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Prepositions- On, For

Here is a notice I saw in a shop near my house. So what is wrong with it? Sure, we can work out that fish in this shop is likely to be cheaper at the moment but, to a native English speaker, the image that springs to mind is of a fish out shopping and very pleased to find that they get a super good deal in this shop.


OK, time to get technical.

What exactly is the problem with this sign?

It’s all to do with preposition use. Here the shop owner has used ‘for’. This suggests that a fish will receive a special offer. In the same way, we might say:

‘I have a gift for you’


‘I’ll get a coffee for you’.


The preposition ‘on’ is used in many ways. In this sense, a special offer ‘on’ something, it indicates that the price of this item is lowered. You can remember that ‘on’ is used in this sense as price stickers are often stuck ‘on’ items. So, the sign should read:

Special Offer on Fish


The use of ‘the’ here is also not needed. This is a really common problem amongst people who use English as a second language. ‘The’ is a definite article and so is used to distinguish one particular item amongst many. If we wrote:

Special Offer on The Fish

We would be referring to a particular fish, rather than all the fish in the shop.

So here, we can just put ‘fish’ as we are referring to some fish, or all the fish in the shop.

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How To Include Long Quotes in Essays

We all know that the best way to quote in essays is to keep it short and snappy, right? If possible, you should include the quote inside your sentence:

Smith supports this point, stating that ‘readers generally get bored with long chunks of quoted text’.

However, there are going to be times when you feel you have to include a quote in full. Perhaps it has several points that you want to discuss. So how should you do this?

Style Guide

The first point of call is to check your style guide. Most universities use the Harvard guide, but APA, Chicago, and MLA are all common too. Most law essays will use OSCOLA. You should have a copy of this somewhere but if not, there is sure to be a version on your university website. Go and get it!

Got it? Good, let’s carry on.

Format for long quotes

Most style guides will tell you that for quotes of over fifty words, or four lines in length, you should indent the quote and use double quote marks. So, a quote would look something like this:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Morbi ullamcorper ac diam at blandit. Pellentesque nec erat ut nibh vestibulum laoreet eget blandit felis. Aenean a turpis quis orci ultrices dapibus non semper nibh. Pellentesque fringilla sed est non imperdiet. Ut et facilisis diam. Vestibulum vitae malesuada diam, a condimentum nulla. Suspendisse auctor, odio et dapibus congue, orci est laoreet nisi, sit amet congue mauris ex vel libero. Fusce ut nulla et est luctus consequat. Donec ligula diam, congue non dictum ut, varius tincidunt orci. Donec scelerisque a tellus eu ornare. (Smith, 2010, p.45)

Some style guides will also recommend that the font in the quote should be a little smaller than usual, to distinguish the quote from the rest of the text. Some also say that you should leave out the quote marks. However you do it, make sure that you put in an author, date and page number at the end of the quote!

Good luck!

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How to Reference an E-book Using Oxford Style

When you are required to use the Oxford referencing style, the citation of an electronic book should include sufficient information to enable the reader to access or retrieve it. In that sense, references should have at least the following elements:

Surname, First name, Title [online text], (place of publication: publisher, year), in Library database, accessed DD Month YYYY

Here, you have an example of how an e-book should be cited in the bibliography or reference list:

Kelsall, Robert, Hamley, Ian and Geoghegan, Mark, Nanoscale Science and Technology [online text], (Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd., 2005), in Google books, accessed 16 February 2013

If you use a footnote, the reference will look very similar, except for the order of the first two elements and the use of lower case letters instead of all capitals. In the example above, the footnote will look like:

Robert Kelsall, Ian Hamley and Mark Geoghegan, Nanoscale Science and Technology [online text], (Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd., 2005), in Google books, accessed 16 February 2013

For referencing proofreading, submit your paper to Proofread My Essay.

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Word Choice: Continuously and Continually

It can be easy to mix up continuously and continually when writing. Still, you should be careful to make the right word choice appropriate for your sentence. Careful word selection can greatly enhance your writing. It can also help your reader understand exactly what you are trying to express. In this blog I will explain when continuously and continually are appropriate.

Continuously means ‘unceasingly’ or ‘uninterrupted’. For example, I might say that “my ears were ringing continuously throughout the concert because the music was so loud”.

Continually, in contrast, means ‘regularly’ or ‘frequent intervals’. For example, if I make a habit of going to loud concerts, I might say that I “continually attend loud concerts”.

If you are not positive whether you have chosen the right words in your writing, then it could be very useful to submit your work to proofreading services. Proofread My Essay has excellent proofreaders who can help with word choice, grammar, spelling, referencing and formatting. In addition to making sure that your assignment is written correctly, using proofreading services can be a great way to grow as a writer. By taking careful note of how professional proofreaders edit your writing, you can see what areas of your own writing require adjustment. So if you want to communicate more clearly, become a better writer, and earn better marks on your academic essays, submit your work for proofreading today!

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Word Choice: Dependant vs. Dependent

Dependant and dependent sound similar when spoken, and they look almost identical. But these are distinct words referring to different things. Furthermore, whether you are following American or British convention impacts which word choice is appropriate for your writing. In this blog I will briefly explain the difference between dependant and dependent, and explain the difference in usage between American and British English.

Dependant is a noun and refers to someone who depends on someone else. For example, “taxpayers can pay less tax for each dependant they have”.

In contrast, dependent is an adjective meaning supported, determined, influenced, or controlled by someone or something. For example, “you should not take too many sleeping pills; you don’t want to become dependent on them”.

In American English, both the noun and the adjective forms – explained above – are spelled dependent. However, in British English, the noun is spelled dependant, and the adjective is spelled dependent.

If you are still not sure whether you have chosen the correct words for your writing, the proofreaders at Proofread My Essay can help. They are skilled in American, Australian, and British English spelling, word choice, grammar, and referencing. In addition to those things, they can also help you format your document. Their rates are great, and you can even get a free sample of their work.

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Word Choice: Elicit or Illicit

When words sound or look almost the same, it can be very easy to make the wrong word choice and use them inappropriately in your writing. Therefore, it is important to make sure that words are used appropriately. Otherwise, your reader may fail to grasp what you are trying to communicate to them. In this blog I will briefly explain the difference between the words elicit and illicit. I will also introduce an invaluable resource that can help all writers continue to improve their skills.

Elicit is a verb meaning ‘to call forth’ or ‘bring out’. For example, if a journalist is interviewing someone, and in doing so, asking them for information, we might say they are eliciting information. Alternatively, if someone’s actions called for someone else to act, we might say their actions elicited a response.

In contrast, illicit is an adjective which means ‘unlawful’ or ‘not permitted’. For example, we might identify drugs which have been outlawed in a given region as illicit substances. Using both of the terms being discussed in this blog, we could write, ‘in order to bust the drug ring, the undercover police officer elicited illicit substances’.

If you want to continue improving as a writer, it is a great idea to make use of proofreading services. The professionals at Proofread My Essay can give excellent feedback on your work. And by paying attention to the way they edit your spelling, grammar, word choice, referencing, and formatting, you can identify areas of your writing abilities that could be strengthened.

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Harvard Referencing Several Works by One Author in the Same Year

Once you have finished writing your work it can be a chore to ensure that all your referencing is done properly. Different types of source require different elements and these elements are arranged in a particular way for each type of reference. Below, I will demonstrate how to reference several works by one author that were published in the same year according to the Harvard referencing style.

To reference a single book in Harvard style, you simply state the author’s surname and the year it was published. A basic reference should look like this: (Smith, 2010). If you have already stated the author’s surname in the sentence preceding the reference, then just state the year. For example, Smith has made significant contributions to the field of nanoethics (2010).

To reference multiple works by one author that were published in a single year, simply state the author’s surname and the publication year but differentiate each work with a lower case letter directly following – with no space – the year of publication. For example, (Smith, 2010a).

If you need to reference multiple works by one author in a single citation, just separate each year of publication with a semicolon. Such a reference should look like this: (Smith, 2009; 2010a; 2010b).

Of course, the highly qualified proofreaders at Proofread My Essay are well versed in the art of academic referencing. They can be relied upon to correct your referencing, whether you use Harvard or any other type of system. Our proofreading team correct both the in-text references and the bibliography at the end of your document. This is all included as part of our comprehensive proofreading service, so submit your work for proofreading today!

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