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Writers’ Exchange Blog2018-11-02T13:06:01+00:00

Does Proofreading Really Matter?

We’ve spent much time talking about editing, and now it’s proofreading time to take the front stage.  We’ve all had the experience of reading a professional text and noticing a typo. The immediate response is [...]

Proofreading Checklist

Proofreading Checklist Ideas for proceeding: some writers find reading their work aloud helps find errors. Others read their papers backwards in examining for correctness. Still others find it best to have a new eye (another [...]

On Writing Dissertations

From the Director’s Desk: Writing a dissertation is a daunting enterprise: it’s the most in-depth researching and writing enterprise of your academic program.  Its chapters & their purposes can be unfamiliar and the pressure to [...]

International Writing

International writers to American universities can have a varied experience, but one constant is the impact of the “secret language” of American idioms and academic jargon. Marshall Adams is a doctoral student from Ghana studying [...]

Meet our Editor: Nancy Struckman!

Nancy Birn Struckman has worked as an editor and proofreader for over twenty-five years, including as a managing editor for a local newspaper. She is currently the manager of Editing for Style, LLC, where she [...]

Meet Our Editor: Loretta Rafay!

Loretta Rafay has over ten years of editing experience in science, humanities, legal, and literary writing. Her specialty is working with English Language Learner academics to prepare theses, dissertations, and journal manuscripts for publication in [...]

Read to Cross-train Your Mind

When I first started my graduate program, I expected to do plenty of reading, especially in my field. After all, as writer Joseph Addison famously said, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to [...]

Cracking the Cover Letter

Cover letters are a part of job, internship, and practicum applications that always tripped me up.  As soon as I saw the words “cover letter”, I felt stuck because I didn’t know where to begin.  [...]

Three Rules That Set Me Free

I’ve considered myself a writer for the past few years now, and yet, with the exception of scattered moments in which I felt I’d combust if I didn’t write, I found myself putting writing off. [...]

Rules with Academic Degrees

WEX has had a few questions in the past couple of months regarding ways of acknowledging academic degrees in our writing, and we hope this posting would help clarify the rules.   Capitalization: In the [...]

Triage Your Thinking

I often have trouble deciding what to write about in a paper. It is typical for one initial idea to spin off into multiple different yet relevant avenues, and I hit a wall in my [...]

The Pre-Writing Process

I used to think I could sit down, write, and create something incredible. It’s easy enough to convey an idea through words; I speak every day, why should writing be difficult? I have since learned [...]

Nurturing Creativity

Perhaps one of the most challenging and time consuming stages of my writing process is finding out what I want to write. Finding an idea—a good idea is essential. I have often tormented myself sitting [...]

Dash Away!

Have you ever wondered what all the commotion was between hyphens and dashes? If you're writing for publication (esp in APA), you might have been given feedback from a reader or an editor about the [...]

The Curse of Knowledge

Once I know something, I find it hard to remember what it was like not to know it. As a result, I have a hard time communicating what I’ve learned. I use jargon – specialized [...]

Proofreading Made Easier

Proofreading your own writing can be a difficult enterprise. You’ve read the material so many times that your eye doesn’t catch what can be glaring to an outside reader. Errors or typos are too quickly [...]

Beyond Rules

I recently went through a box of ephemera from high school, including old essays. Each one I read started with a dictionary definition. According to Merriam-Webster, rigid (adj.) means inflexibly set in opinion, or strictly [...]

Do I Really Have to Ask For Help?

I used to sit in the back of the classroom struggling to comprehend what the teacher wanted from me. Sometimes assignments would be pretty clear to me. Other times, it was as if the teacher [...]

Learning to Listen

I once spoke with a sculptor about how she works. “I get this idea in my head,” she told me. “I’ll start sketching it in my notebooks, trying to imagine what it will look like [...]

Procrastination Nation

I acquired a nasty habit in college: procrastination. However, I’ve started retraining myself not to wait until the last minute to write. I used to say “Oh, I write better under pressure,” except that writing [...]

The Tension with Tenses

I’ve found that when working with ESL students, the most challenging thing for me has been explaining verb tenses. Now, as a bilingual person, I completely understand how confusing English is. That doesn’t mean I [...]

Reading Your Reader

“You need a comma here. Also, what does this sentence mean?” I know unclear comments are just a part of getting feedback, but I still do a double-take when I see them. What were you, [...]

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