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Writing a Thesis Statement that Takes Your Essay to the Next Level

Writing a Thesis Statement

Writing a Thesis StatementA thesis statement or hypothesis is essentially what makes an essay what it is. This one statement, found in an essay’s introduction, tells a reader what the essay is about and what the writer’s main argument or research findings are. Because this sentence states the purpose of the essay itself, it should be clear and concise and provide the writer’s concrete view of the particular subject. Writing a thesis statement that clearly outlines your stance on the topic and that is easy to understand differentiates a strong essay from a weak one. In this article, what makes a good thesis will be explained. We also provide some thesis statement examples to show you what works.

A Thesis Statement Should be Arguable

A good thesis statement can be debated and, therefore, can be backed up by research to persuade others that the hypothesis is correct or the best solution to a problem. You want the reader of your essay to agree with whatever you have argued, so stating facts does not make a good thesis or a good essay. The point of research is to further knowledge of a particular subject. Take a look at this thesis statement example that is simple but arguable:

Saving endangered species, like the polar bear, should be the responsibility of all countries.

There are people who would argue that it is not up to the entire world to save the polar bear but that it is the responsibility of the countries in which polar bears are found. This statement is easily debatable.

A Thesis Statement Should be Focused

Writing a focused thesis statement will not only keep your writing on track and help you avoid an overwhelming amount of research but will also allow you to create a solid argument. Every hypothesis must be supported by evidence and research. You do not want to make so broad a statement that you need a wide range of evidence to support it. Focus your statement on a specific area of your topic, and narrow your research to just this area.

The disappearance of suitable climates in which woolly mammoths could live likely resulted in the extinction of the species.

The thesis statement example given here is focused on a specific aspect that likely contributed to the extinction of the woolly mammoth—climate change. Researching evidence on one aspect of your topic can strengthen the final argument.

A Thesis Statement Should Reflect the Type of Essay being Written

The way you’ll go about writing a thesis statement will depend on the type of essay you need to write. A thesis for a book review will be worded differently than a thesis for a research proposal. Each version outlines the main purpose of the essay itself. Below are thesis statement examples for a variety of essay types.

A book or journal review thesis is a statement of your critical evaluation of the book

In The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien explores the theme of friendship through the loyalty and respect displayed between many of the main characters, such as Frodo and Sam, Gimli and Legolas, and Merry and Pippin.

A position or argumentative essay thesis is a statement of your position and why you adhere to it

University graduates in the 21st century cannot find valuable work because of the state of the economy and because many workers of the baby boomer generation refuse to retire.

A comparative essay thesis is a statement of your main argument and the main points of your comparison

Dogs often make better pets than cats because they can be easily trained and are more emotionally responsive.

A research paper thesis is a statement of your main claim relating to a topic or problem

Because of a greater sense of community and cultural involvement, people who live in the city experience a higher quality of life than people who live in rural areas.

A research proposal thesis is a statement of what you believe to be the main claim about a topic or problem

Evidence indicates that children who learn an instrument frequently go on to work in creative fields as adults.

Conclusion

Once you have a solid understanding of your research topic, writing a thesis statement should be relatively simple. Having your thesis statement planned out before you start your essay will allow you to focus your writing and help you create a strong argument. Once you have compiled all your research and know what you want to say in your essay, try writing out a few versions of your thesis statement, keeping in mind that it must be arguable, focused, and appropriate for the type of essay you’re writing.

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How to Write an Essay

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How to Perform a Social Media Cleanup Before a Job Search

How to Perform a Social Media Cleanup Before a Job Search

How to Perform a Social Media Cleanup Before a Job SearchPerforming a social media cleanup has become an important part of the job search process. Whether you realize it or not, what you post online becomes part of your personal brand, and those pictures from that one summer camping trip you barely remember from your early 20s can come back to haunt you. Potential employers can and do check job candidates’ personal social media accounts, making social media etiquette an important factor to keep in mind. How you are portrayed online can affect an employer’s impression of you before you even meet face-to-face.

To begin a social media cleanup, run a Google search on yourself to see what a potential employer might find. It is likely that your various social media accounts will appear, which employers will look at to gain more insight into your personality, opinions, and lifestyle. This is where understanding how to present yourself professionally via personal branding and social media etiquette is important. Note: if you aren’t willing to change your online habits, consider changing your privacy settings to hide your activity.

Twitter

What to remove

Everyone needs to rant sometimes, and Twitter has become an outlet for many peoples’ pet peeves, strong opinions, and personal views. A well-worded tweet reflecting on a trending news story is one thing, but if an employer finds a Twitter account filled with complaints about work and coworkers, or repeated tweets to other companies in attempts to get free stuff, it might make the employer second-guess whether you’re a fit with the company. It’s also a good idea to make sure you’re presenting a good impression of yourself, and while the occasional cat meme is harmless enough, keep the vulgar language or pictures to a minimum.

How to remove a tweet

  1. Sign in to Twitter.
  2. Click on your profile.
  3. Choose the tweet you wish to delete, and select the ellipsis (“…”) at the bottom of the tweet itself to view more options.
  4. Select “Delete Tweet,” and confirm that you wish to delete it.

How to Delete a Tweet from Twitter.

Personal branding

Personal branding on Twitter is easy because of the simplicity of the Twitter profile. Make sure you provide a professional profile picture that reflects you, your business, and your niche. For example, if you’re a hobby photographer, make sure your profile picture showcases your photography style. Your profile bio is limited to 160 characters, but you should remember to include the most relevant keywords associated with your personal brand or niche.

Take your time writing your bio, and make it interesting by being authentic and true to your lifestyle. You can also include hashtags in your bio that directly connect to aspects of your brand. Be sure to include your website address or link to another social media account. If an employer finds a well-presented Twitter profile highlighting your accomplishments and talents, the employer is more likely to gain a good first impression of your value as an employee.

Facebook

What to remove

Facebook can be especially problematic because so many people have used the social network for years, and it is possible to be tagged in posts and pictures that you may not have written or posted. Social etiquette has changed over the years, depending on what stage of life you were in when you began using social media. For many millennials who opened their first Facebook account nearly a decade ago, this makes a social media cleanup essential.

It may be a good idea to remove or hide any questionable pictures from your college or university days. (You know—the ones that feature beer bottles and strange outfits.) It’s also a good idea to scan your status updates, shares, and posts to remove anything too extreme; you want to make sure your rant about ignorant people or that post including a video of Kim Kardashian selfies isn’t the first thing a potential employer sees. On Facebook, much of this information can also be hidden instead of deleted.

How to remove or hide pictures and posts

Photo Albums

  1. Log in to your Facebook account, and go to your profile.
  2. Select the Photos tab.
  3. Select the Albums tab.
  4. You can make the photo album private from the Settings menu in the bottom right-hand corner of each album.
  5. You can delete an album by clicking on the album and choosing to delete it from the Settings tab in the top right-hand corner.
  6. Confirm that you want to delete the album.

Pictures

  1. Log in to your Facebook account, and go to your profile.
  2. Select the Photos tab.
  3. You can delete photos individually by going to the Photos tab (for all photos you have uploaded to an album or your timeline) or by searching for them in the Albums tab. To delete, hover over a photo, and select Delete This Photo from the Edit option found in the top right-hand corner.

4. Confirm that you want to delete the picture.

How to delete a photo from Facebook, part 2.

5. To hide the picture, choose the option Hide from Timeline.You can remove yourself from pictures in which others have tagged you by hovering over the photo and choosing the Remove Tag option from the Edit feature found in the top right-hand corner.

Status Updates and Posts

  1. Log in to your Facebook account, and go to your profile.
  2. Scroll down your timeline, and find the post or status update you wish to remove.
  3. Select the downward arrow in the top right-hand corner of your post, and select Delete.
  4. Confirm that you want to delete the post.
  5. To hide a status or post, select the Hide from Timeline option from the same menu.

How to delete a Facebook post.

Personal branding

Personal branding on Facebook is not something many people think about in relation to their personal accounts. But Facebook can work for you both personally and professionally. Make sure you present a professional profile picture and cover image. This doesn’t mean they have to be stuffy or formal, but high-quality, appropriate photos will significantly contribute to others’ impressions of you.

Fill in all of your professional information—potential employers might check this against your application. Follow groups and pages that relate to who you are and your interests; presenting the most authentic version of yourself online is a key part of personal branding. Be aware of what you post on Facebook, and perhaps substitute that extra cute cat mash-up video for a think piece on something about which you are passionate.

Instagram

What to remove

Like Facebook, you might want to consider a social media cleanup of your Instagram feed, considering that the two platforms are so closely intertwined (and that Instagram is now owned by Facebook). Remove any questionable photos that may not show you in the best light if an employer were to stumble across them, or you can set your account to private. Removing any off-color quotes or images is also an important aspect of social media etiquette.

How to remove

  1. Log in to Instagram on your phone or tablet—pictures cannot be The Instagram logo.deleted from the computer dashboard.
  2. Go to your profile.
  3. Select the photo you wish to delete.
  4. View more options by selecting the ellipsis (“. . .”).
  5. Select Delete from the Options menu.
  6. Confirm that you wish to delete the photo.

Personal branding

Instagram has become a significant platform for personal branding. To utilize the app to its best potential, upload a professional profile picture, and really consider what you post. You are more likely to gain followers if your images are edited in a similar manner so that the photos flow together nicely or have the same aesthetic. Try to showcase photos that you have taken yourself that reveal who you are and what your lifestyle is like in an authentic way.

Conclusion

The key to knowing what to post on social media, especially when embarking on a job search, is to consider each post from the perspective of someone who doesn’t know you. Ask yourself, “If this one post were the only thing somebody knew about me, how would I come across?”

Even though your friends and family may know that a certain status update is meant to be sarcastic or that you only use the word totes ironically (s-u-u-ure), remember that potential employers don’t know you well and are still in the process of forming their opinions about you. Make sure your social media accounts help them form accurate and positive opinions that reassure them of your professionalism and reliability.

 

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Avoiding Gender Bias in Academic Writing

Avoiding Gender Bias in Academic WritingAcademic writing and research is becoming an increasingly globalized practice, and because of the Internet, journals are able to quickly and easily accept papers and studies from researchers around the world.

A challenge for English as a Second Language (ESL) writers is that it is standard for many academic journals to publish in English, meaning that the original research must be revised and sometimes even translated into natural-sounding English. With research arriving from such a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds, keeping the language in these studies free from gender bias has become an important part of the academic writing process.

What is gender bias?

Gender bias is a form of sexism that indicates that one gender is superior to another—most often that men are superior to women. Often, writing with gender bias is unintentional; using gender-neutral wording may require some extra thought or attention to detail for academic authors who aren’t accustomed to thinking in such terms.

Awareness of gender bias in writing is relatively recent, and it logically stands to increase as the number of female academics continues to climb in many countries.

Why does gender neutrality matter?

In the broadest sense, language is an integral part of human society and interaction, and how we use language both subtly and pervasively influences the way people perceive and understand the world.

In terms of gender, women in research-driven online communities, such as Wikipedia, have indicated that the use of male-centered language leads to feelings of inadequacy and experiences of misogyny and harassment. It can foster non-inclusive environments in which women may feel that their point of view is not perceived to be as valid as their male counterparts’.

In turn, this can lead to fewer women contributing to research in various fields, and whether or not people realize it, female authorship still has an effect on how content is received. It’s common knowledge that even famous female fiction writers, such as J.K. Rowling, have been asked to use a gender-neutral pen name to increase readership among both males and females.

One area of academic writing in which gender bias and inequality is pervasive is the sciences. A study by the journal Nature analyzed over 5,000,000 academic articles published from 2008 to 2012 to determine the ratio of female to male authorship. Despite the fact that female enrollment in the sciences is higher than male enrollment in many countries, this was not reflected in research output. Nature found that, for every article published with primary authorship attributed to a woman, there were two attributed to men. A female’s academic writing was also less likely to be cited in other works if the author’s name was obviously that of a woman.

What this means is that, despite the fact that women are becoming a dominant force in many scientific fields, a lot of their contributions are unrecognized by the wider scientific community, which still favors inequality and male perspectives.

Politically, gender equality in language is backed by legislation in many countries and by the United Nations, who insist that gender-neutral language is a professional responsibility. In Canada, all laws must be drafted using gender-neutral language whenever both genders are being referred to, because laws that do not reference the female gender do not support equality.

How to avoid gender-biased language in your academic writing

1. Swap out gender-specific terms for gender-neutral terms.

The most prevalent form of gender bias in academic writing is the use of gender-specific words when both genders are involved. Many of these words can easily be made neutral:

2. Don’t use male pronouns when talking about individuals in mixed-gender groups.

Both native English-speaking and ESL writers, when referring to groups that contain both genders or when referring to someone whose gender is unknown, commonly use male pronouns. The important thing to remember is that he, him, his, or himself are not all-encompassing terms for individual group members, who may be either female or male. To write in this way is disrespectful, inaccurate, and dismissive toward women, regardless of whether the author consciously realized this while he or she was writing. Instead of saying something like, “The student may bring his own books to class,” say, “The student may bring her or his own books to class.”

3. Restructure singular pronouns, and make them plural: they, them, their, or themselves.

To avoid the repetitiveness of using him or her constantly, the sentence can also be restructured to make the pronouns plural, using they, their, them, or themselves. The important thing to remember when using this method of gender-neutral writing is that the entire sentence should agree with the plural form of the pronoun. For example:

Each of the players had their picture taken with the gold medals.

This sentence is incorrect because each is singular and does not agree with their. Instead, the sentence should be written as follows:

All of the players had their pictures taken with the gold medals.

Here, the sentence is restructured using the plural term all and now agrees grammatically.

4. Replace a pronoun with a definite article.

To avoid the use of gendered terms altogether, many times the pronoun can be replaced with the indefinite or definite articles a(n) or the. An example would be:

The employee complained in his report that the chairs in the office were not ergonomically correct.

The employee complained in a report that the chairs in the office were not ergonomically correct.

5. Repeat the noun instead of using a pronoun.

This method can be repetitive and sound formal, but both problems are better than promoting gender bias in your academic writing. Instead of using a pronoun, rewrite the noun phrase:

The professor can revoke the grade, but he cannot expel a student from the class.

The professor can revoke the grade, but the professor cannot expel a student from the class.

Conclusion

As you can see, gender bias in academic writing is an important issue that deserves every writer’s attention. The best way to avoid gender bias in your writing is to put effort into being intentional about your words. Yes, striving to be “politically correct” can be a hassle, but the root of this goal is thoughtfulness and sensitivity to others—an objective that is worth spending your time pursuing.

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The Difference Between i.e. and e.g.

The Difference Between i.e. and e.g.

The Difference Between i.e. and e.g.If you are like many people, you understand i.e. and e.g. based on how you’ve seen them used in other sources or contexts. But has anyone actually defined these terms for you? And did you know that they are not interchangeable? In fact, they’re as different as apples and oranges!

Although they mean different things, both terms are abbreviations of common Latin phrases. They are often found in academic writing and are used to introduce material that’s enclosed in parentheses. Here’s a breakdown of the difference between i.e. and e.g. and some tips for using each one correctly in your own writing.

I.e.

I.e. is an abbreviation of the Latin term id est, which literally translates to “that is.” A good way to determine where this term is appropriate is to remember that i.e. can stand in for “in other words” (this is especially helpful because both i.e. and “in other words” begin with the letter i). I.e. is used to provide further detail when explaining a concept or term:

Unfortunately, unicorns are mythical creatures (i.e., they are imaginary and never actually existed).

In this example, the use of i.e. prefaces an explanation of what “mythical creatures” means in more detail. Try rereading the sentence and replacing i.e. with “in other words” in your head (just remember: i = in other words).

E.g.

E.g. is an abbreviation of the Latin term exempli gratia, which translates to “for example.” A good memory trick for this one is to remember that e = example. This abbreviation is more common than i.e. and is used to list examples:

Dragons are a popular type of mythical creature in fantasy fiction (e.g., The Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, and Eragon).

In this example, e.g. introduces a list of examples of popular fantasy fiction that contains dragons.

Punctuation when using i.e. and e.g.

In addition to misunderstanding the difference between i.e. and e.g. in terms of context, many writers do not know that there are certain punctuation rules that go along with these abbreviations based on the style of English being used.

In American English, these phrases are placed in parentheses with a comma following the final period in the abbreviation:

I love all kinds of sandwiches (e.g., turkey sandwiches, bologna sandwiches, and salami sandwiches).

British English is a little different and usually offsets these phrases by placing them between commas, although a comma is not required to follow the final period in the abbreviation:

In our study we surveyed 248 students, i.e. 62% of the school’s population.

If you’re worried about how to use these abbreviations correctly in formal writing, be sure to consult the style guide you’re using. However, by following these simple rules, you should have no problem navigating the difference between i.e. and e.g.

 

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24 Latin Phrases You Use Every Day (And What They Mean)

Latin phrases

Latin phrasesMany English speakers may not realize how often English words are actually taken, verbatim, from both ancient and modern languages. Latin, in particular, has been extremely influential not only on the romance languages, such as French, Spanish, and Italian, but also on today’s English. It may come as a surprise to learn that English speakers use common Latin phrases every day, most recognizably in the sciences.

Below are 24 of the most common Latin phrases we use in the English language.

1. Ad hoc: To this

In Latin, ad hoc literally means to this, which has been adapted by English speakers as a saying that denotes that something is created or done for a particular purpose, as necessary. Usually, one does something on an ad hoc basis (e.g., she answered questions on an ad hoc basis).

2. Alibi: Elsewhere

The word alibi is a Latin phrase that simply means elsewhere, which will make sense to all you crime drama addicts out there who are familiar with the term as used by police, investigators, and other law enforcement professionals. Nowadays, alibi commonly refers to evidence that someone did not commit a (usually) criminal act because he or she was elsewhere at the time the act was committed.

3. Bona fide: With good faith

Another common Latin phrase, bona fide literally means with good faith. The meaning has changed somewhat in English usage to mean something that is real or genuine (e.g., she was a bona fide expert in the social structures of humpback whales).

4. Bonus: Good

Bonus, from the Latin adjective bonus, which means good, refers to any number of good things in its current English usage. Most often, bonus refers to an extra sum of money or reward from one’s employer for good performance, which of course is always a good thing.

5. Carpe diem: Seize the dayCarpe Diem

A common phrase with motivational speakers and go-getters, carpe diem is a Latin phrase that means seize the day, made popular by the Roman poet Horace. It is usually used to motivate others to make the most of the present and stop worrying about the future.

6. De Facto: In fact

De facto is a Latin phrase that, literally translated, means of fact. Nowadays, it is used to highlight something that is simply a fact or someone who holds a position, with or without the right to do so (e.g., she was the de facto leader of the book club).

7. E.g.: For example

Commonly confused with the similar Latin term i.e., e.g. stands for the Latin phrase exempli gratia, meaning for the sake of example. In English, it is used to introduce a list of examples in place of the phrase such as.

8. Ego: I

A popular term in psychology, ego in fact began as the Latin equivalent of the first person pronoun, I, which makes sense when considering its modern meaning, which refers to an individual’s sense of self-worth or self-esteem.

9. Ergo: Therefore

Ergo, an adverb meaning therefore, is one Latin phrase that has maintained its meaning exactly in English usage.

10. Et cetera: And so on

Used at the end of a list to indicate that further items could be included, et cetera (or etc.) literally translates to and the rest.

11. Extra: In addition to

A common English adjective and prefix, extra is a Latin preposition that means outside or in addition. In English, extra is an adjective, adverb, or prefix that means additional, in addition, or to a greater extent.

12. I.e.: That is

Sometimes mistaken for the similar abbreviation e.g., i.e. stands for the Latin phrase id est, which literally translates to that is. It is most often used to add information that states something in different words or to give a more specific example: Most of the puppies (i.e., four of the six) found homes over the weekend.

13. Impromptu: Spontaneous

From the Latin phrase in promptu, meaning in readiness, impromptu is a common English adjective or adverb that describes something spontaneous (e.g., she threw an impromptu birthday party for her best friend).

14. Intro: Within

Originally the first-person present indicative form of the Latin verb intro, meaning to enter, intro in English usage has become a prefix or informal noun that describes the beginning of something (i.e., an introduction).

15. Multi: Many

Multi is the plural form of the Latin adjective multus, meaning many. In English, it is used as a prefix to describe something that contains more than one of something else (e.g., multicolored, multifaceted, multicultural, etc.).

16. Per se: In itself

Meaning by, of, for, or in itself in Latin, per se is a common phrase used to emphasize the importance or connection of something (e.g., it was not the book per se that was important, but the message the author tried to get across).

17. Pro bono (publico): For the good (of the public)

Pro bono indicates that something is being done without payment or reimbursement. The phrase is often applied when lawyers provide legal services for little or no money, though its use is not exclusive to the legal profession.

18. Quid pro quo: Something for somethingQuid pro quo

A contrasting philosophy to pro bono is quid pro quo. It is an “eye-for-an-eye” type of saying that is used in English to signify a favor or advantage given in return for something of equal value. A popular saying with vindictive villains, quid pro quo literally means something for something.

19. Re: About

You probably use this Latin preposition every day without really understanding its meaning. Re simply means about, and in modern times, we see it used most often in responses to emails and in other correspondence to refer to an earlier topic of discussion.

20. Semi: Half

A prefix borrowed from Latin, semi translates to half. When used in English, it indicates that something is incomplete or partially finished (e.g., semidetached, semiautomatic, semi-final, etc.).

21. Status quo: Existing state of affairs

This straight-up Latin phrase literally translates to the state in which and is used in English to describe an existing state of affairs, usually related to political or social issues.

22. Verbatim: In exactly the same words

Derived from the Latin verbum, which simply means word, verbatim refers to repeating something word-for-word from the original.

23. Versus: Against

This common Latin phrase was originally a preposition meaning against or toward. In English, versus is used to signify opposing forces or oppositions and contrasts.

24. Vice versa: The other way around

Vice versa is a Latin phrase that literally means in a turned position. In English, it is commonly used to indicate that two things are interchangeable.

 

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3 Proofreading Exercises to Help You Hone Your Skills

Proofreading Exercises

Introduction

Proofreading ExercisesTaking your work from inception to publishable product requires that you perform a series of detail-oriented tasks. One of the final tasks in this process is that of proofreading. Because it is easy to miss errors in one’s own writing, experienced editors and proofreaders can help you polish your words and ideas to make sure you produce the best possible version of your work. However, being able to review a document for clarity and grammatical accuracy is a good skill to have, as it enables you to proofread as you write, review other people’s writing, and even work as a proofreader on a freelance basis.

To do any of this, however, you must first understand the differences between editing and proofreading. Editing involves an in-depth review of written work. It requires looking not only for grammatical mistakes but also for issues like inconsistency in style, voice, plot, and characterization. Because the editor must keep all these complex matters in mind, smaller inconsistencies and errors may remain even after the document has been reviewed.

That’s where proofreading comes in. Good proofreaders are detail-oriented individuals who know their grammar rules inside and out and are able to spot mistakes. Without having to worry about things like style and voice, a proofreader can focus on the mechanical aspects of writing, making sure that each word and sentence is correct.

Proofreading Exercises

Being able to successfully proofread often means you’re the type of person who spots every spelling mistake, comma splice, or formatting inconsistency. Do you think you have what it takes? If so, spot the common proofreading errors in the following three proofreading exercises to practice your skills and become a better proofreader!

Feel free to paste the text into a document editor (such as Microsoft Word) so that you can keep track of your changes. Once you’ve gone through each exercise, check your changes against the answer key below. If you want more advanced proofreading training, consider our proofreading course.

Proofreading Exercise 1:

In Greek mythology Zeus, an Olympian god, was known as the immortal ruler of both gods and men. Zeus was the son of the titans Cronos and Rhea and presided over his 5 brothers and sisters who ruled various aspect of the heavenly and earthly worlds. He was married to his sister Heera, with whom he had three children: Ares—the god of war, Hephaistos—the god of metalworking, and Hebe—the goddess of youth. Hera was often the jealous wife, and unhappy with Zeus’s many affairs with other goddesses, nymphs and mortal woman. As a result of these affairs, many ancient greek heroes and rulers were produced, such as Perseus, Hercules, and even the famous Helen of Troy. As a god, Zeus ruled over the most important aspects of nature and human society, and he controlled the laws and fates of men as well as the sky and whether. He is often called by the epithets “The Thunderer” or “Gatherer of Clouds” in the Homeric poems, his control of such natural forces were represented by his weapons and armor: Zeus was able to fight with both thunder and lightning, and the shaking of his aegis (his shield) could create terrible storms.

Proofreading Exercise 2:

Moose related deaths are on the rise in Canada. As highways expand and encroach on the habitat of Canadian wildlife, vehicle collisions with these animals are becoming more commonplace, especially in provinces, such as British Colombia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and labrador. According to Wildlifecollisions.ca, in 2014 there were four to 8 large animal vehicle collisions and hour within Canada. A large number of these collisions involve moose and deer species, so much so, that a class-action lawsuit was brought against Newfoundland’s Provincial Government for not controlling the explosive moose population in that province. In situations where average highway speeds are 100 km/hour and the average moose weighs 700 kg, collisions can be fatal for both the animal and the vehicle occupants. These types of incidents will continue to increase on the Canadian island as human populations expand alongside the moose, which is considered an invasive species on the island and has no natural predators.

Proofreading Exercise 3:

The past decade has witnessed the rise in popularity of the fictional monster known as the zombie. From movies and TV shows to iPhone apps and bestselling novels, the zombie has permeated popular culture. What if a zombie plague was possible? Surprisingly, there are quite a few scientists who have taken a serious look at the causes and probability of a zombie pandemic occurring in the real world. They have broken down the common symptoms of zombie virus sufferers to determine what might actually be going on in those half-eaten brains. The most common symptom of the zombie illness is the lumbering gait, which indicates a loss of coordination and neurological damage. This may go hand-in-hand with the classic loss of intelligence and penchant for moaning. Second, the insatiable zombie appetite for other humans could be associated with lost hyptothalamic functioning. Zombies’ rage; one-track minds; and inability to remember loved ones are all symptoms of severe brain damage as well, with different areas of the brain being effected. So, what should you do if your ever face-to-face with a zombie? Much like with T-Rex in Jurassic Park, do not run and find somewhere to hide. Zombie’s suffer from something like Bálint’s syndrome, which causes the sufferer to only see whatever requires the most attention.

Answer KeyProofreading Exercises

Now let’s see how you did! You can compare your changes to the revised passages below, or you can download the full answer key here. to have each change highlighted and explained.

Proofreading Exercise 1 Key:

In Greek mythology, Zeus, an Olympian god, was known as the immortal ruler of both gods and men. Zeus was the son of the titans Cronus and Rhea and presided over his five brothers and sisters, who ruled various aspects of the heavenly and earthly worlds. He was married to his sister Hera, with whom he had three children: Ares—the god of war, Hephaistos—the god of metalworking, and Hebe—the goddess of youth. Hera was often the jealous wife and unhappy with Zeus’ many affairs with other goddesses, nymphs, and mortal women. As a result of these affairs, many ancient Greek heroes and rulers were produced, such as Perseus, Hercules, and even the famous Helen of Troy. As a god, Zeus ruled over the most important aspects of nature and human society, and he controlled the laws and fates of men as well as the sky and weather. He is often called by the epithets “The Thunderer” or “Gatherer of Clouds” in the Homeric poems, and his control of such natural forces was represented by his weapons and armor: Zeus was able to fight with both thunder and lightning, and the shaking of his aegis (his shield) could create terrible storms.

Proofreading Exercise 2 Key:

Moose-related deaths are on the rise in Canada. As highways expand and encroach on the habitats of Canadian wildlife, vehicle collisions with Canadian wildlife are becoming more commonplace, especially in provinces such as British Columbia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador. According to Wildlifecollisions.ca (2014), in 2014 there were four to eight large animal vehicle collisions an hour within Canada. A large number of these collisions involve moose and deer species, so much so that a class-action lawsuit was brought against Newfoundland’s provincial government for not controlling the explosive moose population in that province. In situations where average highway speeds are 100 km/hour and the average moose weighs 700 kg, collisions can be fatal for both the animal and the vehicle occupants. These types of incidents will continue to increase on the Canadian island as human populations expand alongside the moose, which is considered an invasive species on the island and has no natural predators.

Proofreading Exercise 3 Key:

The past decade has witnessed the rise in popularity of the fictional monster known as the zombie. From movies and TV shows to iPhone apps and bestselling novels, the zombie has permeated popular culture. What if a zombie plague was possible? Surprisingly, there are quite a few scientists who have taken a serious look at the causes and probability of a zombie pandemic occurring in the real world. They have broken down the common symptoms of zombie-virus sufferers to determine what might actually be going on in those half-eaten brains. First, the most common symptom of the zombie illness is the lumbering gait, which indicates a loss of coordination and neurological damage. This may go hand-in-hand with the classic loss of intelligence and penchant for moaning. Second, the insatiable zombie appetite for other humans could be associated with lost hypothalamic functioning. Zombies’ rage, one-track minds, and inability to remember loved ones are all symptoms of severe brain damage as well, with different areas of the brain being affected. So, what should you do if you’re ever face-to-face with a zombie? Much like with T-Rex in Jurassic Park, do not run and find somewhere to hide. Zombies suffer from something like Bálint’s syndrome, which causes the sufferer to only see whatever requires the most attention.

Did you catch all the mistakes in these proofreading exercises?

Image sources: markusspiske/Pixabay.com, skeeze/Pixabay.com

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How to Increase Organic Traffic: 6 Handy Blogging Tips

How to Increase Organic Traffic - 6 Handy Blogging TipsNowadays, companies, brands, and even individuals are expected to have an optimized Internet presence. Whether a business creates a blog as part of a marketing initiative or an individual uses blogging to promote a personal brand, having a blog that draws organic traffic has become an important aspect of creating a successful online presence.

Though it can be tempting to pay for ad space, organic traffic is more important. Organic traffic consists of individuals searching specifically for you or your niche service or product, which means these are the individuals who are most likely to convert into customers or clients. Besides basic SEO practices, such as including proper keywords in your content and metadata, we offer several additional blogging tips here that can help you make the most of organic searches.

Know your niche, and find content opportunities.

In the fast-paced, instant-gratification world of the Internet, one of the biggest mistakes a blogger can make is trying to be all things to all readers. Instead of focusing your content on trends to gain more readers, figure out what is most important to you, and write about that.

Maybe you’re the new owner of a new dog grooming company, a marketer at a large corporation, an experienced writer, or a stay-at-home mom with a passion for DIY projects. Through the Internet, you can reach huge audiences hungry for good content about any one of these topics. Become an expert in your niche, and provide quality content that appeals to your specific readership.

Once you have determined your niche, research others who provide the same type of content. What posts are most popular? This is your passion; think about what information you would search for, and come up with a list of topics to write about. From there, see what content gaps exist in your niche, and then fill them with the best possible content.

For example, the owner of that small dog grooming business might find 2,341,748 articles describing the best shampoos for dogs but little information on the best options for dogs that have been sprayed by a skunk. A detailed article reviewing the most common shampoos in this category might draw more readers and rank higher for this more specific search topic than yet another generalized top 10 list.

Determine who the influencers are within your niche, and then network and promote your content.

Make a list of the top influential bloggers in your niche by finding the blogs with the highest readerships. Tools such as Buzzstream can help you determine who these influencers are, depending on specific keyword searches, and provide contact information for them. What kind of content are they creating? Take the great content you have created already and ask one of these top bloggers to provide a point of view.

You can also think on a bigger scale and create a post that includes advice from several influencers. Once your post goes live, make sure you contact these bloggers to let them know and share it on their social media accounts, which can be a great way to increase your own readership. The goal here is to get a link back from one or more of these influencers, who likely have high Google authority rankings in your niche. When one of these sites links back to yours, it will increase your search ranking and organic traffic.

Take advantage of content distribution and social networks to reach a wider audience.

Sharing content over social media networks is the first step in content distribution. Sharing strategically and often gives you the advantage of putting your content in front of the right audience, which will transfer into link clicking and organic traffic. The key is, once again, to know your audience and at what times they are most likely to see your post. Utilize account management applications to schedule content and share that content multiple times over different networks to gain the most exposure. Social referrals are an important factor in subsequent organic traffic.

Understand the importance of different types of link building.

BacklinkingBroken link building: Broken link building can be time-consuming when you don’t use tools. This method of link building involves finding broken links on other sites that are relevant to your content or have high authority value and then asking the site administrator to switch out the broken link for yours. Consistently following through with this practice can help you gain organic traffic by building site authority and search rankings.

Implied links: Implied linking is a new process Google has implemented that takes into account brand mentions without a direct link. This means search rankings benefit from your brand or website name being mentioned on other websites without them actually having to link back to you. The more you are mentioned, the higher your search ranking (and organic traffic) will be, because Google realizes your content has authority within your niche. To benefit from this type of link building, it is important to grow your reputation and network and to market your brand to get others to mention your name.

Backlinking using images: Consider all the photo- and image-sharing social networks available. Some high-authority content sharing sites are also relevant to growing your number of backlinks by sharing quality images. This type of link building works well for designers, photographers, or other image-heavy sites that can share their images on stock image directories, Flickr, or design directories with a link back to the original content. The more backlinks a website has, the higher it will rank in a search, resulting in more organic traffic.

Focus on long-tail key phrases rather than generalized keywords to tap into your niche audience.

Instead of focusing on general keywords that return millions of search results, consider your niche audience and what they are searching for specifically in relation to your content, product, or service. If you were to search for a local dog groomer, you probably wouldn’t simply search for “dog groomer” but rather “dog groomers in Chatham–Kent” or “the best dog groomer in Chatham–Kent” to make sure you received the most relevant results. This is how most users search for information, making long-tail key phrases more rewarding for niche content, which ranks higher when fewer, more specific search results are returned.

Google also looks at whether content is able to answer a long-tail keyword phrase in the form of a question and ranks quality how-to content higher in such search queries. Keep in mind what exactly your audience may be searching for, and include these key phrases in your content to increase your organic traffic.

Use schema markup in your SEO practices to boost organic traffic.

Schema markup is a more advanced SEO option that helps search engines return more information from your site in search results. The difference between schema markup and basic SEO is that schema tells the search engine what different aspects of your content mean by going beyond indexing for keywords. Schema explains that, for example, one keyword is the author of the content, another keyword is the product or service a business offers, and a third keyword tells the search engine what type of content is being displayed. Websites that incorporate schema markup into SEO rank higher in search engine results, because the search engine actually understands these relevant results. For more information, visit Schema.org or the Google Structured Data Markup Helper.

Image source: goranmx/Pixabay.com, Tante Tati/Pixabay.com

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5 Books Every Work-from-Home Businessperson Should Read

5 Books Every Work from Home Businessperson Needs TN

5 Books Every Work from Home Businessperson NeedsTired of the office life? Many people aspire to work from home, but doing so requires a particular set of skills. It’s not all pajamas and cuddling your cat while bringing in the money; successful work-from-home businesspeople are excellent at time management, personal organization, work–life balance, and marketing their unique skills to maintain a livable income. Below, Inklyo has rounded up five books that offer great tips for working from home.

1. My So-Called Freelance Life, by Michelle Goodman

Written for female entrepreneurs, My So-Called Freelance Life has practical tips for working from home for anyone wanting to leave the 9-to-5 grind (not just women). The author, Michelle Goodman, has been a successful freelance writer for 16 years and shares her experiences and tips for working from home, while delivering her advice in a relatable, funny, and highly readable way! Michelle offers a thorough overview of what’s involved in growing a successful freelance career, and, although she is a writer, the basic principles she describes are useful for any freelance creative work.

My So-Called Freelance Life covers how to organize your clients and jobs to optimize your output, plan your own career path, plan your workload based on how much you want to earn, market yourself using a great web presence, network and gain clients through referral, and negotiate projects and contracts. It also covers legal, budgeting, and tax issues. Overall, Michelle offers some great pointers for those wanting to do freelance work and those who are already doing freelance work.

2. 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think, by Laura Vanderkam

Laura Vanderkam’s book on time management, 168 Hours, is one of those reads that people either love or hate. The author advises us to start thinking in 168-hour blocks (i.e., the number of hours in a week), monitor what it is we are actually spending our precious time on, and then cut the time-wasters. She offers sound advice for spending your time mindfully and on pursuits that further your career, relationships, and passions. In 168 Hours, quality is more important than quantity, and living a full life is as easy as out-sourcing the tasks we don’t want to do to make room for the ones we love. This is one principle that many readers have an issue with, but besides a tendency to whitewash the fact that time management may look different to people of various economic means, the core concepts of her book provide realistic tips for working from home.

3. The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr, Dr. James E. Loehr, and Tony Schwartz

A work-from-home businessperson reading.The Power of Full Engagement is a powerful book that aims to help people change their perspectives on time management and their daily routines. The core concept here is that, instead of prioritizing the amount of time you put into your day-to-day actions, you should focus on the energy cost of those actions. An over-packed schedule not only creates stress but is also detrimental to productivity—which is especially important for those who work from home and depend on their own ability to self-manage. The authors explain the cost of spreading yourself too thin and how it affects your happiness, physical state, and engagement with life. These same positive and negative energies also affect how well you do your job. The Power of Full Engagement provides key principles to ensure that you are using your energy efficiently and in the way that is best for you, an important tip for anyone working from home.

4. Creative Personal Branding by Jurgen Salenbacher

Jurgen Salenbacher’s Creative Personal Branding is a great place to start for anyone wanting to learn more about developing their personal brand. In a world so driven by fast information and seemingly endless options, having a dynamic, recognizable personal brand is a must for anyone working from home. In this book, branding is explained in detail, from defining your own marketable skills to how to market those skills creatively in today’s global market. How well you present yourself has a huge impact on your success as a freelance businessperson or entrepreneur.

5. Organizing from the Inside Out, by Julie Morgenstern

Organization is not just for Type A personalities. Julie Morgenstern’s book Organizing from the Inside Out covers many areas of life and explains how keeping your surroundings organized can lessen stress, create more positive thinking, and increase productivity—all of which are important when you work from home. The book is laid out in chapters that cover separate areas of life, from your kitchen and your kids’ rooms to your office space and home-based business. Morgenstern’s goal is to help you build an effective strategy for tackling the disorganization issues specific to your life, so that you can forget about mental and physical clutter and focus on your own success and goals. The chapters about using technology to organize projects and resources are especially relevant and packed with tips for working from home.

Image sources: Startup Stock Photos, kaboompics.com