Resume Capitalization Rules and Guidelines

So you are applying for a job that requires a resume and want to make sure it looks the best it can. A resume encapsulates all of your accomplishments, from your educational attainment to your related experiences. Your resume is the first impression you make on a new employer and so adherence to proper grammar conventions is a must. Your future employer could make the decision between you and another candidate solely based on grammar alone if all other parts of the applications are similar. While there are a lot of grammar rules that go into resumes, today we will focus only on resume capitalization rules.

There are a lot of rules that you should take into consideration when creating resumes. But capitalization rules are one of the most important things to consider since employers often scan a resume in under six seconds to determine whether they should read further. Not only is capitalization one of the first things that your employee might see, but it’s also important to highlight the important parts of your resume such as your previous jobs and education. Hence, capitalization rules are very important so that you can show that you pay attention to details to your future employer. In this article, we will highlight some common resume capitalization rules. Please be mindful of these rules because they could make or break your next job application.

If you want to quickly and easily capitalize parts of your resume, you can use our free title capitalization tool here.

Capitalizing Job Titles

Job titles are one of the most complicated resume capitalization rules. In most cases, people would tend to capitalize on their job titles since these are hard earned titles. However, you shouldn’t necessarily capitalize job titles all of the time. There are instances when you have to capitalize on job titles, but there are also times when you do not. Take a look at some of these resume capitalization rules under job titles.

  1. You should capitalize specific job titles. However, do not capitalize a job title if it is used as a general job description. For instance:

Specific job title: “As the Program Chair of the Department of Management…”

General job title: “I am seeking a position as a program chair…”

2. Capitalize a job title if it precedes the name of the person. For instance:

Chief Executive Officer Mark Thomas.”

Vice President Henry Griffin.”

3. Capitalize a job title if it used as a heading in the resume. For instance:

“Chief Operating Officer (2015-2016)”

“Branch Manager (2010-present)”

4. Do not capitalize a job title when it is used to describe the person. For instance:

“Mark Thomas, the chief executive officer of…”

“the vice president of administration, Henry Griffin…”

5. Do not capitalize on job titles if you place them as part of a summary of jobs.

“In my fifteen years as an employee, I worked as a professional teacher, a college professor, a clinical instructor, and a clinical nurse.”

Capitalizing Work Experience

Usually, you do not capitalize the descriptions of your work experiences. In most situations, you would only state the nature of your previous related work. However, you should note that there are always exemptions to the rule. You should capitalize parts of your work experiences if they include a proper noun – such as product or company names, acronyms or initials. You should also capitalize the first word in the sentence. Let’s see how these resume capitalization rules are applied by studying the example below.

Example: “Developed a new content management system (CMS) for the Seattle Public Library.”

In the prior sentence, “CMS” is capitalized because it is an acronym and “Seattle Public Library” is capitalized because it is a proper noun.

Capitalizing Degree Programs

One of the resume capitalization rules that you should pay special attention to is the capitalization of degree programs. Here are the rules to remember.

1. You should capitalize the name of the degree program if it is a proper noun or refers to a specific subject that you studied. Usually, these proper nouns are languages. For instance:

  • Bachelor of Arts in English
  • Bachelor of Arts in French

2. Do not capitalize on the majors, programs, academic disciplines, and courses of study. For instance:

    • D. in marine biology
    • S. in environmental and natural resources

3. Here’s where it gets a little tricky. You can capitalize on the degree on your resume as long as you list it as your degree. For instance:

    • Harvard University – BA in History, summa cum laude (2010-2014)
    • University of Virginia – BS in Computer Science, cum laude (2015-2019)

4. Capitalize academic degrees only when the full name of the degree is used. For instance:

5. Capitalize the abbreviations of academic degrees. Depending on the style preferred, you may or may not put a period in between these abbreviations. For instance.

    • MA in education
    • D. in environmental sustainability

6. Do not capitalize if the program is used as a general reference. For instance:

    • I have a master’s degree in education major in mathematics.
    • I have a master’s degree in biology, a master’s degree in physics, and a doctorate degree in science education.

Capitalizing Offices and Departments

You have to capitalize the name of the offices or establishments only when you use the official name. For instance:

  1. Department of Arts, Sciences, and Teaching Education
  2. Basic Education Department
  3. Institute of Culinary Arts

You should take note that there are some departments or offices which contain proper nouns. Hence, they should always be capitalized. Be cautious with these resume capitalization rules because some people tend to overlook this.

  1. Timber Lane Elementary School
  2. Seattle Department of Transportation

Other Resume Capitalization Rules

Aside from those which we have mentioned above, there are other resume capitalization rules that you should always remember.

  1. A common convention in any formal writing, the first word of each sentence should be capitalized. Even when writing in bullet points, you should still capitalize on the first word of each point. Even short sentences.
  2. Always capitalize the names of companies. Some of these company names tend to be a little tricky, so you should have ample idea on the correct capitalization. If in doubt, better double check the name online.
  3. Always capitalize proper nouns. Of course, this is a basic rule of English title capitalization.
  4. Never write in all caps. It’s a common rule in all forms of writing. Some consider it as shouting, so you better be careful.

Conclusion

Resume capitalization rules can get a little tricky, especially if you lack the knowledge on which words to capitalize. Therefore, you need to understand these rules very well so you could create the perfect resume to impress your future employer. As they say, practice makes perfect. Keep on practicing as you improve. And also, good luck job hunting!

And remember, if you want to easily capitalize your resume job titles and other headers, try out our free title capitalization tool.

What Is a Preposition?

People use prepositions every day. In spite of their regular use, however, they are often misused and misunderstood, especially by those whose first language is not English. Today, we’re going to learn the basic functions and purposes of prepositions, as well as how to use them (especially in an academic setting).

What is a Preposition?

A preposition’s main purpose is to convey to the reader when and where an object is in relation to something else. It basically links a noun or a pronoun (which serves as the object) to other words within a sentence. A preposition may better express how an action is done, or it may state the movement, position, and possession of an object within the sentence.

We could compare a preposition to adhesive tape: just as tape holds two objects together, a preposition “binds” words together to form a meaningful sentence. We have to give credit to prepositions for being an important part of a sentence. They give meaning to a sentence and help make it more complex and enjoyable to read.

Example 1: The dancer panicked behind the curtains.

If we break the sentence down, we can see that the word behind connects the noun curtains with the verb panicked. The word helps us understand where the dancer panicked.

Example 2: The teacher has qualms concerning the student’s output.

If we study the sentence, we can see that concerning connects the teacher’s qualms with the student’s output. The preposition expresses why the teacher has qualms.

Aside from behind and concerning, there are also other prepositions. Each of these words has its own meaning. Some of the most commonly used prepositions include the following: above, after, along, at, before, below, between, beyond, during, for, in, on, through, toward, and within.

What is a Prepositional Phrase?

When a preposition begins a  group of words that express their own idea, we have a prepositional phrase. A prepositional phrase contains a preposition, the object of the preposition (which includes a noun or a pronoun), and any appropriate modifier of the object. It is important to be able to identify prepositional phrases. This is because the object within the prepositional phrase should not be misidentified as the direct object of the verb.

To further demonstrate what a prepositional phrase is, we have given you a few examples.

 Example 3: My dog jumped over the fence.

In the sentence, the prepositional phrase is over the fence. If we deconstruct the prepositional phrase, we can identify over as the preposition of the sentence, fence as the object of the preposition, and the as the modifier (in this case, a definite article).

 Example 4: We walked to the forest near the mountains.

If we study the sentence, we can actually identify two prepositional phrases here: to the forest and near the mountains. For the first phrase, to is the preposition while the and forest are the object and modifier of the preposition. In the second prepositional phrase, near is the preposition while the and mountains are the object and modifier of the preposition. Where did the subject (we) walk? To the forest. Where was the forest located? Near the mountains.

What is a Particle?

Here is where things go a little tricky. There are some words that look like prepositions, but they are part of a verb. These are called particles.  While they are similar in appearance and often even use a preposition, particles do not really form a relationship between the object and the rest of the sentence. Instead, particles act as either a phrasal verb or an infinitive verb. Let’s look at a few examples..

Example 5: His mother will look after his son while he’s away.

In the example, look after is the phrasal verb. It means to take care of someone. This means that the word after becomes a particle, a portion of the phrasal verb. Since it does not introduce any prepositional phrase, it is not a preposition.

Example 6: She likes to be the butterfly in the play.

In this example, the phrase to be is an infinitive form of a verb. The word to does not introduce a prepositional phrase, so it is not used as a preposition in the sentence.

To illustrate how prepositions and particles differ, let us try to study some more examples.

Example 7: Do not give in to temptation.

Example 8: You look in the bag.

In example 7, the word in was used as a particle. Specifically, it formed the phrasal verb give in, which means to surrender.  In the next example, the term was used as a preposition. It established the relationship between the object (the bag) and the verb (look). Where did you look? In the bag.

Example 9: She bought him flowers to make up for her mistakes.

Example 10: Look up at the sky and appreciate the beauty of the stars.

In example 9, the word up formed the phrasal verb make up, which means to compensate for something. So, it does not really establish a relationship of any sort within the sentence. In the second example, the term up would link the verb (look) to the object (the sky).

Wrapping Up

Prepositions are vital in sentences, because they express how things are done. They give us directions (“Look up at the sky.”), timing (“After the sun goes down, bats come out to catch their breakfast of bugs.”), and introduce direct and indirect objects of verbs (“I’m writing you concerning your recent grant proposal.”)  Because we use them in common language, it is important to be able to understand how to use each of these words appropriately.

Finally, here is a list some of the most common prepositions:

about
above
across
after
against
along
among
around
at
before
behind
below
beneath
beside
beyond
by
down
during
for
from
in
inside
into
near
of
off
on
out
outside
over
past
through
throughout
to
toward
under

Other words that can act as prepositions:

being
concerning
despite

Capitalizing Religions and Religious Holidays

Understanding religious capitalization rules can be difficult so we’re here to help. Below we’ll break down the rules for the names of religions, holy books, and people who practice a religion.

Do you capitalize religions?

Yes. When referring to religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, etc. you should always capitalize the word since religions are proper nouns. Even when referring to specific sects of a religion such as Catholicism, Protestantism, Orthodox Judaism, and Sunni Islam, you capitalize the names since they are adjectives that refer to the proper noun of the religion.

Do you capitalize holy texts?

You always capitalize the titles of religious texts such as the Holy Bible, the Torah, and the Quran because these are all proper nouns. However, bible can also be used as a regular noun so you can refer to a “fisherman’s bible” in lowercase for example. In general, if you are referring to a specific religious book, you should capitalize it.

One word you don’t capitalize is biblical. Even though it is an adjective that describes a proper noun, it has lost its capitalization over the years. This is because when it is used, it generally isn’t referring the Bible itself. Instead, phrases such as “biblical proportions” refer to a grandness that has a likeness to the Bible, but is no longer exclusive to the holy text. You can see the trend of lowercasing “biblical” over time here.

Do you capitalize the name of people who practice a religion?

Whenever you refer to someone who practices a religion or religious sect since they too are proper nouns or adjectives that describe a proper noun. For example, you should capitalize the following people: Catholic, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, or Protestant.

Do you capitalize religious holidays?

Yes, you should always capitalize religious holidays since they are proper nouns. When referring to holidays such as Christmas, Easter, Hanukkah, Yom Kippur, Ramadan, or Eid Al-Fitr, you should capitalize the entire word. If you include the word “day” at the end, you should capitalize both the holiday name and “day” since “day” is part of the holiday name in this case.

Want to learn more title capitalization rules? Try out our free title capitalization tool.

12 Best Writing Tools of 2019

We here at Capitalize My Title love writing so we’ve scoured the Internet to find the best writing tools to make our job easier and more efficient. Below you can find our favorite 12 writing tools that we use almost everyday to create great content for you all.

1. Grammarly

Full disclosure, I am a Grammarly affiliate, but I cannot live without this tool. I use the free Chrome plugin and it is so much better than the built-in Chrome spell-checker. Every time I write a blog article, Grammarly scours my post to find any issues with my spelling or grammar. They even offer plugins for Microsoft Office so you can use the power of the tool from within Windows! I have never paid for the Premium version and enjoy the benefits of the free version all the same.

2. Scrivener

If you’re writing a manuscript, Scrivener makes it extremely easy to organize sections of your manuscript so you can quickly add and edit sections as you have inspiration. If you’re considering writing any sort of long document, be it a book, thesis, or dissertation, Scrivener is the writing tool for you. They have a great video describing their product below:

3. Trello

While you can certainly go for a more sophisticated editorial planning tool like CoSchedule, Trello offers amazing planning and organizational capabilities for the price of free. You can create unlimited “Boards” and then create “Lists” with cards for tasks such as content topics. For each of my blogs, I have a list of articles I want to write in a “Backlog” list organized by priority. Then I have a list for “Approved” articles that I want to work on next followed by a “Doing” list where I have the card for the article I’m currently writing. Fiannly I have  “Waiting to Publish” and “Done” lists for articles scheduled to be published or published.

trello writing board

4. Evernote

We love Evernote for taking quick notes on-the-go. They even have a nifty app called Scannable which quickly scans documents that can be saved as PDFs/images or imported right into Evernote for organization purposes. If you’re a student, you can get Evernote Premium for 50% off, but the free version has plenty to offer. You can have as many notebooks as you want in Evernote, but you’re limited to uploading 60MB of content per month with the free version. You can take plenty of notes with this limit, but you won’t be able to upload as many photos or documents.

5. Capitalize My Title

Ok, we may be a bit biased, but even we love our title capitalization tool. We use it and the WordPress plugin all the time when we’re publishing here. Use it to properly capitalize your titles with correct title capitalization rules.

6. Headline Analyzer

Confused about what makes a great title, whether for a book or blog post? CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer is a free headline analyzer that will give your title a score from 0-100. Great way to see how your title will perform and perfect it before publishing. This article title actually got a 63 so it could definitely be improved.

12 best writing tools - headline analyzer

7. Tomato Timer

If you have trouble staying focused, give Tomato Timer a try. It is a timer based on the Pomodoro method which says that you should focus heads down for 20-25 minutes and then take a short break. Research says that if you know a break is coming, you’ll be more likely to stay focused in the shorter working window.

tomato timer - free writing tools8. Hemingway Editor

While most grammar and spell checkers critique individual words or phrases, Hemingway will focus on the bigger picture of your writing. Hemingway will give you feedback on whether sentences are hard to read and some general stats about your writing, such as how many adverbs you used, but it won’t give you much else. You are on your own to make the corrections it suggests.

9. White Noise Websites

There are a lot of websites out there now that play ambient sounds. Rainy Mood and Hipster Sound are two of our favorites that play rain and cafe sounds respectively. Personally, I prefer sitting in an actual cafe to listening to these websites, but these tools make a great option when I’m stuck at home for a day.

10. Ted Talks for Writers

If you need a bit of inspiration or are feeling stuck with writer’s block, then watch these ten Ted talks. If you don’t feel inspired after watching them, then maybe try generating some new blog title ideas.

11. Draft

Draft is a distraction-free writing app that lets you quickly write documents without any confusing features. Great tool when you don’t feel like writing in Microsoft Word or Google Docs anymore.

12. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is a great tool for content marketers in particular because it shows you the top trending topics on the Internet and allows you to easily connect with Influencers. It’s a great writing tool for digital marketers who aren’t quite sure what to write about but want to create content that people will find interesting. When paired with a blog title generator, BuzzSumo can be quite powerful.

Bonuses

Cliche FinderIn his six rules for writing, George Orwell suggested that one should “never use a metaphor, simile, or other figures of speech which you are used to seeing in print.” The Cliche Finder highlights cliches in your text so you can avoid overused expressions in your writing. The Cliche Finder tool will read your text and notify you of any cliches.

Readable: Make sure your writing is readable by humans. Just run your articles or other documents through this website and you’ll get a readability score.

The Most Dangerous Writing App: This is a really interesting concept where you set a timer for writing and if you stop writing for even three seconds, the tool deletes everything you’ve written. Sadistic, but creative.

What Is a Proper Noun?

When reading novels or short stories, you would undoubtedly encounter words which are capitalized in the middle of the sentences. Surely these words would stand out because they would mean something different from the rest of the words. In English, we call these terms as proper nouns. On this article, we are going to discuss what a proper noun is and how it differs from a common noun. In addition to this, we are also going to identify several rules for capitalizing proper nouns.

What is a Proper Noun?

Before we dig in further, let’s first have a quick review of what a noun is. Generally speaking, a noun is a word that is used to determine people, places, or things. It could refer to anything you see, feel, taste, touch, and hear. From the pillows on your bed to the persons you meet every day, the name which you call these things are called nouns.

Now, nouns could be divided into two. One would be a broader term while the other is more definite. A proper noun would refer to a definite name for a specific person, place, object, or an event. This means that that the noun is not generic at all. Because if the noun is already general in nature, it would already be called as a common noun.

We can categorize every noun as common or proper. If we are going to look at the examples below, we can clearly see the distinction between these two kinds of nouns. A proper noun is precise while a common noun is just broad.

Common NounProper Noun
boyGary Wendell John
countryUnited States of America United Arab Emirates Philippines
filmPerks of Being a Wallflower In the Mood for Love Pulp Fiction
cityNew York City London Tokyo
religionChristianity Islam Judaism

If we look at our examples above, we could easily identify the difference between a common noun and a proper noun. This is where the two unique characteristics of a proper noun come in. A proper noun always begins with a capital letter. On the other hand, a common noun begins with a small letter, except when it could be found at the beginning of the sentence. Let’s take a look at the examples. The common noun is the boy, which is in small letter. Its proper noun counterparts are Gary, Wendell, and John. All of these are in capital letters.

The other distinguishing characteristic of a proper noun is that it names specific items. As mentioned above, a proper name is more specific than the common noun. The term, “country,” is generic. When we become more specific with these countries, we could come up with proper nouns such as the United States of America, United Arab Emirates, and the Philippines.

Let us analyze the concepts in the third row. We could see that the term, “film,” starts with a small letter. It is a more general term. The terms in the second column begin with a capital letter. They are more specific counterparts of the common noun. These would include, “Perks of Being a Wallflower,” “In the Mood for Love,” and “Pulp Fiction.”

You could further identify the difference between common nouns and proper nouns by analyzing the fourth and fifth examples.

Rules for Capitalizing Proper Nouns

To ensure proper grammar, you always have to abide by specific rules. While it is true that it is easy to use proper nouns, there are always certain things that you have to consider. Here are just some rules for capitalizing proper nouns.

1. Capitalize First Names

Always capitalize first names. Whether it be your best friend or your worst enemy, their names should always be capitalized. This holds true since all names are proper nouns.

Example: Please take Bonnie, my boss, to the lounge where she will rest for a while.

Note that the name was capitalized while her position – boss – is in small letters.

2. Do Not Capitalize All Letters in a Sentence

Remember, do not capitalize all letters in a formal sentence, especially when they are not proper nouns. By doing so, you could only make reading more difficult if you do so.

Example 1: Please Get the Louis Vuitton Bag Of Dorothy.

Example 2: Please get the Louis Vuitton bag of Dorothy.

The first example seemingly provides emphasis to the sentence, but it is grammatically incorrect. Only capitalize the words which are proper, such as Louis Vuitton and Dorothy.

There are some instances where you could capitalize on the important words in a sentence, but only for titles or subheads. If you take a look at the subheadings of this article, you would be able to see.

3. Capitalizing Names of Books, Films, or Song Titles

If you are describing proper names of book, film, or song titles, do not capitalize everything. Only capitalize the words which are relevant.

Example 1: Me and You and Everyone We Know

Example 2: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Example 3: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

We take these words as one when we consider them as titles. Hence, we categorize them as proper nouns. Important words are capitalized, especially if they have a bearing to the story. However, the conjunctions and articles should be in small letters.

4. Capitalizing Family Endearments

When dealing with families, there are rules that you should follow also. If you use the endearment directly, you use it as a proper noun. But if you are not using the endearment as a name, it should not be capitalized.

Example 1: Go fetch Dad his glass of water.

Example 2: Please call your dad to come tomorrow.

On the first example, the speaker could be related to the noun. Hence, it is capitalized. However, the second sentence is only used as an object so it should not be capitalized.

5. Capitalizing Directions

Directions should not be used as a proper noun unless they are a part of a place.

Example 1: Let’s go north and see if the missing dog is there.

Example 2: Have you ever visited North Carolina?

Conclusion

Now you know the rules for capitalizing proper nouns. If you want further help with capitalization, try out our free title capitalization tool.

Top 5 Free Writing Tools for 2019

Writing is a time consuming creative process to begin with, so why waste more of that time with formatting, planning, etc. Here are five free writing tools which many writers find invaluable.

1. Grammarly – Grammar Checker

grammarly

Grammarly is the best all-around grammar and format checker there is. It checks over 250 different points about your grammar, including style, spelling, punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure. It even has plagiarism detection!

They have a free Chrome extension that gives you feedback real-time, but you can also pay to use their web-interface and use their full functionality including over 400 grammar checks.

To learn more about the benefits of Grammarly, read our Grammarly review here.

 

2. Trello – Planning Made Simple

Trello is an awesome tool for managing both your writing and your team’s. It allows you to easily create categories (I normally use classic Kanban style “To Do,” “Doing,” “Done”), create tasks in each of those categories, then assign or color code those tasks. Moving the task cards is as simple as clicking on one and dragging.

Trello is 100% free unless you want some advanced features such as integrations with external apps, larger file attachments, etc. Give it a try!

trello writing board

3. Google Docs

You probably already use Google Docs and Sheets, but they are definitely worth mentioning. Google Docs has almost the exact same features as Microsoft Word, is cloud based, and can be edited real-time by anyone on your team. Google Docs makes requesting feedback on your work super simple. Instead of emailing a Word doc back and forth, just share the link with your proofreader and they immediately have access to comment on your work.

If you aren’t already using Google Docs, give it a shot. You may end up ditching your old word processing software.

 

4. Evernote – Notetaking. Anywhere.

Evernote is the best cloud-hosted note-taking app there is. You can store most forms of media within it including images, documents, notes, annotations. Everything is synced instantly so you can go from working on your computer to mobile device depending on the setting you’re in. They allow basic organization features including 2-level stacked notebooks (category and sub-category) as well as tags. Their search features are also cutting edge, making it super easy to find anything you’re looking for.

Evernote is free unless you need advanced annotation features or intend to upload more than 60Mb of content every month.

5. Unstuck App – Never Get Stuck Again

wpid-photo-may-17-2012-1152-pm1[1]Everyone gets writer’s block at sometime or another. Usually, it’s at the worst possible time. The Unstuck App seeks to remedy this by providing a toolkit and set of prompting questions that seek to get your creative juices flowing.

Grammarly vs. Ginger vs. Whitesmoke Review 2019

If you want to consistently create an article or an essay that is free from grammatical errors and blunders, you might want to consider using competent grammar check software. These programs have transformed the way people write essays. But with a large number of products on the market, how do you know which program is the best software for you? In this article, we will examine three grammar check programs and see which one seems to be the best value. While the final decision will, of course, be ultimately up to you, we hope this guide will give you some insight and advice, allowing you to pick the best program for your needs.

Before going any further, you should be aware that none of these programs will be one-hundred percent accurate. While they will catch a large number of blunders, there are still limitations to these automated proofreaders. So even if you have checked them using one of these three programs, it would always be better to also check them manually.

Grammarly

One of Grammarly’s primary features is its multi-faceted ability to check sentences in terms of grammar, conciseness, spelling, clarity, and idiomatic expressions. Grammarly also provides suggestions for strengthening your writing, as well as synonyms and definitions of words. Lastly, it offers an explanation of the grammatical rules involved, allowing you the opportunity to learn from your mistakes and become a better writer.

In addition to this, it features a plagiarism checker. This feature, once activated, scans the document and highlights any suspicious passages that may have come directly from other sources. This is an extremely useful tool for teachers and educators who need to check a student’s work.

This application also allows you to set your goals for your article. You can, for example, choose your intent – whether you want to inform, convince, describe, or tell a story. You can select a wide variety of other parameters, as well, such as audience, style, emotion, and your domain. The more that Grammarly knows about the context of your article, the more customized its suggestions are.

If you are quite unsure of the way Grammarly checked your document, the program has another option for you. You can send your work to a human proofreader. For an extra fee, human proofreaders will check your content more precisely, and have it back to you anywhere from thirty minutes to twenty-four hours, depending on the level of service you choose.

When it comes to pricing, Grammarly has two levels: Grammarly and Grammarly Premium. The first is a free version, however, it only has limited functions. This version is great if you are on a tight budget. Because it can be installed as a plugin on your browser, this app can check for errors present in your emails, social media posts, and anything else you may happen to type. However, as mentioned, this version is limited. It can handle the large-scheme grammar errors and spelling mistakes, but if you want the grammar rules, vocabulary building, and plagiarism detector, you’ll need to upgrade to their Premium product.  This is available in one of three ways: a monthly subscription at $29.95 a month, quarterly subscription at $19.98 a month, and an annual subscription of $11.66 a month.

You can read more about Grammarly in our review.

Pros:

– Due to its clean user interface, it is easy to use.
– It recommends ways to improve your grammar and vocabulary.
– It offers plagiarism detector and human proofreader.
– It provides an accurate way of checking for grammar blunders.

 

Cons:

– You need the internet to use it.
– To gain the full features, you could pay as much as $359 a year.

Ginger

Ginger is one of the oldest grammar check programs still on the market today. Because it has been around for some time (since 2007), Ginger has gained a loyal following through the years. Its features, accuracy, and price make it a still-popular grammar software.

Like Grammarly, Ginger utilizes a contextual spelling checker. Ginger, can spot words that may have been spelled correctly, but they are written in the wrong context. For example, affect and effect, lose and loose, and lie and lay, among others.

Another feature of Ginger is its vocabulary enhancement capability. This feature improves your active vocabulary by suggesting alternative, more sophisticated words.

Its “sentence rephraser” capability is another tool that may come in handy. It provides suggestions for writing sentences in different ways.  This is helpful if you have trouble using  English idioms correctly.

Other ”useful characteristics that are worth mentioning include a translator, a text reader, and a trainer. The personal trainer function, in particular, keeps track of your literary mistakes. Then, it teaches you how to overcome or avoid them so you do not do them again in the future. The text reader tool reads the text back to you, something that is useful for checking the flow of the document, or the pronunciation of difficult-to-pronounce words. Finally, the translator tool is designed to accurately translate your document to over 40 languages.

Like Grammarly, Ginger comes in both free and premium versions. The free version is ideal for those who write casually. However, the other features, such as the text reader, sentence rephraser, and error analysis are not available on the free version. The premium version, on the other hand, lets you experience the full beauty of Ginger. Monthly plans range from just over $12 a month, to just under $30 a month.

Pros:

– It features sentence rephrasing, grammar and spelling checks, and text reader functions.
– It has a built-in dictionary.
– It has a context-specific grammar checking capability.

Cons:

– It requires an internet connection.
– It does not contain a plagiarism check.

WhiteSmoke

Finally, we have WhiteSmoke. This grammar check software, like the previous two, is compatible with both your PC and your mobile devices. A lot of users have turned to WhiteSmoke because of the convenience it offers to them. It is not only affordable, but it is also very accurate in all of its features.

The WhiteSmoke grammar check function is capable of catching common errors, such as sentence fragments, typographical errors, and incorrect capitalizations, among others. It, of course, features a spellcheck function, and with its up-to-date and comprehensive database of spellings, you will rarely have to worry about missing a common, but misspelled, word.

Aside from your grammar and spelling, WhiteSmoke is also capable of spotting mistakes in your writing style. This tool learns as it goes, matching your style with other samples. Then, it offers tips and recommendations to improve your writing style, while still maintaining your unique voice.

You think your content is original enough? Like Grammarly, Whitesmoke offers a plagiarism checker. This is very useful for both students and teachers.

Another feature that WhiteSmoke  offers is its translator function. It is capable of translating any document into over 45 languages. That is definitely a plus!

Some users say they find the interface to be outdated, but Whitesmoke remains one of the most popular grammar check programs on the market. . Unfortunately, only the limited, web-based version is free. The other versions run from $6.59 to $17.95 a month.

Pros:

– It is accurate.
– It comes with a built-in plagiarism detection feature.

Cons:

– It requires an internet connection in order to use it.
– It may be somewhat buggy.

Conclusion

If we have to choose among the three grammar checkers, we would recommend Grammarly the most. Though the other two programs are very reliable, Grammarly’s accuracy and precision beat out the others, giving you a stellar finished product. Whether they are writing articles, books, or blog posts, many writers use and trust this program. While Ginger and WhiteSmoke are excellent alternatives that offer similar features, in the end, Grammarly offers the best value for your dollar.

15 Common Grammar Mistakes

For many, writing is undoubtedly fun and exciting to do until they come across grammar. Indeed, many of us find it quite difficult to maintain perfect grammar even after years of studying English. Some thoughts may sound good in our minds. But when they are already written, our original ideas end up the other way around. We discover that we have made several grammar mistakes which should not be there in the first place.

Keeping perfect grammar is a tedious job, especially to some. It is not enough that we learn the rules, but it is more important to use them more often in writing so that you will be able to master these rules. In this article, we are going to discuss 15 grammar mistakes that you may be doing unknowingly. We will also explain how you are going to apply these rules by citing several examples.

1. Your vs. You’re

This is actually one of the most – if the not the – most common grammar mistakes people usually make. “Your” signifies something that belongs to you. “You’re,” on the other hand, is just the contracted form of, “you are.” Since this pair of pronouns is a set of homophones, many people may be able to interchange them. Hence, be mindful of their definitions. Check out these examples.

Wrong: Your absent yesterday.

Correct: You’re absent yesterday. (indicating that you were absent yesterday)

Wrong: I believe that this is you’re laptop.

Correct: I believe that this is your laptop. (indicating that this laptop is yours)

 

2. Its vs. It’s

This is another set of homophones which frequently confuses writers. “Its” signifies something that belongs to a neutral noun. “It’s,” on the other hand, refers to the contracted form of “it is.” One of the two is a possessive pronoun while the other is a contraction. Take a long at the examples below.

Wrong: Its hot inside the laboratory.
Correct: It’s hot inside the laboratory.

Wrong: Have you seen it’s decorations?
Correct: Have you seen its decorations?

Notice how the meaning of the sentences would change if the wrong word has been used.

 

3. There vs. They’re vs. Their

The there- they’re-their homophone group has also confused a lot of writers. “There” is used to refer to the direction that is not here. It is also used to state the presence of something. “They’re” is the contraction of the term, “they are.” Finally, “their” refers to possession, something that belongs to them.

Since they have different definitions, you should know how each of them is used in sentences. Let us take for instance these sentences.

Wrong: Their are a thousand goats over they’re backyard.
Correct: There a thousand goats over their backyard.

Wrong: They’re boat collapsed because there clumsy.
Correct: Their boat collapsed because they’re clumsy.

 

4. Affect vs. Effect

Many writers would also commit a mistake of interchanging these two words together since they look and sound alike. However, these words mean different. Affect is a verb which means to influence or have an impact on. On the other hand, effect is a noun which means the consequence of an action or a cause.

Wrong: There is a direct affect of the heat in the experiment.
Correct: There is a direct effect of the heat in the experiment.

Wrong: How did this experience effect your personality?
Correct: How did this experience affect your personality?

 

5. Who vs. Whom vs. Who’s vs. Whose

For these four words, it is better to break them into four separate sentences.

“Who” is used when asking for a human being. The answer is usually the subject of the sentence. For instance, we ask, “Who built this city through rock and roll?” The answer is definitely a person.

“Whom” is used to describe someone who will receive something. The answer is usually the object of the sentence. For example, we ask, “To whom are you paying your lunch?”

“Who’s” is a contraction of, “who is.” For example, we would say, “Who’s the tallest man on the planet.

“Whose,” on the other hand, is a possessive term used when asking the owner of something. For instance, we say, “Whose shirt was present there?”

6. Less vs. Fewer

The difference between these two words depends on whether the object being described can be counted or not. “Fewer” is used when the objects can be counted. “Less” is used for objects which are not quantifiable. Let us look at these sentences, for example.

Wrong: There are less roads which have not been renovated yet.
Correct: There are fewer roads which have not been renovated yet. (roads can be counted)

Wrong: There is fewer happiness left in this world.
Correct: There is less happiness left in this world. (happiness cannot be counted)

7. Amount vs. Number

These words are used in the same way as “fewer” and “less” since these would refer to quantifiable and non-quantifiable objects. “Amount” would refer to objects which cannot be counted. “Number” would refer to objects which can be counted.

Wrong: Please get a number of water from the basin.
Correct: Please get an amount of water from the basin. (water cannot be counted)

Wrong: An amount of birds are flocking the tree.
Correct: A number of birds are flocking the tree. (birds can be counted)

8. Compliment vs. Complement

A lot of people, even writers for that matter, would mix these things up since they do sound the same and they both look alike. However, they mean differently. “Complement” refers to something that completes another thing. Meanwhile, “compliment” refers to a polite expression of admiration. To make things clearer, take a look at the following examples.

Wrong: He gave her a positive complement for her dress.
Correct: He gave her a positive compliment for her dress.

Wrong: Her voice did compliment the tonality of the choir.
Correct: Her voice did complement the tonality of the choir.

 

9. Between vs. Among

The term “between” is used to describe two things that are separated while “among” refers to things that are not clearly separated from each other because each of the objects belongs to a part of a group.

Hence, you choose between a pencil and a pen, but you choose among all the writing materials. Furthermore, you could choose between a blouse or a plain t-shirt, but you choose among the dresses.

 

10. Use of Commas

Many people also commit mistakes in their use of commas. There are instances when a comma is placed in a sentence which does not require it. There are also some sentences which require a comma, but people tend to skip it. Let us take a look at some examples.

Wrong: Danica chose to stay inside the house, because she was afraid of ghosts.
Correct: Danica chose to stay inside the house because she was afraid of ghosts.

Wrong: People tend to leave out commas but there are instances when they really need it.
Correct: People tend to leave out commas, but there are instances when they really need it.

11. Parallel Structure

Parallelism in sentences happens when two or more similar parts of the sentence are parallel in terms of grammar. Weak parallelism occurs when this does not happen. It is often present in a series of items.

Wrong: His everyday routine includes going to the grocery, visiting the doctor, and lift weights.
Correct: His everyday routine includes, going to the grocery, visiting the doctor, and lifting weights.

Take note that the words used to denote action should all end in -ing to exhibit parallelism.

12. Split Infinitives

An infinitive refers to the combination of the word “to” plus the verb. The split infinitive separates the combination with another word, usually an adverb. While there are no strict rules which prohibit split infinitives, many writers do not recommend this. This is because the sentence may sound awkward.

Wrong: He decided to quickly dash to the seashore for the annual games.
Correct: He decided to dash to the seashore quickly for the annual games.

13. Subject-Verb Agreement

One of the most basic rules of grammar is to make your subject and verb agree with each other. If the subject of the sentence is singular, then the verb must also be singular. If the subject of the sentence is plural, then the verb must also follow suit.

Wrong: The cabinets is going to be repainted tomorrow.
Correct: The cabinets are going to be repainted tomorrow.

Wrong: The most important among all the sayings were to seize the day.
Correct: The most important among all the sayings is to seize the day.

14. Unclear Use of Pronouns

When you replace a noun with a pronoun, be sure that its reference is clear as day so as not to confuse your readers as to the pronoun reference. Let us take a look at the sentence for example.

Wrong: Dorothy told her mother that she will be buying her bag.
Correct: Dorothy told her mother, “I will buy your bag.”

In the first sentence, it is unclear who will buy the dress and to whom the dress will be given. The second sentence clears it out.

15. Punctuations in Quotation Marks

In sentences involving dialogs, you should always place your punctuation marks inside the quotation marks and not outside them. Placing them outside is grammatically incorrect.

Wrong: “Tell me the reason”, she thought aloud.
Correct: “Tell me the reason,” she thought aloud.

Wrong: “Have I done something wrong to offend you”? The minister asked.
Correct: “Have I done something wrong to offend you?” the minister asked.

Conclusion

Whether you are a language enthusiast or casual writer, you should strive to maintain high standards of grammar. We love using Grammarly to make sure we’re writing properly and you can read more about our love of Grammarly in our review.

 

I.E. vs. E.G.

I.e and e.g are often mistaken words in grammar. The two abbreviations are both from Latin language but know the difference between i.e. vs e.g. can be challenging.

E.g in Latin means exempli gratia which translates in English to ‘for example.’ E.g is mostly used to introduce examples, one or several. E.g also should appear in lowercase in the middle of a sentence, also ideally these abbreviations should be followed by a comma.

I.e in Latin is ‘id est’ which means in English ‘in other words.’ I.e. is used when giving more information about a statement. I.e, also should appear in lowercase in the middle of a sentence and should be followed by a comma.

In a sentence, the two abbreviations can appear as follows:

1. On my way to town, I will go through the shopping mall I.e., the Savannah Mall.

2. On my way to town, I will go through a shopping mall e.g., Savannah or Two rivers Mall.

In the first example, it’s evident that I will visit Savannah mall and not any other mall. In my second example, it’s not clear which mall I will be visiting between Savannah and Two Rivers.

These two examples clearly show how to use these two abbreviations well in a sentence.

There are a few formatting issues you need to be aware of when using these abbreviations. You should not italize i.e and e.g in your writings even if they originate from Latin language and a comma should come after a period in the two abbreviations. I.e and e.g should mostly be used to introduce parenthetic statements, but you can also use them in other ways provided it suits well.

We hope you now understand the differences between i.e. and e.g. better!

How to Start a Blog in 5 Easy Steps

how to start a blogHave you always wanted to document your life? Perhaps you want to write about your experiences from your recent trips abroad. Or you want to share your expertise on beauty and make-up. Maybe you want to make writing a career, and not just a pastime. Either way, you should know how to start a blog.

Blogging has never been easier. There are so many tools and resources available on the internet that setting up a blog is a breeze. In this article, we’ll tell you how to start a blog in 5 easy steps.

1. Find a Topic

Obviously, the first thing that you should do is to come up with a topic to write about. Every article that you will post on your blog should center around this topic. Therefore, you should choose something that you are passionate about. This is because if you don’t care enough about the topic, you won’t be able to put your heart into it and may find it difficult to invest your time and money into starting the blog.

If you are fond of traveling, you could start a travel blog where you talk about the places you have been, how you have been to such a place, and even your itineraries. If you are a tech guru, your blog topics could center around everything related to technology including reviews of the best gadgets or how to make a smart home.

Furthermore, choosing a topic also informs what audience you will begin to build. If you stick to a certain niche, you can surely grow a dedicated audience who always await your posts.

Remember that there is no better way to share your expertise and experiences than creating your own blog. So you should be mindful of the topic first.

2. Get a Domain Name

After successfully choosing a topic, you should also pick a domain name for your blog that is related to your topic. Choosing the right domain name can be hard since you want to pick a domain name that is both memorable and meaningful while also conveying the topic of your site. Therefore, you should follow some basic rules when choosing a domain name.

First, you want your domain name to be catchy and memorable. For a name to work, it should then be easy to write and pronounce. The words should also be easy to spell and say.

Second, you want the domain name to be specific in order to grab the attention of your desired visitors. It should be specified in such a way that your audience would know what your topic is. For instance, you could opt for orchestracentral.com if you plan to talk about musical instruments. If you are a film enthusiast who wants to review films, you could choose filmlover.com.

However, you should not be too particular with your name, since it would only limit your articles. This would be detrimental you to as the writer since you would run out of articles. For instance, Fly Fishing Frenzy would only be limited to fly fishing. If you are into other types of fishing such as surf fishing, then it would not be appropriate to feature it on such website.

Finally, there’s the debate between .com and .net/.org/.biz/etc. I would suggest that you always stick with .com unless you are a specific organization who would benefit from having a .org domain name.

If you can, you could look for top names of the niche of your choice. If someone has already taken your chosen domain name, you should have a backup name.

There are many websites that sell domain name. GoDaddy is my favorite, but you can also bundle domain names with web hosting services from Bluehost and other web hosts.

3. Get a Hosting Service & Blogging Platform

Now that you have chosen a topic and a domain name, it is time to find a home for your blog.

While you could certainly go with a free blogging service like WordPress.com or Blogger.com, if you want to fully customize your blog and make it your own you should get a hosting service. Our favorite is Bluehost (this site started on it) because it’s cheap and reliable. Bluehost comes with a one-click WordPress installation so you can get your blog up and running in no time.

4. Write Your First Post

If you’re done with the technical setup, it is time to write your first blog post. It could be about anything realted to your topic chosen in step 1. You could write an introduction or you could explain what your brand is. You could also start posting relevant articles immediately. However, making a blog does not only entail you writing anything. There are also other things you have to consider.

Pick a theme

Once your web hosting service and your platform are installed, you could already start customizing the theme and make it your own. Pick a theme that would suit your content, the maturity of your desired audience, and how you want to brand yourself. Be as creative as possible since this is the first thing that your visitors would notice, next to your articles.

Platforms like WordPress offer free themes. However, they also offer you premium themes where you would pay such before you could utilize them. Other sites like Wix would allow you to make your own theme by dragging and dropping the contents present on your interface. It’s basically up to your preference which between these two types of platforms should you use.

When designing your own theme, do not forget to include several plugins which would greatly help your writing. You could use Yoast to check your grammar based on SEO standards.

Get Unstuck

Now is the time to write your articles. You have successfully written your first few posts. However, you find yourself stuck on your blog. You cannot do anything with your blog because of something you might have missed. Perhaps you are not motivated or there are technical things like coding that you do not know. Hence, you should learn to solve these things.

If you lost motivation, try to muster enough commitment to carry out your blog. Remember that this trait will get you through the place you have gotten stuck at.

If you are stuck at technical things, you could always resort to customer service. Web hosting site BlueHost has a 24/7 customer service feature which provides you an avenue to talk to the hosting site directly. This would immediately solve some problems.

5. Keep Going

Finally, keep going. After you have written your first articles, you should see to it that you consistently try to post new and exciting content based on your niche. Not only would it improve your talent, but it would increase your prospect audience as well. Consistency is the key to improve your rank on search engines, attract more audience, and even have the opportunity to affiliate your blogs to businesses and online stores. The possibilities are endless.

Conclusion

There you have it. After going through how to start a blog in 5 easy steps, we hope that you have already gained enough information to start your own blog. As it turns out, it’s not that difficult after all. As a matter of fact, you could actually start making one now! All you need is the drive to start a blog and the capacity to go through these five simple steps. Then, you’ll be on your way to becoming a professional and successful blogger.

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