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Here is information on what I do, how I bill, and what I need from you. Feel free to read the entire blog, or just skim the bold headings until you see the type of proofreading you need. I look forward to working with you! For $5 per unit, I will do the following: Proofread your paper for grammar, spelling, and punctuation. ($5 per 1200 words)  Provide notes explaining the changes I suggest. Make these changes (tentatively) in your paper and mark them in red print. I am: Certified in Teaching English as a Second Language Experienced in proofreading college-level academic writing, having done so as an employee of a nearby college and as a professional tutor Ethical and attentive to detail How it works: Message me and let me know what you are looking for in a proofreader. See the “extras” below for more options, and let me know if you need a service that is not listed. Charges: o $5 per 1200 words for basic... read more

You have one hour with a college prep specialist who can help make your admissions/scholarship essays award winning.  How can you maximize your time?  Here are five tips to get the most out of your time:   Come Prepared. - Bring the essay prompts from each of your colleges.  Bring a sample personal statement and resume.  Be sure to have any information necessary to complete an admissions essay, to include your GPA, test scores, and any major accomplishments. Know Thyself - Always know your stats.  During this time, knowing your GPA and SAT score is as important as knowing your name and birthdate.  Also, know (and have a list of) your interests, hobbies, favorite subjects, etc.  Have an idea of at least 3 possible majors and careers you would like to explore. Be on Time - There is a lot to cover!  The better prepared and earlier you are, the more likely we are to get a lot done. Also, I tend to take my time... read more

To help you edit a document for spelling, do NOT trust spell-checker. I told our fourth-grade daughter the same some years back when she was preparing a paper on the Yaqui Indian Nation. An aquaculture, they catch lots of fish.  Her paper ended up saying they most enjoyed eating "white surgeons."   Hilarious.   Spell-checker missed the irony, of course, and she would've submitted the cannibalistic sentence were it not for Daddy's vigilant proofread.   To avoid the same pitfall, it is very useful to check for spelling by going backwards through your document from end to beginning. Avoid reading the sentences in reverse order: literally read the document backwards word-by-word.   This helps you avoid reading quickly through sentences you've written yourself and accidentally skipping over speling misteaks. (Ha ha!)

Ernest Hemingway is one of the American writers of all time, but that did not happen overnight. Hemingway was a great writer because he accepted the fact that even great writers write terrible first drafts. The real magic happens in revision. As a writer, the most important thing to do is write. The time to be critical of your writing is when you come back to it for revision later. 

Computerized spell-check can be a handy time-saver when writing papers, and many students swear by it. However amazing it may be, though, spell-check is still just a computer program, and as such should not be considered a substitute for proofreading with human eyes. As evidence, here are three common mistakes that spell-check won't catch. Proper Nouns Spell-check uses a dictionary to compare the words you type to existing words. Proper nouns, like names of people or places, usually won't be in the computer's dictionary, and so the spell-check will flag them as misspelled. This means that when you proofread, you'll have to ignore the wavy underline under those names. But this can also backfire – what if you happened to misspell that name? The computer will underline it same as before, but your brain is already prepared to ignore underlining on that name so you run the risk of not catching it yourself. This is one reason I advocate actually printing out a hard copy of your... read more

It takes practice to find your writing style, whether it be in fiction, research papers, or analytical essays. The best piece of writing is both grammatically correct and organized, but also contains the essence of the person who's writing it. When I correct students' papers, I try to avoid suggesting alternate sentences in their entirety, since a paper written by you shouldn't sound like one written by me. Even if we are answering the exact same prompt in the exact same way, the tone and character of each paper will be distinct, unique to each of us. Finding your style is a slow process, and generally comes about organically as a result of experience. Write more papers and you will begin to zero in on what makes a paper sing for you. This is not to say that there aren't tips and techniques I can give to help you find your writing style. By far one of the most useful techniques in my own experience has been working with what I call “Finding your 'however'.” The name comes... read more

Many people, myself included, feel that for all its advantages, the internet has precipitated a steady decline in the quality of writing. Anyone can write anything anywhere, and while that gives a voice to many who otherwise might not have a public forum to share what they have to say, it also makes it difficult and sometimes impossible to uphold any sort of standards.   That said, the internet also offers plenty of resources for improving your writing. Here are a few of my favorites:   Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com Here you'll also find a thesaurus and several other reference tools. It may not be the Oxford English Dictionary, but it gives you plenty of good definitions and sometimes includes usage notes with practical implications for your writing, like differences in how similar words are typically used.   Difference Between http://www.differencebetween.com Speaking of differences, this is a really cool site. As its... read more

Always remember that if you're submitting something to your teacher/professor/employer, make sure that you check and re-check what you wrote on your essay, paper, and/or cover letters.  AutoCorrect always has a tendency to embarrass us a little.  It may THINK that it knows what we originally intended to say, but sometimes manages to screw it up.  It may be amusing when the incorrect message was sent to a friend or to Ellen because you can laugh about it, or Ellen can share it to her audience during the "thumbsy clumsy" segment of her show; however, it may not be as amusing when the mistake is in your essay/paper that you are being graded on.   So, remember after doing your spell check, have another read through of your work and have another set of eyes to read it as well to avoid mistakes and the embarrassment of having one of your words autocorrected.    

Many people, myself included, feel that for all its advantages, the internet has precipitated a steady decline in the quality of writing. Anyone can write anything anywhere, and while that gives a voice to many who otherwise might not have a public forum to share what they have to say, it also makes it difficult and sometimes impossible to uphold any sort of standards.   That said, the internet also offers plenty of resources for improving your writing. Here are a few of my favorites:   Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com Here you'll also find a thesaurus and several other reference tools. It may not be the Oxford English Dictionary, but it gives you plenty of good definitions and sometimes includes usage notes with practical implications for your writing, like differences in how similar words are typically used.   Difference Between http://www.differencebetween.com Speaking of differences, this is a really cool site... read more

It could be anything: paint, draw, even a new language. The idea that you are done learning once you reach a certain age in your life is as ridiculous as the notion that all women should be homemakers. In fact, it is never too late to learn anything! Take me, for example. I am a magazine editor who found a new life teaching about the very subjects that I learned in college and applied throughout my professional life.   My goal is to ensure that you will learn as quickly as possible any or all of the four subjects that I'm approved for in WyzAnt. Whether you want to understand the finer points of proofreading, or need to learn how to speak or write in English or in Spanish, I'll give you the tools that you'll need to become an expert in your selection from lesson one!

Philosophy of Education for M.J. T. To me the purpose of education is threefold: (1) provide students with a basis of knowledge, (2) teach students how to reason so that they can continue their education throughout their lives, and (3) instill in them a life-long excitement about and love of learning. Students must acquire a basis of knowledge, a framework on which to sort out and understand how various aspects of information in any subject area fit together to make the whole picture of where we have been and where we are going as a civilization. Science affects philosophy which affects the arts … ad infinitum. Nothing exists in a vacuum-sealed box. All knowledge is recursive and intertwined - reaches out and affects many areas outside the discipline in which it begins. I liken this basis of knowledge to a needlepoint tapestry mesh framework. The threads of different strands of information are worked in at various points. In some way every thread touches every other... read more

Hello! Thank you for visiting my site! I have 8 years of language teaching experience. I taught for 7 years at Princeton University and 1 year at the University of Notre Dame. It is truly a joy for me to help people reach their academic and personal goals. Please contact me as soon as possible to inquire about scheduling a tutoring session with me. I specialize in language arts, particularly Spanish, French, and English. I also have experience tutoring people of all ages, and helping them prepare for standardized tests. I look forward to hearing from you soon! Best regards, Valerie

One of the more frustrating things about tutoring is when students or their parents want to treat tutoring like a quick fix. In other words, sometimes they want to meet the night before a test and cram for said test in hopes of getting a better grade. On the surface, this problem might work, but it treats the symptoms rather than the root of the problem. If you're going to take the time to invest in a tutor, then here are a couple of suggestions. First, try to catch the problem early. If you (or your child) is struggling in a subject, get help right away. Don't wait until you (or your child) feels that overwhelming feeling that comes when one is completely lost in information. The sooner a tutor can get involved, the better the tutor can help a student to stay on track. Work with your tutor to adopt a thorough approach to the subject. It is not enough to learn the facts of a subject, but also to learn the reasons behind those facts. If you want to do well in a subject,... read more

I love sandwiches. In fact, to say I love sandwiches would be an understatement. Sandwiches are a staple for me. I occasionally like to buy them from a deli or bakery, as it’s important to me to experience the work of a fellow sandwich connoisseur; however, I do spend a great deal of time making them in my own kitchen. I like to use a variety of breads – dark Jewish rye, croissant, focaccia, rosemary olive oil. The choices are endless, but once I’m finally able to decide on what type of crust I’d like, I’m usually much faster at choosing the meat and cheese. I like to keep it simple. Honey ham, bacon, grilled chicken, or herb turkey. If I’m feeling fancy, I’ll pull the Havarti cheese out of the refrigerator. If I’m feeling ordinary, I’ll choose pepper jack. Sometimes I’ll add banana peppers or jalapeños if I’m feeling especially risqué. And then there’s the ultimate question: romaine lettuce or spinach? Both are healthy for you, but you usually don’t get the crisp texture when... read more

Hello! Here I am constructing my first tutoring blog! I am eager and excited to tutor you and get your from good to great! When tutoring, I work with my students to find out how they learn best and what other skills could be introduced to further help them. My experience as a 6th grade teacher has certainly helped me discover many new ways to reach every type of learner! Hope to talk to you soon about your tutoring needs! Allison

Hello everyone! Or should I say kazoozampola! That is Dzongkha (the national language of Bhutan) for HELLO! After a few months away in the Land of the Thunder Dragon, the Kingdom of Bhutan, teaching at the Royal University of Bhutan, I am back and ready to see you. I am ready to apply some of the insights into teaching that I gained on this last adventure. Every year or so I try to freshen my approach to teaching. Subjects don't change that much. Let's face it - spelling stays pretty much the same, as does the pronunciation of words, and the structure of a sentence. But HOW to teach these topics -whether to a high school student struggling with essay writing or a business executive getting prepared for a presentation, or a non-native speaker hoping to improve his job prospects - refreshing teaching methods keeps me fresh, and keeps you interested (and helps towards better results). A few years ago I took some ASL (American Sign Language) courses to help inform my teaching... read more

Salvete Omnes! (Greetings all!) This post is to inform all potential students that I am currently about 35 weeks pregnant and will not be accepting new students until April 1st. Current students should be advised that my schedule may become severely limited in the next two months. During this time, I may be available for short sessions or for one-time-only students. I will not be able to make any long-term commitments until April 1st.

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