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et al

Et al. Usage

When writing an academic or research paper, it is likely that you will use or encounter a source which has more than one author.

Consequently, it may be appropriate, depending on the reference style that your paper requires, to use "et al." when citing sources with more than one author. "et al." is short for the Latin phrases et alii or et aliae. These Latin phrases mean "and others."

Let's take a closer look at et al. usage for the reference styles of APA, MLA, and the Chicago Manual of Style.

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further or farther

Word Battles: Further vs. Farther

Did the golfer hit the ball farther or further than his competitor?

If you answered farther, you are correct. If you answered further or were unsure why farther was correct, the explanation of this word battle is for you.

Let me explain further. Did you catch that?

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pronoun errors

Two Big Pronoun Blunders

The captain gave the soldier his weapon.

Does this sentence confuse you?

The sentence could be interpreted that the captain gave the soldier the captain’s own weapon. On the other hand, the sentence could be interpreted that the captain merely returned the soldier’s weapon to the soldier.

Let’s look at another example.

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common writing errors in an essay

4 Common College Essay Mistakes

We read a lot of papers. A lot.

The subjects of these papers are never the same, the styles are uniquely different, and the writing skills of the authors vary more than the number of times a sorority girl changes her dress before going out on a Friday night.

But regardless of how many papers we read, there are four writing mistakes we find in almost every college student’s paper.

Let’s explore.

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effect or affect

Word Battles: Effect vs. Affect

The difference between "effect" and "affect" is one of the most common questions we receive as paper editors. Consequently, it is also one of the errors that we correct most often.

The fact is that it’s very easy to understand how to use these words, but you must commit a few things to memory.

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Misplaced Modifiers

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas, I’ll never know."

This comedic sentence, as delivered by Groucho Marx, capitalizes on one of the most common errors made by English writers and speakers: the misplaced modifier.

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which or that

Word Battles: Which Vs. That

Are you confused about “which” versus “that?” You’re not the only one. We encounter this error every week when editing academic papers and other documents.

Let’s take a closer look.

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college admissions essays

Improving an Admission Essay

With over two million yearly applicants to American colleges and universities, it is imperative that a student’s college admissions essays are near perfection in order to be competitive at the top institutions.

Admission essays are a means to distinguish a candidate from other equally-qualified applicants. Let’s face it; there are several students with high GPA’s who played varsity sports and were in the National Honor Society. College admission offices need to see a reason why a particular student is a step above his or her peer group, and it can be easily accomplished through excellent admission essays.

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who or whom

Word Battles: Who Vs. Whom

This is a grammar rule that is often misunderstood by many writers. It is often also confused verbally in speech. The time to fix this error is now!

As parts of speech, both "who" and "whom" are pronouns. However, the difference between the two pronouns depends on subjects and objects.

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mla style basics

MLA Style Basics

MLA is one of the most common reference styles in academic paper writing. It is important to correctly use this style to ensure you adhere to such requirements.

The following are the basics of MLA Style to get you started.

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