out loud and slowly you will increase your chances of catching an error.

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George Orwell: 6 Questions/ 6 Rules

from Gotham Writers’ Workshop:

George Orwell has earned the right to be called one of the finer writers in the English language through such novels as 1984, Animal Farm, and Down and Out in Paris and London, and such essays as “Shooting an Elephant.”
Orwell expressed a strong dislike of totalitarian governments in his work, but he was also passionate defender of good writing. Thus, you may want to hear some of Orwell’s writing tips.*

A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus:

  1. What am I trying to say?
  2. What words will express it?
  3. What image or idiom will make it clearer?
  4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?

And he will probably ask himself two more:

  1. Could I put it more shortly?
  2. Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly?

One can often be in doubt about the effect of a word or a phrase, and one needs rules that one can rely on when instinct fails. I think the following rules will cover most cases:

  1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
  2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
  3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
  5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

* From Orwell’s essay“Politics and the English Language”

For more writing tips, advice, and articles, click here.

About Gotham Writers’ Workshop:
Gotham Writers’ Workshop is the leading private creative writing school in New York City and online. Professional writers present workshops in more than a dozen forms of writing. The school’s interactive online classes, selected as “Best of the Web” by Forbes, have attracted thousands of aspiring writers from across the United States and more than one hundred countries.

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Improve Your Writing with these Editing Tips

from Lifehack:

Teachers, business people, and just about everyone else it seems complain often and loudly that people today (usually “kids today”) don’t know how to write. I’m convinced, though, that a big part of the problem (perhaps the biggest part of the problem) is that people don’t know how to edit. We labor under the notion that good writing flows easily from the pen or typing fingers, and that editing too much will “kill” our work.

The best writers know differently, of course — their memoirs and biographies and writing manuals are filled with stories of books that needed to be cut in half to be readable, sentences that took weeks or months to get just right, and lifetimes spent tinkering with a single work that never strikes them as “just right”. To paraphrase a common saying among writers, there is no good writing, only good re-writing.

But if writing isn’t taught well enough or often enough these days, editing is hardly taught at all. This is too bad, since editing is where the real work of writing is at. More than just proofreading, good editing improves the clarity and forcefulness of a piece. Here’s some tips and tricks to help you make your writing more effective:

  • Read out loud: Reading a piece out loud helps you to identify clunky, awkward passages that seem to make sense to the eye, especially to the author’s eye.
  • Read in reverse: You may have heard about reading backwards, word by word, to help proofread. This works because you bypass your brain’s tendency to fill in what it expects to see, allowing you to catch spelling errors you might otherwise gloss over. This is useless, though, when it comes to content, where meaning comes from phrases and word order. Instead, read from back to front, sentence by sentence (or maybe paragraph by paragraph, or both) to make sure that each sentence and each paragraph is internally coherent — that it makes sense on its own.
  • Sleep on it: Wait at least a night, and preferably longer, before starting your editing. Ideally, you want to forget what you wrote, so that — again — your brain doesn’t see what it expects to see but only sees what’s really there. A lot of times we make logical errors that make sense at the time, because our minds are filled with ideas, examples, and arguments related to our topic; when we approach our writing with a clear mind, though, those mental connections are gone, and only what we’ve actually written counts.
  • Cut, don’t add: We are almost always too wordy. While you may need to add a word or two while editing, for the most part you should be removing words. Concise writing is more powerful and easier to read than lengthy prose.

About Stepcase Lifehack
This site dedicated to lifehacks. The phrase describes any hacks, tips and tricks that get things done quickly by automating, increase productivity and organizing. This site is built around this theme. This blog is endorsed by many major newspapers and publishers, and it is rated in the #100 most popular blog in the blogosphere by Technorati. It is a frequently updated blog, which provides news and articles which able you to get things done in a faster pace.

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What Makes For Good Writing?

Three Essential Ingredients to Make the Most of Your Writing Talent

from Suite101:

Daily practice, trust in the creative process, and the exercise of rigorous judgment are key factors required to produce original, believable, vivid prose.

What makes for good writing? There are a thousand ways to go about answering this question. One might offer examples—Shakespeare, George Eliot, Virginia Woolf. These are all writers who have produced good writing. But listing them doesn’t get at why they are good. And it offers no help to the writer who is wondering how to produce something striking, original, and moving.

A better approach is to turn the question around: What are the things that, if missing, make a piece of writing not good? Three essentials jump out right away. These are: practice, trust, and judgment.

Practice
In a recent interview, the Australian writer Helen Garner said: “…you’ve got to practice every day. It’s like practicing an instrument if you’re a musician or keeping your tools sharpened. After many years of daily practice… you actually build up a competence.”

More laconically, Cormac McCarthy put it : “If you’re going to be a writer, then writing is what you have to do.”

These successful authors are on to something. Daily writing is the place to innovate, experiment, try on other voices. It’s exercise, not unlike jogging, swimming laps or working out at a gym, that keeps you fit, trim, well-trained.

Be disciplined: set a goal—one hour, so many words—and do it everyday. A lack of daily practice will show in a piece of writing.

Click here for the rest.

About Suite101
What’s in a name? Suite101’s door is open to the curious novice looking for a “101” intro to any of our 3000 topics, but it’s also a meeting place for over 29 million readers each month who ask 101 burning questions. We aim for the ground-floor appeal our name implies, spiced with an eclectic mix of topical commentary and candid advice.

With 13 years online, more than 300,000 articles and over 10,000 professional, paid contract writers, Suite101 is dedicated to delivering great articles by skilled writers. In doing so, we aim to create opportunities for writers at every stage of their careers.

Suite101.com Media Inc. is a private Canadian company based in Vancouver, British Columbia with offices in Berlin, Madrid, and Paris and an international staff of 30.

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Top 5 Rules of English Grammar

from Perfect Editing Solutions:

Communication is effective when we follow certain rules. These rules make the written words understood. A writer should make the reader’s job easier by communicating what he or she wants to communicate. If you also want to write, pay respect to your readers. Don’t take them for granted. Learning and understanding the basic rules of English Grammar, you will surely be able to avoid ill-formed, confusing sentences. Hence, following and applying the rules of English Grammar and thereby producing a good writing can help the readers save their time from trying desperately to guess what you mean. This article covers the top 5 rules of English Grammar.

Subject-Verb Agreement – Errors in agreement are the most common mistakes made in writings. To avoid this, just follow the simple rule: A singular subject requires a singular verb, and a plural subject requires a plural verb.

Wrong: Identification of these goods have been difficult.

Right: Identification of these goods has been difficult. (‘Identification’ is the subject here)

Wrong: The best way to keep your children happy are to give them enough responsibilities.

Right: The best way to keep your children happy is to give them enough responsibilities. (Use a singular verb if the subject is a phrase or clause)

Awkward: Neither John nor I am interested in this project.

Better: John is not interested in this project; nor am I. (If you write an awkward sentence, consider rewriting it)

Exception: Use a singular verb if a compound subject refers to the same person or thing.

Example: Milk and breads is a typical breakfast for many people.

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About PES
Perfect Editing Solutions is a professional firm based in India providing proofreading and copyediting services for your English writings. We specialize in repairing and perfecting your English writings by minutely checking for English grammar, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, sentence fragments, web links etc. We identify and correct errors in word usage, awkward phrasing and paragraphing.

Rumki Sen, the founder of Perfect Editing Solutions, is a first class first Honors graduate from Presidency College, Kolkata (Calcutta). She has also completed a 2 years computer course being ‘Higher Diploma in Software Engineering’ with ‘DISTINCTION’. She has worked with website designing and maintenance companies.

She loves to spend her time with her family and her laptop. Since childhood, she has this unique knack for making error-free documents. She is detail oriented and a perfectionist, and these skills have driven her to come into a profession where she gets the maximum opportunity to verify everything and present a perfect product to her clients.

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50 Incorrect Pronunciations That You Should Avoid

from Daily Writing Tips:

Fred Astaire drew laughs back in the Thirties with his song “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” in which the lovers can’t agree on the pronunciation of words like either, neither, and tomato.

On a personal level, I cringe when I hear someone sound the “t” in often or pronounce pecan with a short “a,” but I have to acknowledge that both these pronunciations are widely accepted alternate pronunciations that can be justified by the spelling.

Alternate pronunciations, however, are a different matter from out-and-out mispronunciations. The latter, no matter how common, are incorrect, either because of the spelling that indicates another pronunciation, or because of what is widely agreed upon to be conventional usage. Word of caution: I’m writing from an American perspective.

Here are 50 frequently mispronounced words. The list is by no means exhaustive, but provides a good start.

1. aegis – The ae in this word is pronounced /ee/. Say EE-JIS/, not /ay-jis/. In mythology the “aegis” is associated especially with the goddess Athene. It is her shield with the Gorgon’s head on it.

2. anyway – The problem with this word is not so much pronunciation as the addition of an unnecessary sound. Don’t add an s to make it “anyways.” The word is ANYWAY.

3. archipelago – Because the word is from Greek, the ch is pronounced with a /k/ sound. Say /AR-KI-PEL-A-GO/, not /arch-i-pel-a-go/.

4. arctic – Note the C after the R. Say /ARK-TIK/, not /ar-tik/.

5. accessory – the first C has a “hard” sound. Say /AK-SESS-OR-Y/, not /ass-ess-or-y/.

6. ask – The S comes before the K. Say /ASK/ not /aks/.

7. asterisk – Notice the second S. Say /AS-TER-ISK/, not /as-ter-ik/.

8. athlete – The word has two syllables, not three. Say /ATH-LETE/, not /ath-uh-lete/.

9. barbed wire – Notice the AR in the first syllable. Say /BARBD/, not /bob/.

10. cache – The word is of French origin, but it does not end with an accented syllable. A cache is a hiding place or something that is being hidden: a cache of supplies; a cache of money; a cache of drugs. Say /KASH/, not /ka-shay/.

11. candidate – Notice the first d. Say /KAN-DI-DATE/, not /kan-i-date/.

12. cavalry – This word refers to troops that fight on horseback. Say /KAV-UL-RY/, not /kal-vuh-ry/. NOTE: Calvary refers the place where Jesus was crucified and IS pronounced /kal-vuh-ry/.)

13. chaos – The spelling ch can represent three different sounds in English: /tch/ as in church, /k/ as in Christmas, and /sh/ as in chef. The first sound is heard in words of English origin and is the most common. The second sound of ch, /k/, is heard in words of Greek origin. The third and least common of the three ch sounds is heard in words adopted from modern French. Chaos is a Greek word. Say /KAY-OS/, not /tchay-os/.

14. clothes – Notice the TH spelling and sound. Say /KLOTHZ/, not /kloz/.

15. daïs – A daïs is a raised platform. The pronunciation fault is to reverse the vowel sounds. The word is often misspelled as well as mispronounced. Say /DAY-IS/ not /dī-is/.

16. dilate – The word has two syllables, not three. Say /DI-LATE/, not /di-a-late/.

17. drowned – This is the past participle form of the verb drown. Notice that there is no D on drown. Don’t add one when using the word in its past form. Say /DROWND/, not /drown-ded/.

18. et cetera – This Latin term is often mispronounced and its abbreviation is frequently misspelled. Say /ET CET-ER-A/, not /ex cet-er-a/. For the abbreviation, write ETC., not ect.

19. February – Just about everyone I know drops the first r in February. The spelling calls for /FEB-ROO-AR-Y/, not /feb-u-ar-y/.

20. foliage – The word has three syllables. Say /FO-LI-UJ/, not /fol-uj/.

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About Daily Writing Tips Blog
Whether you are an attorney, manager or student, writing skills are essential to your success. The rise of the information age – with the proliferation of e-mails, blogs and social networks – makes the ability to write clear, correct English more important than ever.

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