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The Science

7spell is scientifically designed, and utilizes principles based on decades of research in learning, retention, and psychology. Here is a summary of the theory and research behind 7spell's effectiveness.

Craik, F., and Tulving, E. "Depth of processing and the retention of words in episodic memory." Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Vol 104(3) (1975): 268-294. Print and PDF. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0096-3445.104.3.268

In this seminal study performed at the University of Toronto, Canada, the authors performed a series of tests in which they gave the study participants a sequence of words to learn, with information related to each word as it appeared in order. They discovered that when the information provided stimulated the participant's brain to process the word on a more involved level (referred to as "deep encoding" or "degree of elaboration" in the study), that word was more effectively learned and remembered. With 7spell, the user is given a wide range of additional information about each spelling word, including the word's definition - one of the key factors in enhanced memory, according to this study - as well as usage examples, synonyms, and antonyms.

Gelman, B.D., Gruber, M.J., and Ranganath, C. "States of Curiosity Modulate Hippocampus-Dependent Learning via the Dopaminergic Circuit." Neuron, 22 October 2014, 84(2): 486-496. Web. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2014.08.060

Students who are eager to learn are more likely to remember what they have learned, something that the authors of this study demonstrate. They used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to show real-time connections between a person's curiosity about a specific topic, and the production of dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and the brain's reward system. The authors also concluded that a higher level of interest and curiosity in a topic or question leads to better memory and enhanced learning. Including exercises that stimulate curiosity, and providing reward mechanisms as part of the study process, also increases a person's ability to absorb and retain information, as the researchers found. 7spell has a text import feature that allows each user to include and incorporate practice material that matches their interests, while learning the spelling of words in those texts. The system also uses several different reward systems to encourage users to continue working towards their defined goals.

Garcia, S.M., Tor, A., and Schiff, T.M. "The Psychology of Competition: A Social Comparison Perspective." Perspectives on Psychological Science, November 2013, 8(6):634-650. Print and web. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1745691613504114

Each person is influenced by a unique set of factors related to their own status and progress towards goals, but is also affected to a greater or lesser degree by the achievements and perceived standards of the people around them. This analysis of past and current studies looks at the way people view and are motivated by individual goals as well as societal achievement (competition). The authors conclude that effective use of motivational strategies must take both into account. This is something that 7spell accomplishes by providing each user with the ability to set personal goals, earn reward points, and view their own progress tracking reports, and also to publish all of those results on public social media platforms.

Kivetz, R., Urminsky, O., and Zheng, Y. "The Goal-Gradient Hypothesis Resurrected: Purchase Acceleration, Illusionary Goal Progress, and Customer Retention." Journal of Marketing Research, February 2006, 43(1):39-58. Web. http://dx.doi.org/10.1509/jmkr.43.1.39

In a study focusing on the influence of reward-scheme programs on behavior, the authors found that when people see visible progress towards their goals they are more likely to increase the activity required to reach those goals. The study also confirms that most people are also motivated by receiving rewards for completing specific activities, even if those rewards are not immediately transferable to actual material or monetary benefits. Status points, rewards, and real-time progress tracking are all methods used in 7spell to encourage frequent spelling practice by awarding points for the completion of exercises and activities. Because the user can access their progress charts at any time, they will always be able to see how close they are to achieving their personal spelling goals.

Buton, M., Winterbauer, N., and Todd, T. "Relapse processes after the extinction of instrumental learning: Renewal, resurgence, and reacquisition." Behavioural Processes, May 2012, 90(1): 130–141. Print and web. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2012.03.004

Instrumental learning, also called "operant conditioning," is a method by which behaviors are learned in connection with a stimulus, a reward, or both. In this research done at the University of Vermont, the authors studied the ways in which the information connected to a specific behavior is retained when the stimulus is removed, and how subsequent repetition or reward reinforces information recall and a resumption of previously learned behaviors. They conclude that there are two primary methods of reinforcing active memory and behavior: by creating a different way to test the subject's memory, and by providing the opportunity for intensive focused repetition of that stimulus-behavior response. These two methods are widely used in the 7spell activities and games to create the link between instruction and memory that is so crucial in effective spelling learning on the student's part.

Xue, G., Mei, L., Chen, C., Lu, Z-L., Poldrack, R., Dong, Q. "Spaced Learning Enhances Subsequent Recognition Memory by Reducing Neural Repetition Suppression." Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 2011;23(7):1624-1633. Print and web. http://doi:10.1162/jocn.2010.21532

In this study comparing long-term and short-term memory, the study authors tested the neural activity of participants as they memorized a set of images. Half of the study participants used massed learning techniques, in which each new image was presented multiple times in a row; the other half were given the images in a spaced repetition mode, where the images were shown in alternating order. Although each participant saw each image the same number of times, the people in the spaced-repetition exercise were able to accurately remember more images, and for a longer period of time. Repetition is a key technique in learning spelling, and 7spell incorporates spaced repetition in two ways. First, the system uses randomized selection of spelling words from the user's current list to populate the activities and exercises, ensuring an interval between word reviews. Second, the system's Word Discover feature provides pop-up instant review of the words on that list, again in random order. By providing users with multiple opportunities throughout the day to read and review their words, 7spell provides all of the benefits of the spaced repetition methodology in its spelling instruction.

Blocki, J., Cranor, L., Datta, A., and Komanduri, S. "Spaced Repetition and Mnemonics Enable Recall of Multiple Strong Passwords." Cornell University Library, January 3, 2015. PDF. http://arxiv.org/abs/1410.1490v2

Spaced repetition is a memory training tool that relies on frequent and consistent review of information; mnemonics is a memory technique that involves multiple ways of looking at that information, such as the incorporation of images or story lines. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University focused on the combination of spaced repetition and mnemonics in evaluating how best to train people to remember specific pieces of information: computer passwords. They found that by combining the two methodologies, the results in both ease of learning and retention were increased. 7spell uses each method separately and together to help users learn and remember new spelling words by using the same words in multiple exercises, presenting spelling words in a variety of formats, and encouraging users to add information related to each word to make a personal connection that helps them to remember that word and its correct spelling.

6 Most Common Writing Errors and How to Fix Them

Brenda Savoie

You might not give it much importance, but communicating through writing is still an essential skill in today’s fast-paced world. Even with large technological advances, people still need to be mindful of how they communicate with others through their writing.

In fact, it’s because of our very interconnected lives through the Internet that we’re writing to each other more than ever. Despite fast ways of messaging our friends and work colleagues, taking the time to meticulously proofread every sentence is an important task.

And don’t leave it up to autocorrect to do the job. More often than not, even smart tech can lead to disastrous mistakes. If you want something done, you have to do it yourself.

Here are 6 common writing mistakes that are easiest to spot – and how you can fix them:

Spelling Errors

Some spelling errors can easily go by unnoticed. Just because you feel like a word you’ve written looks right, doesn’t mean it’s actually right.

There are a number of ways to go about and find and correct these errors. Some people employ the use of autocorrect – but as we’ve already established, even that can result in unwanted and awkward mistakes. Other grammar-checking apps like Grammarly might be more accurate.

But in terms of manually spotting and correcting awkward mistakes, there’s no other way but to train your brain. Check out common English spelling mistakes and see if you find any familiar errors you’ve made in the past.

You can even make it fun and make use of memory tricks to help it stick to you. Otherwise, here’s a quick list of often misspelled words, and their correct counterparts:

1) Tomorrow – often misspelled as tommorrow, tomorow, or tommorrow

2) Receive – often misspelled as recieve

3) Commission – often misspelled as comision, comission, or commision

Commas vs. Periods

Punctuation plays a vital role in how our sentences are read. Imagine reading a sentence with no stops! That’s why proper punctuation is important in sentence construction.

Unfortunately, the most common punctuations are also those most often misused. For this example, we identify the comma as too often used as a replacement for the period.

Note the difference – a comma is for a short breath, while a period is for a longer pause to separate two independent clauses. Still not sure how to go about it?

Consider these samples to see the difference between comma and period use:

Comma: The nineteenth century, which has seen quite a handful of geniuses in its time, was a colorful era.

Period: The nineteenth century was a colorful era. It has seen quite a handful of geniuses in its time.

In the comma’s example, the clause following the subject (“which has seen quite a handful of geniuses in its time”) is a dependent clause. If you wrote it as a separate sentence, it would not make sense.

However, re-written as an independent clause, it can be separated from the rest of the sentence, as we see in the example for the period use.

Misplaced Apostrophes

Another commonly misused punctuation mark is the apostrophe. An apostrophe has one main function: to contract words. Oftentimes, this function of the apostrophe is mixed up with the possessive pronoun.

For instance, it’s is written instead of its. In this example, the former is actually a contraction of two words – it and is. On the other hand, the latter is a possessive pronoun meaning the thing belonging to it.

The best way to correct this mistake is to catch yourself whenever you are about to type this tricky word. Consider what your intention is – is it to contract two separate words? If so, go on. Or is it to indicate a possessive pronoun? Then don’t do it.

Sometimes apostrophes are also used as possessives, but often for proper and common nouns, rather than pronouns. As an example, “Hannah’s” uses an apostrophe, but is not a contraction of “Hannah” and another word. Instead, it is also a possessive. But in this case, “Hannah” is a proper noun, and not a pronoun like “it” in the previous example.

Unclear Comparisons

This next point is actually a usually overlooked writing mistake that it’s become common to the point of normality. Unclear comparisons end in hanging sentences. They introduce a thought but leave it hanging mid-sentence.

For example: “I like tea better.”

It sounds like a complete thought, but the statement above is actually uncertain. The author clearly intended to compare tea to something, but did not specify what that something was.

When faced with this dilemma, always ask yourself: what am I comparing my subject to? This could give you a better perspective on what you’re trying to say.

As an improvement on our example, a better sentence would be: “I like tea better than coffee.”

Now we know what the writer is comparing the subject “tea” to.

Passive Voice

Passive voice is rarely used in sentences outside formal composition. If you want to give your reader a sense of action and movement, don’t use this at all costs.

But what’s the difference between a passive and active voice, and what effect will it really have on people?

Consider the following sentences and see for yourself:

Passive voice: “A pen was placed on the table.”

Active voice: “Denver placed a pen on the table.”

A clear sense of action by an actor is made in a sentence with an active voice. This is often preferable over a bland and overly formal tone of a passive voice.

Awkward Word Choice

Awkward word choices can be difficult to detect as well simply because we have varying definitions of awkwardness for different people across different cultures. But if you already know who you’re writing for, refining your choice of words can greatly help in delivering the point home and clarifying your intentions.

Note the difference in the two sentences:

1) Kill the water to save energy.

2) Turn off the water to save energy.

In hindsight it seems that both sentences have the same meaning, but we know that the second sentence is the more widely accepted term.

It may be difficult to get past this at first, since it will require a lot of feeling around context on your part, but with plenty of practice and time, you’ll be able to master the art of elegant composition as well!

Author’s Bio

Brenda Savoie is a grammar tutor at Essayontime which provides online assistance to students and supports them. A private English tutor and desperate dreamer. Writing her first romantic novel. Find her on Twitter and Facebook.

How To Help Your Child Enjoy Reading

What do you do when you have children who can read, but just won’t? Is a love for reading something parents and teachers can inspire in children, or is reading something we’re born to like or dislike?

To encourage your child to love and enjoy reading you first need to understand the factors that may be preventing them from enjoying reading.

More appealing pastimes

It’s no wonder that children prefer to play video games, chat with friends or just watch TV – these are more enjoyable activities because they don’t require much effort.

To make reading a more appealing alternative to video games why not introduce them to foolproof, age-appropriate, best-sellers? You can even start out with book that inspired a child’s favorite movie or television program. Before you know it, your child will be writing fan-fiction on their favorite books.

Boring, uninspiring books

Children don’t like wasting their time on things that are irrelevant or just plain boring, and who can blame them? Adults don’t either. Rev up the interest factor by trying out different genres and media for reading until you find what works for each child. For example, getting them an e-reader, so similar to the tablets they use for playing games, might motivate a child to read more.

Difficult and frustrating

If your child is having reading difficulties this will naturally draw them away from reading. Talk with the child’s teacher and focus on identifying and/or ruling out any learning difficulties. Ask the teacher if they have suggestions for a course of action that would help the child get interested in reading.

Often something as simple as assigning a purpose to reading (e.g. learning about how planets form) will make the activity seem more meaningful and appealing.

Cultivate a love for reading

It’s actually easy to get your child to enjoy reading. Here are the five first basic steps to achieve this:

1) Recommend reading material based on things you know they already like. If that’s Batman, give them lots of comic books to start reading.

2) Be a role model. Don’t sit with a tablet in one hand and your smartphone in the other. Read books, magazines, and newspapers. Put new books and journals in places your child usually hangs out. Even if it’s just out of curiosity, they will at least skim through an article or chapter!

3) Organize activities around reading, like frequent library visits. Join a parent-child book club, play reading-related games like spelling games, and make family evenings together the time to bring out word board games like Scrabble.

4) If your child is young enough for bedtime stories, make a habit out of it. Reading out loud will get your child to grow fond of reading and ask for more material to read on their own.

5) Start building a home library with books you read together. This will be soon considered an ongoing, open-ended project where newly read books will be added to an ever-growing library.


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Thesis Writing: 5 Things You Must Know (Guest Post)

When you are writing your thesis, it is not uncommon to become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of organization and sections involved with the format. In order to keep you from feeling too much stress from the writing process of your thesis, we’ve gathered five tips of things you must know when you are writing.

Three Questions You Should Ask Yourself

When you are first formulating your thesis, there are three things you should ask yourself so make sure you are on the right track. Once you have gathered your thesis statement you should ask three questions. These three questions are:

1) Is my thesis statement general or specific? : You want to make sure that your thesis statement is very specific. Not only to make it clear and to the point, but a specific thesis statement will allow you to stay within the strict formatting. Getting to the point of your thesis is what the dissertation is about. If you make a statement that is too general you will not have success in sticking to the style format and explaining or proving your statement. An example of comparing specific and non-specific statements would be:

Non-Specific: “People are more likely to object to horror films than they did before.”

Specific: “The horror films of today do not provide audiences the same emotional catharsis as the horror films of the 1930’s-1950’s.”

2) Is my thesis statement clear? To be sure you are very clear with your thesis statement, follow these tips:

– Do not use technical language (unless your dissertation is based on a technical subject).
– Do not use jargon.
– Do not use words that are vague – (interesting, unusual, negative, exciting, difficult, etc.)
– Do not use abstract words – (culture, society, values, etc.)

Did I make sure my thesis is original? Originality is absolutely essential. In all cases you should avoid formula sentences and generic arguments.

Placing the Thesis Statement

While you will follow a specific structure, you need to be aware of the placement of the thesis statement. The purpose of the thesis statement will structure the entire dissertation. Your thesis statement should appear at the beginning. The statement should be in the introduction or the last sentence of the paragraph. You should also keep in mind that your thesis statement should be no more than two sentences long.

In addition, your thesis should not be a question. Thesis statements are designed to ask questions, not be one.

The Topic is Important

While it might seem obvious, you should be careful when choosing your topic. If you are writing an educational subject, make sure the topic is something you are very well versed in and have a lot of knowledge about. In contrast, if you are writing an objective dissertation, make sure that you choose a topic that you are passionate about.

Throughout the thesis, it is important to remember:

– do not bring in ideas or topics that will not be discussed.
– Do not write in first person
– Avoid being combative.

Strict Structure is a Must

Depending on the institution or department you are a part of will determine the style manuals that you can choose from. Most often your committee, board, or any other dissertation writing services will advise you to use the style that is most popular or most often used in your field of study. You should follow their guidance to ensure you start off writing your thesis in the correct format for your department.

Once you have chosen a style manual that is the structure you will need to follow throughout the entire thesis writing and formatting. It is absolutely vital to stick to the strict structuring in order to follow the guidelines of your department and for easy binding as well.

When you format your thesis the following items will need to be assured that they are in accordance to the manual style:

Font (styles and sizes)
Margins and spacing
Page numbering
Using tables, charts, pictures, etc.
Using bibliographies
Implementing a table of contents

In addition, you will need to follow the exact layout of the manual style you have chosen. For the most part, manual styles will provide a layout such as:

Cover or title page
Section of Acknowledgements
Table of Contents
List of any: charts, tables, illustrations, graphs, etc.
Preface – if you are using one
Actual text of your thesis (introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion)
Appendices (if applicable)

Drafts and Reviews

When you are drafting your thesis it is not uncommon for your view to change slightly. This happens naturally as you learn more about the subject and discover more in your research. If you find this happening to you, adjust accordingly to ensure you do not stray from your original thesis with the supporting information in your paragraphs.

You will also write several drafts to make sure the final product is perfect. Along the way you need to make sure of:

Spelling errors
Grammatical errors
Overall flow of the dissertation
Making sure to connect ideas or facts appropriately so your thesis is not disjointed
Analyze your thesis to make sure you avoid mistakes that will weaken the thesis statement.

Once you have had the chance to draft your thesis and make adjustments accordingly, give yourself time to read it out loud. When you read it out loud, you will hear the flow of your thesis and it will be clear if it is making sense or is suddenly disjointed. Reading it out loud will also allow you to see the strength of your argument and you can adjust as needed. After you are sure you are happy with the final result, turn it in- and be sure to turn it in on time!

About the Author
Laura Carter has decent experience in educational field. Right now she works with dissertationwritingservices.org. She’s keen on academic, creative writing and passionate about language learning. Follow @carterlaura15 to hear more from her!

This Year’s Youngest Spelling Bee Competitor Provides Excellent Tip To Spelling Tricky Words

… and you won’t believe he is still 6-Years Old!

Making Reading And Learning Fun

You’ve heard about BYOB, something that often makes parties more fun (and certainly livelier!). But have you heard about BYOD? It’s a new program that 5th grade students are participating in at Ely Elementary School in Elyria, Ohio, called “Bring Your Own Device.” Rather than banning cell phones, smartphones, laptops, and e-readers from the classroom, kids are encouraged to bring their devices to school and use them in the specially-designed classroom activities. For children who don’t have their own devices, the school provides them, and there are 15 wi-fi hotspots in the school. The students use their devices for math class geometry, social studies research, and reading practice. It’s encouraging productive interaction, which is helping the students learn how to work collaboratively on tasks. Teachers enjoy the fact that even if students are still texting to each other during class time, at least now it’s messages and questions about the project they’re working on together.

Ely Elementary is one of the latest schools to implement this pilot program, also known as BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology). Schools from Arizona to Florida are rolling out their own versions of the program, though there is no one national trend yet. However, most school districts have websites – using technology to promote technology – to share tips and experiences to help their colleagues across the country. Schools in the UK and Australia are also considering joining the movement.

Because kids in the 21st century are growing up surrounded by technology, it only makes sense to incorporate it into their lives and studies in a way that makes it productive. If you know a student who doesn’t enjoy reading books, see if using an e-reader changes their attitude. Spelling games can turn quizzes into entertainment, and even simply using computer game time as a reward for a good study session can motivate students to learn. With all of the e-books available with one click of the mouse, you might find that kids are eager to choose from the wide variety of e-books they can find through online stores like Amazon or through your local library. If you can see that your kids are having fun using technology, then it makes sense to use technology to help them have fun reading and learning.

Cross-posted on the Product Name blog.

English Vocabulary Practice: Words With Multiple Meanings

Sometimes we think it would be nice if all English words had a single meaning, so that communication would always be clear and direct and misunderstandings avoided. On the other hand, much of the pleasure of the English language comes from playing with words, using them to paint descriptive images or simply making a joke or pun. The flexibility of the English language comes in large part from the fact that many words do have several definitions, some related and others completely different. For example, consider this sentence:

Jennifer’s regal bearing as she was bearing the box of bearings to the customer was more suited to a procession than a delivery, but that has no bearing on the complaint the customer later filed.

If you’ve lost your bearings trying to work your way through this sentence, it’s not surprising. To lose one’s bearings means to get lost, usually temporarily. In this sense, the word bearings refers to your position relative to points of reference or direction. When you take a bearing you ascertain your physical location using a compass, a map, or the geographical markers around you (or a combination of the three). This phrase is also used in a metaphorical sense; you might need to get your bearings after being shocked by news of a tragedy, or learning something that radically alters your plans.

Your bearing also means your demeanor or posture, the way you hold your body while sitting, standing, or moving. A person’s bearing can be confident and self-assured as they stand in front of their audience while giving a speech. Someone can also have a haughty bearing, perhaps showing that they are overly proud and self-important.

The word bearing is the present participle of the verb to bear, or “to carry.” You might bear a burden of guilt for something you did to hurt someone else. Women in many African tribes bear heavy jugs of water on their heads.

When speaking of machines and other mechanical devices, bearings are things that reduce friction, such as the commonly-used ball bearings. We assume that Jennifer’s regal bearing allowed her to carry the box without spilling all of the ball bearings on the floor.

Bearing can also mean relevance. A judge might dismiss a piece of evidence if it has no bearing on the case, saying that it is not pertinent to the matter at hand.

Because the words you learn may have multiple meanings, and because many of those meanings may be useful to you, it’s a good idea to do some research when you choose a word to learn to make sure you know all of its current definitions. If you disagree, re-read this post, in which we’re bearing witness to the importance of appreciating and using the many possibilities of the English language!

5 Tips on How to Properly Write Business and Office Related Communications

Writing skills are a must when it comes to office correspondence. Most people take a casual approach to writing memos, interoffice notes, emails or anything else that their peers and managers read. This can prove to be a mistake that is hampering your chances for advancement or a raise.

This should not come as a surprise. Office communication often starts with an email or a memo and serves as a first impression in many cases. Research shows that 70% of people interact with business associates via email before they ever get a chance to meet in person.

This is why written office communications are a slippery slope. They set the tone for most of the interactions you have at work. You might feel the need to be funny or friendly, especially if you’re writing to a colleague you interact with often. Avoid doing that because office communications are monitored and you never know who else might be reading your emails.

Be clear and concise

Regardless of what type of document you are writing, make sure it is easy to understand and that it gets straight to the point whenever possible. The best way to ensure your writing is clear is to know what you want to say before you sit down to write it. If you’re not sure about what you’re saying, how can a person reading your email or a proposal be?

Use proper vocabulary

This is an important one. First off, refrain from using abbreviations or street jargon, and makes you look unprofessional. Also, consider the audience. You can get technical with your peers and colleagues if they are working in the same department and have the same background as you. However, refrain from using technical terms if you’re uncertain that everyone who needs to read it will be able to follow. If they are absolutely essential, make sure to include an explanation of terms in an appendix.

Also, make sure to proofread everything. Frequent grammar and spelling errors will start hurting your credibility and, while your colleagues might get a laugh out of them, you’re hardly doing yourself any favors in front of your boss.

Also, you can check out some of these online writing tools. Using them will help you communicate more effectively and even teach you a thing or two.

Grammarly – Use Grammarly to check your grammar, spelling and punctuation. Bad writing skills are a sure way of undermining your authority so make sure you’re sending out proofread and spell-checked writing. This free tool will make all that easier for you.

Thesaurus – If you’re writing a lot of emails, chances are your writing is drab and boring and that you’re using the same words all the time. Using this online tool will help you expand your vocabulary and find the right words for your content.

Gorgias – Gorgias allows you create email templates and works with Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo. If you’re losing time on writing, essentially, the same stuff, kick up your productivity with Gorgias and start sending out emails written in just a few keystrokes.

AussieWriter – Sometimes, your writing skills just won’t be good enough. Whether it’s an extensive business plan, a speech or a client pitch, you will have to enlist someone to help you out. AussieWriter is a reputable writing service that can get the job done affordably and quickly.

Enloop – If you need some help with writing a killer business plan, this online tool will prove to be a great asset. It automates the process, and gives you a step-by-step plan to follow that will eventually result in a great business proposal.

MailMentor – MailMentor is a free online tool you can use to check the readability of your emails. It will let you know if your writing is too long, too complex, or too difficult to read and offer actionable advice on how you can improve it.

Stick to the point

When writing an email, think of a single point you want to communicate and stick with it. If you need to have a lengthy discussion with someone, either schedule a meeting or set up a call, don’t write a mile-long email. This is because busy people don’t have time to read your musings. When you start veering off the topic, they start losing interest.

Include a clear call to action

Sometimes you want people to react to an email or an internal memo a certain way. Most people assume others will know how to react. Don’t bet on it. Include a clear call to action, specifying what the next steps are and are there any deadlines to be respected. Removing guesswork out of the equation gets things done much faster.

Be courteous but professional

Don’t allow your emails to saw discord and start office-wide hostilities. Always maintain a professional and courteous tone throughout your written communication. If you have some bad new to deliver, think about doing it in person or in a call. If you have something unpleasant to write to a colleague or a subordinate, make sure to do it in a tactful and unaggressive way.

A bit of courtesy will get you a long way, but avoid getting too personal or friendly in written communication, regardless of how well you might know someone. It gives an impression that you cannot separate your personal from your professional life and reflects poorly on you.

These tips will help you communicate better in both your professional and personal life. They will also go a long way in making sure that everything is communicated in a clear manner so to avoid any misunderstandings.  

Author’s Bio
Being a coach, Amy Cowen has a great experience of work with students  and young people – from providing assignment writing help at Galaxyessay to giving career advice. She often writes for different blogs in her free time.

5 Simple Exercises to Become a Proofreading Master

Joan Selby

Take a moment to think: how much text have you written throughout last week? No, we’re not talking about actual writing with pen on paper; it seems like no one does that nowadays. We’re talking about texts, emails, social media updates, comments on blog posts and Reddit, reports for your boss if you’re working, homework assignments if you’re a student…

Now think: did you proofread all that content? If you’re like most other people, you probably thought that proofreading was a waste of time because you were in a hurry to send the messages and updates. You’re wrong! The least you could do is starting using the Ultimate Spelling spellchecker, which will instantly improve the impression you’re leaving with your writing.

Michelle Roberts, a professional proofreader from EduGeeksClub.com, explains how important it is for people to proofread every single sentence they write: “Weak instead of week, your instead of you’re, bitch instead of beach… I’ve seen plenty of misspellings throughout my career and let me tell you one thing: they are embarrassing. Are you one of those people who don’t care about spelling because they think no one else cares? Guess what: your teachers care, your potential employers care, and all people you contact definitely care about the way you spell.”

An automated spellchecker will help a lot, but keep in mind that it lacks the human element, so you’ll have to make at least some effort to proofread on your own. Don’t worry; that’s not an overwhelming challenge. Continue reading and you’ll find few simple exercises, which will help you to become the proofreading master.

5 Proofreading Exercises to Try

Exercise 1: Find 7 errors in the following text:

Do you think practice make perfect? It does, but only when you’re practice is proper. When your used to wrong spelling, your contunuously practicing the mistakes. If you have doubts of the way you spell, than you need to check a dictionary. Write the misspelled words in your personnel dictionary and practice proper writing.   

Exercise 2: Retype the following text in a word processor, but make sure to correct the mistakes along the way. You should identify 7 mistakes.

Margaret Thatcher was one of the most famous politician in the history of Great Britain. She was the leader of the conservative party for 15 years, and a Primer Minster of UK for 11 years. She got the nick name Iron Lady because of her tough leadership style.

Before becoming a barister, she was a research chemist. Thatcher became the first women to lead a major political party in the UK.  

Exercise 3: Read this passage out loud. Is there something wrong with it? Then, retype it to correct the mistakes!

I have an inovative idea: lets practice mispeling and usage wrong gramar as much as possible. Who cares if people cant understand what I write? Ill leave it all to spelcheck to corect. I beleive in the prinsiple of freedom, we shouldnt waste time on proofraeding.

Exercise 4: Retype this text without reading it first. Try to correct the mistakes as you go.

It was realy cold yesterday.  Everyone were wearing coats. There hands were cold and there faces unhappy. People were standing like statues waiting for the next bus, and they were verry quet to. Yesterday wasnt a good day.  

Exercise 5: Make sure to correct the following sentences regarding proper use of apostrophe.

In my honest opinion, those were our table’s. However, Richards children looked so disappointed, that we had to look for another place to sit. We found four table’s near the windows and everyone was happy at the end. Seeing the childrens’ smiles was a precious moment for us, knowing that we did something good.

Answers to the Exercises

Be careful; don’t read these answers before you practice the exercises above. The point in practicing is to make your own efforts. With time, you’ll get better at proofreading and you’ll start writing much cleaner text. Now, check out the answers to the exercises above, and see if you got the right answers:

Answer to exercise 1

Do you think practice makes perfect? It does, but only when your practice is proper. When you’re used to wrong spelling, you’re continuously practicing the mistakes. If you have doubts of the way you spell, then you need to check a dictionary. Write the misspelled words in your personal dictionary and practice proper writing.

Answer to exercise 2

Margaret Thatcher was one of the most famous politicians in the history of Great Britain. She was the leader of the Conservative Party for 15 years, and a Primer Minister of UK for 11 years. She got the nickname Iron Lady because of her tough leadership style.

Before becoming a barrister, she was a research chemist. Thatcher became the first woman to lead a major political party in the UK.  

Answer to exercise 3

I have an innovative idea: let’s practice misspelling and using wrong grammar as much as possible. Who cares if people can’t understand what I write? I’ll leave it all to spell-checker to correct. I believe in the principle of freedom. We shouldn’t waste time on proofreading.

Answer to exercise 4

It was really cold yesterday.  Everyone was wearing coats. Their hands were cold and their faces unhappy. People were standing like statues waiting for the next bus, and they were very quiet too. Yesterday wasn’t a good day.

Answer to exercise 5

In my honest opinion, those were our tables. However, Richard’s children looked so disappointed, that we had to look for another place to sit. We found four tables near the windows and everyone was happy at the end. Seeing the children’s smiles was a precious moment for us, knowing that we did something good.

Now, Practice Proofreading!

You’ll find chances to practice everywhere around you. Billboards, Facebook statuses, tweets, and blog posts – all these resources are great for finding spelling mistakes. Remember: every single thing you write makes an impression. When you want to leave an impression of a smart, well-educated individual, you have to proofread your text!   

Author’s BioJoan Selby is an ESL teacher and blogger from sunny California. Former CalArts graduate and fancy shoelover. A writer by day and reader by night. Giving creative touch to everything. Find her on Twitter and Facebook