ESL Proofreading

Picture of multinational students who may need esl proofreading servicesESL proofreading by Vappingo’s professional proofreading team is available from as little as $0.020 USD per word!

ESL proofreading is an extremely valuable service that can really make a difference to the written documents produced by non-native English speakers. Writing in a different language can be quite a daunting process. Unlike spoken English, written documents are there for everyone to see, and it is crucial that great care and attention is taken over their content.

Many ESL learners recognize the need to ensure that their written work is free of grammatical and spelling errors but they mistakenly rely on ESL proofreading software. This is of no use whatsoever to the majority of English learners. Spelling and grammar checking computer programs fail to detect incorrect word usage or tense, and can only point out that something may be incorrect. Without expert English knowledge, you may be unable to verify if it is indeed incorrect and how you should fix the error.

Vappingo’s ESL Proofreading Services

Writing in English isn’t always easy, even for native speakers. It is a very complex language with a confusing set of rules accompanied by an even more confusing set of exceptions to these rules. Whether you are writing an application essay, a term paper, a thesis or an article, your writing needs to clearly and accurately express your thoughts. Grammatical mistakes and structural flaws distract the reader, damage your grades and diminish your professional credibility. Our ESL proofreading services can help you to check your English and allow you to publish all your ESL documents with confidence.

Benefits of Our ESL Proofreading Services:

  • Make sure you’re understood: We can help you to refine your English communications so that you achieve your communication intentions every time.
  • Improve your English: See how our expert ESL proofreaders modify and adjust your English language structure. Grow your vocabulary and English usage through learning from your mistakes.
  • Publish with Confidence: Know that your document has been thoroughly checked by a professional proofreader and that the English contained within in it is suitable for your needs.
  • Save money: There’s no need to pay for an expensive translation agency. Allow us to work wonders on the structure and grammar of your written English documents so that they convey the message you intended.

For professional ESL proofreading.

ESL Proofreading Service Inclusions:

Our ESL proofreading services include checks for errors within the following elements of written English:

Apostrophes
Capitalization
Comma Usage and Splices
Grammar Usage
Punctuation Marks
Sentence Structure and Effectiveness
Sentence Fragments and Lengths
Spelling
Subject-Verb Disagreements
Tenses
Typography

Full confidentiality and privacy is guaranteed. Our SSL security means that your documents are perfectly safe with us.

Document types:

We can proofread absolutely any type of written document- essays, theses, letters, personal statements, job application forms, statement of purpose; the list is endless. No document is too small so if you’re simply looking to have a sentence verified, we can help.

ESL Services Prices:

Proofreading Prices:

To keep things simple, our proofreading services are priced on a per-word basis:

  • 24-hour turnaround= $0.028 per word
  • 48-hour turnaround= $0.024 per word
  • 72-hour turnaround= $0.020 per word

Editing Prices:

  • 24-hour editing= $0.036 per word
  • 48-hour editing= $0.032 per word
  • 72-hour editing= $0.028 per word

There really is no substitute for a professional proofreader. Don’t take any risks with your written documents, use the services of an affordable editor today.

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How Do You Write a Press Release?

How do you write a press release when you have absolutely no experience in public relations or marketing?

It is possible to write a press release that gets you the news coverage you are looking for without spending huge amounts of money. This article looks at how the art of writing press releases has changed in recent years and provides insights into five things you can do to give your press release the best possible start. If you need some additional help, take a look at our press release template.

Back to basics

One of the most important facts to grasp as soon as possible is that writers and journalists are looking for an easy life. The trick to writing a press release that gets traction is to get into the minds of reporters and write like them. This facilitates the progression of the press release from an email attachment to a published article with very little effort on behalf of the journalists.

How do you do this?

Firstly you need to confine all traditional guides to writing press releases where they belong, in the past. Times have changed and the press releases that are successful in today’s market are very different from those that were once used to connect PR professionals with media contacts. When trying to make your press release stand out from the rest, there are four basic things that you need to remember:

  • You need to keep it brief so that people will be tempted to read it
  • You need to be creative so they will enjoy reading it
  • You need to use plain language so they will understand it and remember it
  • You need to make sure it is free of any grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors if you wish to be taken seriously. That’s where proofreading services come in handy!

Follow all of these rules, and you may just get the attention you’re looking for.

How to write a press release: The New Rules

Picture of the number oneUse basic language

Company ABC unveils full-service, innovative solutions for maximum impact and business success. Our unique service model can take your business to the next level.

Does that make any sense whatsoever to you? No.

Don’t be tempted to fill your press release with clichés or jargon that only someone in your industry will understand. Translate the descriptions of your services and products into the most basic language you can. Get back to basics and in simple terms describe who, what, where, why and when.

An example of a simple description of a complex service: Savers looking to beat inflation are shunned by banks

Picture of the number twoDon’t get all emotional

ABC company is excited to announce the launch of our new widget. We are delighted that all our hard work has finally been realized.

Journalists don’t really care how you feel. Why? Because their readers don’t care how you feel. They are looking for news and storylines that are interesting, fresh and informative. The most powerful part of your press release, and the element that is most likely to be published, is your quotation. Don’t waste this by delving into the depths of your emotion psyche. Focus on what the announcement brings to the table and why people need to know about it.

An example of a press release that is based on fact, not emotion: Kashoo for the iPad

Picture of the number threeGrab Your Audience’s Attention

ABC company celebrates 10 years of successful trading in the widget industry.

So what? That’s really great for you, but again, why would journalists or their readers give a damn about that?

Yes, your credentials and accolades may give your business credibility, but they are not the most important thing about your announcement, and they, therefore, shouldn’t be used to open the press release. Put the news first and the supporting information much further down.

Example of sharing newsworthy facts: Oracle Buys Pillar Data Systems


Great headlines mean you will make the headlines

Company ABC announces multitudes of additional advanced features to its existing medical billing services.

Stop the press! Multitudes? I’m sure every journalist in the country was captivated by that one.

Journalists get thousands of press releases sent to them on a monthly basis. You need yours to stand out. Create a headline that grabs attention and don’t be afraid to be slightly off the wall.

Example of great press release headline: The most amazing press release ever written

Picture of the number fiveGet to the point. Fast.

People today are impatient. In a world where we are accustomed to communicating with our friends and family via 140 characters or less, we just don’t waste time on niceties anymore. Reporters are busy people, and they want to know what’s in it for them within the first paragraph of your press release. Understandably, if you do get your press release in front of journalists, you will want to use the opportunity to tell them as much as you can about your amazing products and services. Try to resist this temptation. Highlight the key news and provide links to further information. That way reporters can learn more about you when (and if) they want to.

Example of getting to the point in press releases: 300 Years of Fossil Fueled Addiction in 300 Seconds

If you have written a press release and could benefit from some expert help refining the details, please do check out our proofreading and editing services. From just $0.020 USD per word, you can gain access to professionals who can help you to craft expert press releases that get results.

10 Resume Errors That Make you Look Like a Chimp

Resume errors can make you look like a chimpIt’s a competitive job market out there and, when it comes to searching for a job, you cannot afford to make any résumé errors. Here are 10 of the most common résumé errors that our proofreaders and editors see when working on résumés and CVs.

Picture of the number oneLack of focus.

When it comes to résumés and cover letters, one shape DOES NOT fit all. It is crucial that your résumé is tailored to the job that you are applying for and that you describe your knowledge, skills, and experience in a way that relates to the advertised position. It is not the recruiter’s responsibility to try and decipher whether you can fit the job role, you need to spell out the fact that you do meet their requirements.

Picture of the number twoOver-reliance on boring stock phrases.

Your résumé in combination with your cover letter is your one chance to market yourself and stand out from the rest. It is just not acceptable to overuse stock phrases that can be found in every résumé sample on the web. Time and time again our editors read résumés and cover letters that consist of one cliché phrase after another, with no real substance or message. Avoid phrases like “proven track record,” “bottom-line focused,” “experience working in a fast-paced environment,” etc. They are just meaningless, throwaway words that don’t validate your skills and experience. Be specific and qualify your achievements using facts and figures.

Picture of the number threePoor organization.

Employers want to read your resume and cover letter to quickly and easily see whether or not you are right for the advertised position. Present them with information that will help them to determine your suitability as quickly as you can. They don’t care if you can run a marathon with a monkey on your back or if you have a pet boa constrictor, they want to know what you can do for them, and they want to know this within the first few seconds of reading.

Picture of the number fourLong paragraphs.

Do not bury key information in long, complicated paragraphs. Get straight to the point and present yourself, your skills and your experience in a concise manner. Bullet point the key areas that make you stand out and use your cover letter and resume to concentrate on the value that you can bring to the role advertised.

Picture of the number fiveDull layout.

Don’t be tempted to use any of the commonly available résumé templates. Employers and recruiters see these every day of the week and you will not stand out. Design your own résumé but remember to keep it simple and use a professional looking format. Both your resume and cover letter should use one standard typeface (no mixing) in 10 to 12 point font size, maximum 14 for headings. Make sure your final résumé will scan and print well.

Picture of the number sixTyping errors.

According to reports from UK tabloid the Mirror a staggering 94% of the CVs received by recruiters go straight into the bin. Why? Because they contain mistakes. Make sure you thoroughly proofread your résumé several times and double-check that it does not contain any errors. Do not be tempted to rely on grammar checking software or spell checkers, since sentences like “manger of 50 strong team” would get the all clear. If you are not confident in your ability to check for mistakes then consider using our professional editing services.

Too Personal.

Don’t include too much personal information about yourself that is completely irrelevant to the role advertised. What if the person reviewing the résumé and cover letter detests animal enthusiasts or thinks people who enjoy reading should get a social life? Keep all information relevant and don’t, for the love of God, include a photograph. Not only does it look completely unprofessional, it creates a legal threat to the employer since the photograph ultimately discloses your age, gender, and ethnicity.

Picture of the number eightNote that references are available upon request.

Of course they are. Don’t waste space.

Picture of the number nineToo much focus on objectives and skills summaries.

If you need to summarize your skills in a paragraph then this means one of two things: you haven’t written your cover letter well enough or you are being redundant. Let your work experience speak for itself and don’t be tempted to write a wordy career objective section, save this for your cover letter.

Try to keep the résumé down to one length.

If you have a significant amount of work experience then it just isn’t possible to fit it all on a single A4 page and, if you attempt to do so, you lose the value of the résumé as a principal marketing tool. Let the length of your career determine the length of your résumé; just make sure you get straight to the point.

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A Quick and Simple Guide to Modifiers

Confused looking at screenModifiers are words or phrases that provide additional descriptive information about the subject addressed within a sentence. Modifiers are used to inject life into sentences and make them much more interesting for the reader.

Take a look at this sentence:

Sarah fell over.

This sentence is grammatically correct and great for people who want to get straight to the point. However, if it were to be used in a creative story or novel, it wouldn’t exactly win any Pulitzer prizes.

Here’s how modifiers could potentially make the sentence a lot more interesting:

Clumsy Sarah, who was proudly wearing a new pair of high heels, suddenly tripped and fell over on the cafeteria floor, shrieking loudly as the tray of food she was carrying went everywhere, causing a real mess in front of half the school.

The use of modifiers has added additional detail to the information communicated and has made the sentence much more interesting for the reader. Modifiers can be both adverbs and adjectives:

Adjective: clumsy.

Adjective clause: who was proudly wearing a new pair of high heels.

Adverb: suddenly.

Adverb clause: as the tray of food she was carrying went everywhere.

 

Prepositional phrases can also act as modifiers:

Prepositional phrase: on the cafeteria floor.

The Quickest & Easiest Way To Differentiate Between That and Which

If you frequently confuse the words “which” and “that,” don’t feel too bad, you are not alone. It’s up there as one of the most common errors that our proofreaders and editors come across.

The good news is that we have a very simple approach to determining the difference between “which” and “that” and by reading just three short paragraphs you can banish this particular grammar hangup for good.

 

The difference between which and that involves two simple rules:

  • The word “that” should be used before a restrictive clause.
  • The word “which” before any other clause (a nonrestrictive clause).

That’s pretty much it. Simple really.

Great. But what’s a restrictive clause? (That)

A restrictive clause is absolutely essential to the meaning of a sentence. If you take it away then the sentence will no longer make sense to the reader.

The hairy goat’s opinion that the young monkey could not juggle chainsaws while standing on one leg was sadly proven to be correct.

The part of the sentence underlined above, “opinion that the young monkey could not juggle chainsaws while standing on one leg,” is restrictive because the sentence does not achieve anything without it:

The hairy goat’s opinion was sadly proven to be correct.

What was his opinion, who or what did he have an opinion on?

 

What’s a nonrestrictive clause? (Which)

A nonrestrictive clause is the part of a sentence that can be completely left out without changing the meaning of the sentence. Simply put, it’s just additional information.

The hairy goat’s opinion, which we all agreed with, was that the monkey could not juggle chainsaws while standing on one leg.

In this example, the phrase “which we all agreed with” is additional information. Its inclusion or exclusion does not really change the meaning of the sentence. If we take it out, the sentence remains plausible:

The hairy goat’s opinion was that the monkey could not juggle chainsaws while standing on one leg.

 

So that’s it in a nutshell. Many people will argue that the rules are not quite so straightforward but—in our opinion—simple is best, and if you can master the differences between nonrestrictive clauses and restrictive clauses you’re pretty much there.

If you still can’t grasp the differences between which and that, or you’ve written something that needs to be absolutely perfect and you need someone to check your English, take a look at our proofreading services now.

What Are Scare Quotes?

Writers will often use scare quotes around a word or phrase to indicate that they don’t entirely buy into the context within it is being used.

For example, a writer may write:

Yesterday I was chased by my neighbor’s “dog”: a poodle.

Here, the writer is letting the reader know that he doesn’t think of poodles as constituting proper dogs and is basically making fun of the breed. Through using quotes on either side of the word dog he is implying that while his neighbors may call it a dog, it is not the term that he would use. There is almost certainly a hint of sarcasm in the tone of his writing.

These types of quotation marks are often called scare quotes and they show the reader that the writer wants to distance himself from a word or phrase for one reason or another.

Read more: https://www.vappingo.com/word-blog/colon-or-comma-before-quotation-marks/

One of the problems with scare quotes is that they are very frequently misused and quotation marks are incorrectly applied to draw attention to words within a sentence:

Scare quotes read "live" lobsters

In this picture, the restaurant owner is unwittingly suggesting that the lobsters are not really alive. The scare quotes around the word live lead the reader to question why the word has been singled out and what it actually means.

If you are not 100 per cent confident about when you should use scare quotes, avoid them at all costs. If you think a word is appropriate, you should just use it without any quotes; if you don’t think it’s appropriate, then don’t use it at all, unless you are explicitly trying to be ironic or sarcastic.

Getting it wrong can make you look like a complete fool, as our list of unnecessary quotation marks proves.

What is a Double Negative?

Reads: "Don't lean nothing on wall"

Source: www.failblog.com

What is a double negative and do you need to care?

The quick answer to this is yes. Some people believe that there is a place for them in written English and others argue that they are non-standard and should not be used. Regardless of your opinion, you need to be able to identify them and understand the impact that their use may have on the meaning of your sentence.

What is a double negative?

A double negative occurs when a clause contains two negative words that serve to cancel one another out. They are generally acceptable in informal language as a means of intensifying a negative meaning. However, it is important to recognize that their usage can cause confusion for a reader and it is, therefore, advisable that they are completely avoided in formal written English.

Two negatives make a positive

One of the main problems associated with double negatives is that when you use two negative words in a single sentence they form a positive. This entails that people who mistakenly use a double negative in a clause actually say the opposite of what they intended to say. For example, if you were to write, “I don’t have no problems,” the words don’t and no would cancel each other out and you would effectively be saying: “I have money.”

Are there situations when it is okay to use a double negative?

Yes. Occasionally, double negatives can be useful when a writer wants to emphasize a negative quality. For example, the clause, “I cannot disagree with you” is a double negative—”I agree with you” would be the positive descriptor—however, using the negative form places an emphasis on the fact that, while there is no basis on which to disagree, the agreement is tentative. Similar clauses are, “I won’t ask you not to do that,” and “I am not unhappy,” “I’m not sure that I didn’t say that,” and “I don’t dislike him.”

How to avoid using double negatives

1) It sounds obvious, but if you are unsure whether it is suitable to use a double negative or not, just avoid using two negative words in the same sentence.

2) Be careful with your use of the word but. The word but has a negative meaning and if it is used in the same clause as another negative, a double negative situation will occur.

Example:

Incorrect: We have no doubt but that John will win the competition.

Correct: We have no doubt that John will win the competition.

3) Words like barely, hardly, and scarcely have negative connotations and should not be used with another negative as they will create a double negative.

Incorrect: He couldn’t hardly walk after a full afternoon gardening.

Correct: He could hardly walk after a full afternoon gardening.

 

How to Write a Formal Letter: 8 Top Tips

Funny break up letterThere are occasions in everyone’s life when they need to write a formal letter.

Whether you are responding to a job advertisement, complaining about the service you received in a public establishment or appealing for help from your local political representative, there are some occasions where you need to know how to construct a letter that gets results.

There is a certain art to writing formally and effectively getting your point across. Here are eight top tips for writing a formal letter that gets results.

 

 

Picture of the number oneUnderstand why you are writing the letter

Before you put pen to paper or start typing away, stop for a while and consider the purpose of your letter; what are you hoping to achieve? Note down what you want the reader to do after receiving your letter. Do you want some form of compensation? Are you hoping to get hired? Are you seeking forgiveness for something you have done? Regardless of the motivation behind your letter, ensure that you identify the main purpose of writing it in the first place. Once you know this, you can ensure that your writing works towards achieving your objectives.

 

Picture of the number twoUnderstand who your audience is

No, you can’t start writing just yet. The next thing you need to do when contemplating a formal letter is to identify who you are writing it to. Here you need to do more than just name the person; you need to think about who they are and what type of communication they will expect. For example, you would write a very different letter to a restaurant owner than you would to a local politician. Think carefully about the type of language that the reader will expect and be familiar with and ensure that the tone of your writing reflects this.

 

Picture of the number threeKeep to the point

Formal does not necessarily mean lengthily. People appreciate brevity and do not want to wade through multiple detailed paragraphs to get to the point of a letter. Your objective when composing a formal letter should be to present the key facts as quickly and simply as you can. It is a basic fact that shorter letters stand more chance of being read.

 

Picture of the number fourKeep the language simple

Again, formal does not necessarily mean complicated. Even if you are addressing your letter to someone who is highly educated, you don’t need to use long words and complex paragraphs. Make your target audience’s life easier by using simple language that is easy to read and understand.

 

Picture of the number fiveGet straight to the point

The first paragraph of your letter should quickly and simply summarize the point that you want the reader to focus or act on. The sooner you do this, the better.

 

Picture of the number sixFormat the letter appropriately

Make sure that you follow the expected conventions for formatting a formal letter. Failure to do so may result in your letter going straight in the garbage.

 

Proofread

It doesn’t matter how perfect your written English is, errors are extremely easy to make. When you have finished composing your letter, set it aside for a while before proofreading it. Never rely on spell check alone. If you need help with your written English, consider using our proofreading and editing service.

 

Picture of the number eightLet it rest for a while

If you have the luxury of time, then never send a letter immediately. Set it aside for a while and let it cool. This is especially important if you are writing to complain or are addressing a topic that you feel particularly passionate about. Taking time to cool off will allow you to read your writing in a more measured manner and will help you to ensure that your emotions do not cloud the key points.
Are you writing a cover letter? We have created a great cover letter formula that will get you results every time.

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When to Use a Colon: 9 Simple Rules

Picture of a colon punctuation markIt is important that you know when to use a colon, as good writing in English will usually make use of this punctuation mark. A colon consists of two dots, one above the other, and it should not be confused with the semi-colon, which looks similar but has very different uses.

There are several rules that are useful when you are learning when to use a colon.

When to use a colon: Nine Simple Rules

Read moreWhen to Use a Colon: 9 Simple Rules

14 Quick Tips on Business Writing That Can Make You a Copywriting Stud

copywriting tipsNo wonder you’re looking for tips on business writing. There’s a lot of responsibility on your shoulders. You need to produce copy that sells your products and services, presents your company in a professional manner, builds relationships with your customer base and attracts traffic to your website and blog—all at the same time.

Where do you begin?

Although many high paid copywriters out there don’t shout it from the rooftops, the truth is that writing great business copy is actually quite simple, provided you follow a set of basic rules. Luckily for you, we’ve summarized these rules into 14 basic tips on business writing. Follow these, and you will never stare aimlessly at a blank sheet of paper ever again.

14 Tips of Business Writing

1) Write for your reader

Many writers make one fundamental mistake: they write for themselves. If you have a target audience, you should write for them. Look at the topic from their point of view and incorporate information that they need to know.

2) Write actively

Put your subject at the heart of every sentence and make it do something. The active voice is usually far more effective than the passive voice because it is more direct and concise. See our article on tips for maintaining an active voice.

3) Keep it simple

One of our top tips on business writing is to keep it as simple as possible. Get to the point and avoid using unnecessary words that clutter the writing.

4) Tell them what to do

The whole point of business writing is to get your prospective customer to actually do something. Decide upfront what it is that you would like them to do and make sure you ask them to do it.

  • “Buy online now”
  • “Subscribe to our RSS feed”
  • “Follow us on Twitter”

5) Make sure it’s grammatically correct

Proofread your writing carefully and make sure it is completely free of errors. Writing doesn’t have to be formal and stuffy, but it does need to be grammatically correct, otherwise you’ll look like an idiot — and that will certainly put off your customers.

6) Grab attention

You only have a few seconds to grab people’s attention. Use a headline and the first few lines of your copy to draw people in.

7) Handle objections

As your customer reads your business communications they will be looking for reasons not to buy your products. Make a list of what all these reasons may be and address every one within your written copy.

8) Edit

Don’t knock out a quick written document and publish it immediately—edit it, edit it again and then edit it once more. The more times you review it, the better it will get. If editing and proofreading isn’t your thing, try our business editing services.

9) Write as you speak

Not every piece of business writing needs to be adorned with formal phrases and embellished discourse. Written copy is a substitute for having a personal conversation with your customer. Use natural, plain language that is warm and welcoming.

10) Encourage your customers to imagine

One of the quickest methods of getting your customers involved with your message is to encourage them to use their imagination. Instruct them to imagine the positive outcome of using your product or service and you will encourage them to develop a deeper connection with your key messages.

11) Know that size does matter

Make sure your writing is legible and can be easily read on all the mediums upon which it will appear. Aim for a 10-point font as a minimum and avoid any bright colors that will not transfer well in print or on the screen.

12) Avoid long words and lengthy descriptions

Call a spade a spade, not a long-handled instrument for the manual manipulation of the earth.

13) Love lists

Write lists. Customers like lists of reasons, benefits, features etc. Why are you reading these tips on business writing? You like lists too.

14) Be unique

The majority of things that are labeled unique rarely are. Don’t think for one minute that declaring that your products are services are unique will convince your customers. Explaining why they are unique may just get you somewhere.

 

Do you have any tips on business writing? Let us know.