Archive for December, 2012

The Most Important Thing to Remember When Proofreading

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

This is a Guest Post by the author Harry Boyd.

No matter how much experience you have in writing essays, you are not immune to making mistakes or structural errors. This is why it is highly important for you to proofread your essay at least twice before you send it over to the recipient. But why is it that a lot of people proofread their work but still come out with a bad result? Simple, they lack proper knowledge of proofreading.  To help you perform better here are very important proofreading tips you can employ to eliminate errors from your essay just like the pros

Leave It For A While

The golden rule of proofreading is to leave the essay for a while after completing it, and come back to it later. Letting the essay rest for around 24 hours before you attempt corrections will give you the space to see your essay from the angle of imperfection that needs to be corrected. It’s hard for you to see errors when you’ve just finished writing your essay.

Concentrate

There is no way you’re going to do a good job proofreading your essay in the living room where people are watching TV or playing video games. You need concentration and lots of it. This is necessary in order to focus your mind on the words, sentences and tiny details that can make your essay come out with the least amount of errors when removed. So look for a quiet place without noise or disturbances to make have errors even after proofreading.

One Correction At Time

Looking for grammar, punctuation, spelling and structure errors at the same time can be frustrating and distracting. To avoid getting completely overwhelmed it is better you make your corrections one problem at a time. You can first look out for homonyms, then move to apostrophes and contractions. After that, you can then fight grammar and then spelling before you finish up on punctuation.

Read It To Your Ears

Reading silently is okay but reading aloud your essay when proofreading is the perfect thing to do. Reading aloud will make you detect problems faster because you’re not only using your mind, but your speaking and listening sense. It’s also a great idea if you ask a colleague of yours to read out the essay to you; two read aloud are better than one.

Print Out

You are definitely going to fish out more errors when you make your proofreading from a print out copy than making corrections on your computer screen. So make sure you print out the essay, read it aloud and have a colored pen handy to mark out the errors in order to make them distinctive.

Read Backwards

Mistakes appear more in writing because the brain works in a way that it automatically corrects errors right there inside the sentence. The best way to eliminate this kind of error is to read the essay backwards word by word. Might sound like a lot of work but it is worth it if you want to get rid of errors as much as possible.

Use Spell Checkers & Dictionaries

Spell checkers are software that helps you correct mistakes in your draft automatically and more efficiently. Spell checkers will help you catch errors like repeat words, reverse letters and many other hard to detect errors. A word or spelling error that your spellchecker can not perfectly correct can be found out in the dictionary. This is highly important because many spell checkers correct individual words and not placement of words in the sentences.

Try creating your personal proofreading checklist containing your most common mistakes and ensure that you make corrections more than once to eliminate additional errors. You can invite a friend to help you out if things are getting out of hand.

Harry Boyd is an online tutor who teaches students great essay and report writing techniques and he believes that proofreading is a vital part of this.

Five Easy Steps on How to Succeed as a Writer

Monday, December 17th, 2012

This guest post is by the author Ian Arnison-Phillips

Have you always dreamed of being a writer? Maybe you’ve always wanted to write a compelling novel or maybe you just enjoy playing with words and becoming an online copywriter may be the choice for you.

If you love writing then you are probably itching to get going, to write and write all day every day. Maybe you’ve decided to work from home, like myself, working for a choice of companies, writing on different subjects and enhancing their business visibility. It’s a rewarding job, but it does require dedication, a lot of hard work and sometimes very long hours.

Be Confident

If you doubt your abilities as a writer in any way, now is the time to stop. If you are a confident writer it will spill over into your writing. You cannot afford to doubt yourself. If you love writing and feel you have something to offer through words, then let the confidence ooze out of you.

Be sure about what you write: know your topic. Knowing your topic is easy, you can write on exciting travel locations that you have never visited or on the most boring of subjects such as flower arranging, but with the right amount of research you will enjoy the confidence to write the piece in both an informative way with an authoritative tone.

Believe in What You Write

I have found it very difficult to write about something I don’t believe in, if you don’t believe in something writing in a positive way is as impossible as trying to make someone believe you on a certain topic when speaking to them face to face.

Choose your assignments carefully, if you have any doubt in your belief, don’t take it on. This is the simplest solution to ensuring your work is always full of interesting information and you can interest the readers, captivating them with your enthusiasm and knowledge.

Always Offer Exceptional Service

My first few jobs were customer service based from working in a sales department of a computer supplies company to managing successful international real estate companies. These I did before I started writing.

From the minute I eventually started my own writing business working from home, I didn’t lose the customer service value that was such a big part of my life up to then. I think exceptional service is essential in any business but when you are writing and starting your business this can go a long way, helping to build great business relationships and ensuring you receive on-going work.

Exceptional service starts by ensuring you meet every deadline, if you can, do what I do and always ensure the work is submitted before the due date. There are of course times I am slightly behind, only my own fault, I cannot blame anyone else for this, but by contacting the client straight away and informing them that you need an extra day, this still ensures you are offering them the service that they would expect.

Don’t Take On Too Much

I believe we are all guilty of this when we are starting out as a new business, you are too scared to turn down any work in the fear that you lose a customer. At the same time taking on too much work will reduce your ability to offer exceptional service and superior writing. You may be tempted to write as quickly as possible, without doing your research or making silly mistakes you wouldn’t normally make in a desperate attempt to meet deadlines.

Proofread, Proofread and Then Proofread Again

The most annoying thing when reading anything online is seeing silly grammatical and spelling errors. Yes I am as guilty as the next writer when I write. That is why I proofread everything three times; the more you proofread the fewer mistakes there will be. Then use the spellchecker and just for good measure, proofread the piece again before submitting it.

You can start your writing career with guest blogging, write on subjects that interest you, subject where you can offer information and value for businesses helping them achieve online success.

How To Make Your Written Communication More Efficient

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

This is a guest post by eugie831

In an age where text messaging, tweets, Facebook messages, and email are the predominant forms of written communication it is very easy to fall into the trap of forgetting how to write properly. Some people will argue that it is no longer necessary to know how to write. They are wrong. Written communication is still an essential part of any successful life. Here are a few tips on how to make sure you are getting your message across as effectively and correctly as possible.

Think about who you are writing to: Not all written communication is the same, that is clear. But before every piece of text that you write, you should ask yourself who it is that you are writing to. An introductory email or typed letter to a new client should never be set about in the same way you would send a message to a colleague you see every day. The problem here may not be that what you say is wrong, but the way in which you are saying it. Effective written communication speaks directly to the person you have sent it to. There should be no grey areas in the communication, no assumptions made on the part of the writer. So, think about your audience, ask yourself exactly what it is you would like to tell them, and always write a first draft before you send the final piece.

Do you really know your ABCs?: It is a tough question to ask, embarrassing even, but how many people out there really know their own language. Aside from a few academics and teachers, most people do not have a great grasp of basic spelling, grammar, correct word order, etc. For this reason it is not a hanging offence for you to face up to the face that your grammatical skills could do with a little bit of brushing up. Bounce your written pieces of work of a close friend or colleague. It is amazing how a new set of eyes can spot a glaring error that you had become blind to. And friends will also not be afraid to suggest small alterations where necessary.

Read: If you don’t read on a regular basis it is highly likely that your written communication skills have declined since you last studied. Reading is an excellent way to improve your written communication skills as doing so puts you in constant contact with well-written pieces of work. You may not realise it at the time, but by reading you are automatically going back to school in terms of grammar, sentence structure, and spelling. And it can be enjoyable too, really!

Go Back to School!: If you can’t be bothered to read. If you are too embarrassed to show your friends or colleagues the mistakes you are making in your written work, then perhaps the only solution is for you to take up a written communication course. These courses are easy to find, can be done in a classroom or by distance learning, and they will definitely help you to make your written communication more effective.

It’s a worn out phrase that nothing is easier than ABC, but the truth is that it is not all that easy to be an effective writer. Practice, revision, and a slice of humble pie are probably needed for you to be communicating as well as you should be. And when you are, don’t forget to dot that i and cross that t!

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Gust post by Phoenix Training – Sales, Leadership and Management training courses.