Tag Archives: Dissertation Proofreaders UK

Citing a Book in MLA Style

When you are citing secondary resources in your work you need to make sure that you reference them properly. If you don’t know which referencing style you are using, go and check!

If you are using MLA referencing style to cite a book, this is how you will need to do it:


(Author page number)

For example:

Some critics argue that here, Shakespeare is making a point about gender (Smith 72).

Note that for MLA style you don’t need to use a comma between the author and page number.

Reference List

Smith, J. What Shakespeare Meant to Say, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012. Print

Make sure you remember to put ‘print’ or ‘online’ after the reference.

Books by more than one author

If your source has got more than one author you would need to write your references like this:


(Smith, Jones, and Hunter 87)

Reference List

Smith, J., Jones, A., Hunter, S. What Shakespeare Meant to Say, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012. Print

If your source has more than four authors then you can just put the first author and ‘et al.’ (which means ‘and others’):


(Smith et al. 87)

For the reference list, you can choose whether to write the names of all the authors out in full or to put ‘et al.’ Your university can tell you what they prefer.


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How to Reference an E-book Using MLA Style

The Modern Language Association establishes that the basic format to cite e-books is similar to the printed versions; except for adding the medium of publication.

Consequently, the reference of an e-book will look like:

Surname, First name. Title. Place of publication (if known): Publisher, year. Database. Medium of publication. Date it was accessed (DD MM YYYY)

An example of how an ebook should be cited according to the MLA style is the following:

Edgell, S. The Sociology of Work: Continuity and Change in Paid and Unpaid Work. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2011. eBooks.com. Web. 15 February 2013

If the book is on an e-reader, the type of file should also be included and the reference will look like:

Leo, K., Hoggett, J. and Sweeting, J. Company Accounting. 9th ed. Australia: John Wiley & Sons, 2012. Google ebook.

Remember that your paper and references can be professionally checked at ProofreadMyEssay, so you can be sure of having high quality work.

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The Oxford Comma

The Oxford comma, sometimes also called the serial comma, is used to clear up confusion in sentences with lists. It’s really up to you whether you use it or not but for academic texts it can be useful. I prefer to use it as it just makes sure that you are being clear.

Take the following popular example:

We invited the strippers, JFK and Stalin.

Now, without the Oxford comma, it looks as if you are saying that JFK and Stalin are the strippers!

So, we would write:

We invited the strippers, JFK, and Stalin.

This makes it clear that JFK and Stalin have been invited as well as the strippers.

Not Always Necessary

It really depends on what you are writing though. Take this sentence:

We bought apples, mangos and bananas.

There’s really no danger of confusion in this sentence and so, if you like, you can leave out the comma before the final ‘and’ here.

Rejigging Your Sentence

You can also get around having to use the Oxford comma by simply restructuring your sentence. Our first sentence would be much clearer like this:

We invited JFK, Stalin and the strippers.


Generally, British and Australian writers are less likely to use the Oxford comma and certain American newspaper outlets also leave it out. Certain style guides may suggest its use or not, so check this to make sure. The best thing to do is to always ask yourself ‘is my sentence clear?’ If not, you might want to stick in a comma.

Good luck!

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Writing a Draft

Easter is just around the corner and you are probably looking forward to the final write-up of your dissertation. Have you got a complete draft yet? How does it transform from this to a final, polished essay? Read on to find out!

What To Do With Your Draft

First things first, get the thing written! Don’t procrastinate for ages, just get on and start writing. Remember that you can always improve it and that your first draft is only ever going to be a rough sketch of the final essay. If you think that your first draft is all you are going to need- think again! The whole point of having plenty of time to complete your work is that you come back to your ideas, revising and refining them as you go along!


Step One- Delete

Once you have a complete draft, go back over what you have written. First of all, look for any sentences that waffle or repeat something you have said before. Literally cross them out with a red pen. It’s honestly worth printing out your work as it can be hard to visualise the whole structure of a large piece of work on a computer.

Step Two- Rewrite

Look for ways in which things could be said more precisely. Try to be as concise as possible and make sure that each step of your argument flows on logically to the next. It can help to take notes on the structure of your argument as you go along.

Step Three- Check

Go through and make sure all your references are correctly formatted (see your University guidelines for this) and that everything you have mentioned in your essay is also featured in your reference list. It may be dull, but it’s a great way to pick up extra marks!

Step Four- Check Again!

Read your essay through several times on paper. Make notes and corrections as you go along. Try starting from the end and reading it backwards, a sentence at a time. The biggest cause of errors being missed is the writer being too familiar with the content. Reading your essay backwards can make it seem new again. This helps you to spot mistakes more easily.

Step Five- Check for the Final Time

Before submitting, make sure you get someone else to read it through. If you can’t rope in a friend, then why not submit it to a professional proofreader, who can give you the benefit of their experience?

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How to Write an Effective Dissertation

Once you have decided the topic of your dissertation, the next step involves research about the topic. Writing the dissertation might be difficult but the topic you select can make all the difference. Choosing a dissertation topic, therefore, is an art in itself.

Thesis writing for PhDs is a challenging task and appropriate guidelines can help writers to create great writing. In this article, we have focused on the aspects that can help you create an effective dissertation.

Tips for Dissertation Writing

Topic Selection

The dissertation topic you select should be engaging enough to keep you interested for the entire length of the course. Rare or unusual topics are good as your research will be unique, and may contribute useful knowledge to your field.

List the Key Points

Once you decide on your dissertation topic, list the key points that need to be addressed. Listing the key points can help you to organise your research effectively. It is advisable to note every crucial detail you gather along with the key points of your academic writing. You can also read dissertations written by other students if you feel this helps you. However, the best method of learning to write well is to read the best academic writers and try to imitate their style. In time, you will develop your own unique writing style.

Structure your Dissertation Writing

It is advisable to select topics that will allow you to brainstorm the areas that your dissertation topic needs to cover. Structuring the dissertation is the third step after topic selection and listing the key points. This step will allow you to make your writing clear and effective. A good structure for dissertation writing requires intense research about the topic you select in order to make sure that you address the most pressing concerns to do with your dissertation first.

Refer to Dissertation Examples

Referring to dissertation examples can also help you perfect your writing and get some great ideas. You should always select a proper format for writing dissertations so that you can also avoid some common mistakes. Learning from mistakes is a good habit.

Get Suggestions from Professors

Once you have written your first draft of your dissertation, get it checked by your professors and take on board their suggestions. Modify or edit your academic writing to show the changes suggested by the professors. This will help you to achieve the best grades possible when you finally submit your PhD thesis.

Using dissertation proofreading services offered by professional proofreaders can also help you acquire good grades in your academic writing.

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Common Mistakes: Afflict Vs. Inflict

The prefixes ‘aff’ and ‘in’ make a world of difference to the meaning of these two words. It is all a question of point of view. If one inflicts pain upon someone else, the victim is afflicted by pain.

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The verb ‘afflict’ means ‘to affect in a negative way’. It is most often used in the passive, as in the sentence:

‘The workforce was afflicted by an outbreak of cholera’.

It can sometimes be used as an active verb, as seen in the following sentence:

‘Cholera afflicts people who are susceptible, like the elderly and young children’.

It is, however, rare for the verb ‘afflict’ to be used in any way other than in the passive. Whenever it is used actively, it is simply that the negative impact (in this case, cholera) is put before the verb rather than after it.


The noun ‘affliction’ means a state of distress, illness, misery or great hardship. It refers to a situation which is so unpleasant and unfortunate that it is emotionally difficult to bear. As it is quite an old-fashioned word, it is now often used in a sarcastic or ironic way, as in the sentence:

‘We missed out on tickets to Glastonbury. Please sympathise with us in our affliction.’


To inflict is to impose or cause suffering, pain or something unpleasant. It can also mean imposing something which is un-wanted or unwelcome, like an opinion, upon somebody else.

The word ‘inflict’ is often used in the context of punishment or physical bodily harm, as in the sentence:

‘The attackers inflicted life-changing injuries upon the victim’.

The verb ‘inflict’ must always take an object. Its noun version, ‘infliction’, simply means the act of inflicting.

If you are still confused about the definition or usage of words like ‘afflict’ or ‘inflict’, or have any other queries about your writing, the professionals at Proofread My Essay can help you today!

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