Style

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To Friend or Unfriend? The Evolution of Nouns into Verbs

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Style / Usage

In 2009, “unfriend” was the Oxford American Dictionary’s Word of the Year, leading to teeth-gnashing of grammar purists across the world. How could this be? How did “unfriend” become a word at all, when “friend,” until not so long ago, wasn’t even a verb, but merely someone with whom you enjoyed spending time?   The English language, like all languages, is constantly evolving. “Unfriend” may still seem strange to us,...

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Tidying-Up Your Academic Writing: The Magic of the Reverse Outline

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Style / Editor/writer

January is the time of year when we begin hearing from students who need help with their dissertations, theses, and papers. To help them out, we're revisiting this blog from TEC's archives on how to craft a reverse outline! ***** Could your academic writing use a good de-cluttering?   While doing structural editing for a client—especially with graduate students’ theses or dissertations—I’ve often found myself using the same little trick when faced with...

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The Online World of Grammar and Usage: Reliable Online Editorial Resources

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Style / Editor/writer

Although you’re unlikely to find many writers or editors willing to give up the hard copies of their dictionaries or style and usage guides, working as a writer or editor in the 21st century has its perks: the list of reliable online editorial resources gets longer every year. Here’s a great listing to get you started.   Online Style Guides Online bastions of editorial integrity include well-known editorial authorities such as...

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What’s the Matter with ibid.?

Editing / Style

The Latin word ibidem, better known these days by its short form ibid. , is one of the technical tools of academic writing and editing. Literally meaning "in the same place," it's used in footnotes and endnotes to mean that a note refers to the same source as the previous note. This little bit of Latin has long been a way of inducting a writer (in high school...

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3 Essentials for a Great Thesis or Dissertation

Editing / Style

As one of our Academic Editors here at TEC, I've recently been working on a lot of graduate theses and dissertations, helping students to shape what they've written into something they're proud to defend. Having just defended by own PhD dissertation earlier this year, I have a good idea of what graduate supervisors and committees are looking for in a finished dissertation (in the humanities and social sciences, at...

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5 Chicago-Style Citations for the Web-Savvy Editor

Editing / Style

As 2015 rolls around, our use of social media continues to grow. Now, more than ever before, authors (both academic and non-academic) are citing social media sources such as Twitter posts, blog comments, podcasts, and YouTube videos in their work.     The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) is particularly vague on how to format these modern kinds of citations as endnotes or footnotes. Luckily for you, we’ve done the...

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Punctuation Marks & Symbols: The Comma and the Hashtag

Editing / Style

I wanted to write about punctuation marks and symbols because I’m fascinated by their use. When used correctly — that is, according to style guides like Chicago or APA — they can turn an otherwise awkward or convoluted sentence into a concise, clean line that brings out meaning and strengthens tone (among other things). The Comma One of my favourite examples of how a tiny punctuation mark can bring...

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6 Simple Steps to Becoming a Confident Abbreviation User (CAU)

Editing / Style

From the Jersey Shore (anyone up for GTL?) to high government offices (the GOP signed an MOA with the DED!), abbreviations are handy little tools that save space and time. But they can trip up even experienced writers. When to use them? When not to use them? Capitals or lowercase?   More like ACK!ronym, am I right? Take a deep breath and follow these six simple rules for abbreviating,...

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