Students: How a proofreader can help you with your essay

Not all students are blessed with a command of perfect or exceptional English. Many international students, for whom English is a second (or perhaps even third) language find it difficult to express themselves in writing when compiling essays or other written documents. A proofreader like myself can help by correcting spelling, punctuation, and grammar, and … Continue reading Students: How a proofreader can help you with your essay

House style – Part 2

In part 1 I considered why a house style is necessary for a business – for reasons of consistency, brand identity, and economy. Here I will cover a few areas that should be considered based on UK English usage Writing a house style • Abbreviations, acronyms, and contractions: A common style for abbreviations is capital … Continue reading House style – Part 2

Developing a house style

Why you need a “house” style By “house” style I mean a writing or editorial style that a company or organization will aim to apply to all the documents and communications it produces. The same can perhaps apply to an individual author who is writing a series of books, guides, or articles. The main reasons … Continue reading Developing a house style

The decline of the apostrophe

John Richards, a former journalist, started the Apostrophe Protection Society in 2001 after his retirement, with the aim of preserving the correct use of this much-abused punctuation mark in written English. However, he announced in November 2019 that he would close the Society because of firstly, his age (he is 96 after all) and secondly, … Continue reading The decline of the apostrophe

Tips for writers: Knowing when to use colons

There are many who consider the colon and semi-colon to be identical punctuation stop marks and use both without discrimination, while others have a strong preference for one mark and have little use for the other. Here I am going to concentrate solely on the use of colons. The colon is described in the New … Continue reading Tips for writers: Knowing when to use colons

Proofreading services: Not just for publishers

Publishers are not the only ones that require and benefit from proofreading services. Below are a few instances of other people or bodies who can benefit from the attention and skill of an experienced proofreader, together with relevant links to my website for further information.

Tips for writers: Knowing how to use hyphens and dashes

You might wonder what the difference is between hyphens (-) and dashes/rules (*– en, — em dash/rule) that are to be seen in publications. Well, they have distinct functions in punctuation. The main ones are covered below. Hyphens These are used to join two words together (e.g. ‘mother-in-law’, ‘ill-natured child’), called a hard hyphen to … Continue reading Tips for writers: Knowing how to use hyphens and dashes

Preparing for proofreading

Following on from the benefits of proofreading there are several steps an author can take before submitting a document for proofreading to make the task faster and cheaper

The value of punctuation (1): the comma

Some people nowadays might think that with technology increasingly being used to communicate, for instance texting and tweeting, there is less use for punctuation. Perhaps so in the media I have just mentioned, but in formal communications such as letters, CVs, reports and books, it still serves an invaluable purpose: to enhance clarity and avoid … Continue reading The value of punctuation (1): the comma