A Short Guide to Writing a PhD Proposal

The PhD proposal is an essential part of the PhD application, in this short guide, we highlight some of the key factors to consider when writing your proposal.

The primary objective of the PhD proposal is to outline the nature of your research and give an idea of how you intend to conduct this research. The proposal should make a strong first impression and exemplify that you would be a good and committed potential researcher. You will also be demonstrating that you are a good fit for the supervisors at your chosen university.

Many people will view the PhD proposal as a complicated and inconvenient part of the application process. However, a good PhD proposal does not need to be complicated. Although it can be challenging to write and so it is important to get it right.

Though there is no exact prescribed format for a general research proposal (across all subjects), all of the following are considered important to consider. You need to check your own subject’s particular conventions and expectations. In summary though, a research proposal should include six main sections, as detailed below:

1) clear title for your research project

  • What will you call your project?
  • What keywords would describe your proposal?

2) a clear statement about what you want to work on and why it is important

  • What are your main research objectives?
  • What difference do you think your research will make?
  • Why does this research excite you?
  • What research ‘gaps’ will you be filling by undertaking your project?
  • How would your research ‘add value’ to the subject?

3) background knowledge and context of the area in which you wish to work

  • How does your work link to the work of others in the same field?
  • How does your work relate to the expertise within the department you are applying

4) consideration of the methods/approach you might use

  • How will you conduct your research?
  • Will you use existing theories, new methods/approaches or develop new ones?
  • How might you design your project to get the best results/findings?

5) some indication of the strategy and timetable for your research project and any research
challenges you may face

  • What would be the main stages of your project?
  • What would you be expecting to do in each year of your PhD?

6) a list of the key references which support your PhD proposal

  • References should be listed in the appropriate convention for your subject area (e.g.
    Harvard). Such references should be used throughout your research proposal to demonstrate that you have read and understood the work of others.

The length of a PhD proposal

As a guide, a PhD proposal should be between 1,000-2,000 words. Although this is by no means set in stone, occasionally, some universities may stipulate the exact word count. You should ensure that your research proposal follows any university and college/departmental guidance on websites. You should also refine and edit your proposal many times before it is submitted to demonstrate that you have put the time and effort in. It will also demonstrate your motivation and commitment to pursuing your PhD.

Proofreading your PhD proposal

You may want to think about getting somebody who is detached from your work to read over it after you have made your own amends. This will ensure that the PhD proposal is well written without any errors and flows in a way which the reader can understand.

Proofreading will seek to ensure that grammatical, syntax and spelling errors are eradicated and that the whole text makes complete sense. Any words which do not quite fit in the context can be amended and then the finished product can then be achieved.

At Express Proofreading, our expert team can manage the proofreading of your work. You can obtain an instant proofreading quote through our website. You can find out more about our PhD proofreading service here. We even have an express turnaround service, so if you are working to a deadline, then you can still ensure the quality of your work is at its best.


5 Tips for Writing a PhD Thesis

Often the culmination of years of research comes down to writing a PhD thesis. Before you embark on this mission, we have highlighted 5 tips for you to remember as you work your way through your PhD thesis.

This blog is, of course, just to highlight key points to consider when writing a PhD thesis. Please do also take on board any teaching or tutorials you have had as part of your learning to ensure that your PhD thesis is in keeping with the standards of the academic institution you are working with.

1.      Plan

The universal first point to consider is that planning is essential. No matter how long you have to work on your PhD research and thesis writing, you want to be as efficient as possible with your time.

Procrastinating drags out the process and means that you end up spending longer on what you are doing when you could be focusing on the job in hand.

Be prepared to draft, re-draft and re-write several times. There will always be improvements that are required from your first draft, and so it is wise to factor in time to re-write drafts so that your PhD thesis can be in its best possible shape when it is submitted.

Having time away from the thesis once it is complete will allow you to revisit it with a critical perspective before submission. With this critical eye, you can edit and proofread your academic project in ample time.

Remember to allocate time for all of this in the initial planning stages so that you can comfortably meet your deadline.

2.      Remember the Reasons for Research

Keep in mind the bigger picture of what you are doing when writing a PhD thesis. Remembering any hypotheses, research questions and what you are looking to find out from your research will help you to make sure you stay on track.

This is key both for your own sake and that of the reader.

You want to make sure that you don’t veer away from the point when writing up, so make sure that everything you are writing has some kind of link to the research. This will, in turn, make more sense to the reader and keep them engaged as they know that all of the content is relevant.

3.      Write Up as You Go

Another paramount point to stay on top of this is writing up all of your research as well as methodologies and findings along the way.

Just think, if your course takes a number of years, how can you expect yourself to remember the specifics of one of your initial research panels years afterwards? Take notes and write up as you go; you will thank yourself later.

It doesn’t have to be perfect, but when writing a PhD thesis, tackling it in chunks as certain instances occur will help you to make and achieve realistic goals.

Plus, you don’t have to write it all in order. Write up what you are currently working on, and when it comes to bringing it all together, you can position different parts in the right places and then write an introduction that encompasses the entire research project. Read our guide on structuring a dissertation or thesis.

It is also wise to consider any techniques or structural advice given by your faculty.

4.      Utilise Your Supervisor

On the back of the previous point, making good use of your supervisor is a great way to ensure that you are doing everything necessary when planning and writing a PhD thesis to best showcase the work you have done.

If you are lucky enough to have a great tutor who can mentor you throughout the process, then well done! If, however, this isn’t quite the case, consider reaching out to others who have recently graduated from the programme that you are on and see if they can offer any insights for you.

Writing a PhD thesis isn’t easy. If it were, we would all be doing it. Reach out to knowledgeable people, and while they cannot take baby steps throughout the whole process with you, they should be able to offer guidance and advice for success.

5.      Referencing and Quotes

As with any kind of academic project, referencing and correct citations are key. They can often be easy ways to get some extra marks, but the necessity for correct referencing is so that you are not plagiarising.

In a literature review, for example, or if backing up some of your findings with other research that has been done on a similar topic, you must correctly reference the author, publication and date of writing.

There are many different types of referencing, such as Harvard or Chicago. Make sure that you are confident with the referencing technique for your faculty and that you keep a list of publications and authors throughout your research and writing. You do not want to be scouring websites, journals and libraries for books and publications at the last minute.

Remember These Top Tips

To round up what we have recommended in this guide to writing a PhD thesis, here are some key points to take away:

  • Planning is key
  • Consider structure and referencing
  • Always link back to the research questions or intentions
  • Write up as you work your way through, and do so in detail
  • Reach out to your supervisor or tap into others’ expertise
  • Remember to reference and keep a list of resources throughout the project
  • Factor in time for editing and proofreading

Professional Proofreading Services

Once you have edited, structured and critically reviewed the content of your PhD thesis, if you would like a professional to take a look at your PhD, get in touch with us as our PhD proofreaders have years of experience proofreading PhDs. Our PhD proofreading service is designed to ensure that your PhD is flawless and ready to be submitted. Obtain an instant PhD proofreading quote from us today by visiting the instant quote page.

New Words in the Dictionary in 2019

We believe that developing reading and writing skills never ends, and there is always space in our brains to pick up new words.

The end of the year is often a reflective time for many, and it’s the same here at Express Proofreading, too. In this blog, we take a look at some of the new words and phrases which have been added to the dictionary this year.

Let’s see how many you are familiar with, and if you will be incorporating any of these new words into your writing any time soon!

It’s a Real Phrase?!

Well, now it is! There is quite a broad selection of phrases here, some of which started off as colloquial slang and now have pride of place in the dictionary! You may be glad to know that ‘dad joke’ has been recognised in the dictionary, but we’re pretty sure they don’t need an explanation!

How about these?


The next of the new words in the dictionary this year is ‘vacay’, which is an abbreviation of ‘vacation’. More of an American type of slang, this word has made its way into the British vocabulary through the likes of Instagram and other social media.


Another shortened version of a perfectly fine word is ‘inspo’. Admittedly, the four syllables of ‘inspiration’ is a bit much for social media, and so, it’s been shortened.

Inspo is also used as a suffix or abbreviated even more to explain people’s goals, such as ‘fitspo’, ‘food inspo’, and more. We’re sure that you will be able to find all kinds of inspo across social media with a quick search!


Although the colder months are drawing closer, the snowflake that is new to the dictionary has a different meaning.

The newest definition of a snowflake is actually a rather derogatory name for an easily offended or overly sensitive person. A snowflake tends to believe that they are entitled to special treatment, while the wider majority often doesn’t seem to agree with them.


‘We stan’ is a phrase that continues to do the rounds across the likes of Twitter, particularly among the younger generations.

What does it mean? It appears to be a combination of stalker and fan, as the definition explains that a ‘stan’ is an overzealous superfan of a celebrity.

More recently, this phrase has been trending on social media for celebrity fans who are standing up for their idols, whether they are going through tough times or unfair treatment.

Particularly Useful New Words

So, the above words could be beneficial for your informal communications, fictional writing or purely for understanding what people are saying!

The following selections are words and phrases that could actually be used by many in a variety of circumstances.


For as long as we can remember, when we haven’t known the gender of a person somebody is talking to us about, we have used ‘they’. For example, when someone says their friend is on holiday, you may respond “where are they?”.

This definition is now becoming increasingly popular for non-binary individuals who do not identify with a particular gender. ‘They’ has now been given a separate definition as the non-binary pronoun to make it easier for the affected people and those interacting with them.


Particularly useful with the release of hit film Joker a few months ago; those with coulrophobia would have known to go and watch a different film.

Coulrophobia is the extreme or abnormal fear of clowns and was added to the Merriam Webster dictionary this year.

Gig Economy

The term ‘gig economy’ was coined in 2009, but officially entered the Merriam Webster dictionary earlier this year.

It is defined as the ‘economic activity that involves the use of temporary or freelance workers to perform jobs, typically in the service sector’.

This term is often used in business and whenever workers’ rights are in discussion, so it’s great that the definition has been officially recognised in the dictionary.


A solopreneur is a solo entrepreneur, which seems a little confusing as most of the time, entrepreneur is how we refer to an individual.

The differentiating element of a solopreneur is that they manage all aspects of a business or enterprise without the help of a partner, whereas an entrepreneur might seek the help of partners.

Are These New Words Worthy?

From the already obvious to the fair additions to various dictionaries, it is interesting to see which words and phrases have made the cut.

Do you think you will be able to use any of these new words in your writing? The non-binary pronoun can help with showing empathy and understanding, so it can be a lesson learned as society develops. As for any ‘vacay inspo’, you might want to stick to Instagram with that!

Whether you are writing for formal or leisurely purposes, and regardless of if you incorporate new words or the classic English language, the team of professionals at Express Proofreading is here to make sure that whatever the message, it resonates properly.

Check out the different types of proofreading services we offer and obtain an instant proofreading service quote from us today. Our team can identify any spelling, punctuation, syntax and grammar issues so that the work you submit or publish depicts the right message.

Six Tips to Improve Your Writing Skills

Writing comes easy to some, and with others, it can take a little time. The common factor with all kinds of writers, whether they write fact or fiction, for business or leisure, is this: writing takes practice. Our writing skills can be developed constantly, no matter how long we have been doing it.

We’ve rounded up six top ways to improve your writing skills. You may be surprised to see that practice isn’t always in the form of writing! Read on to find out more.

1.      Read Often

Reading as often as you get the opportunity to will help in a variety of ways. Your vocabulary can be broadened, you can pick up on writing styles that you like, and even those that you don’t.

Whatever the industry, whether you are writing fact or fiction, there are bound to be some writers that you prefer over others. Knowing what you like from these authors can help to influence your own writing skills and choices.

By finding writing skills and techniques that you admire, you can create a collection of inspirational works which you then use to learn from. As you practice your writing, you can compare your own learning to these admired works and keep track of your development.

2.      Write Whenever You Can

Now, this is the most obvious way of how to improve your writing skills, but practicing does help. Putting pen to paper or finger to keyboard in a practice setting can help you to identify any existing writing skills or strengths as well as weaknesses or areas for improvement in your writing.

You can use these practice periods to try out particular styles that you enjoyed while reading, as well as other techniques, so that when it comes to writing the main piece, you know what to do.

There are many different writing skills to be mastered, such as weaving snippets of information into stories, creating rhythm with sentences, and even getting to the point with concise writing.

Each of these, as well as all other writing styles, take time and patience to perfect.

3.      Re-trace the basics

While mastering new styles is helpful in the development of your writing skills, make sure that you are also fully grounded in the basics of spelling, punctuation and grammar. Perfecting these will improve the way in which your writing reads. Plus, correct usage will make you sound much more professional.

In both the basics and in understanding new styles, set small, achievable goals, and stick at it.

Planning is Key

When it gets to the stage where you are ready to start putting all of your well-practiced writing skills into action, be sure to plan out your writing appropriately.

Understanding the outline of the content, the writing style, and how you will construct it into its final form, be it a novel or a report, will help to guide you through the process.

For example, how much information can be given away at each stage, in a way that it tells a story and that the reader can also keep up with what is happening? To succeed in this, it is crucial to plan out the structure properly.

Take a look through our blog on planning out the writing process for further help on getting started and organising your thoughts before you begin writing.

Anticipate the Reader’s Reaction

Fact or fiction. Essay, report or book. Whatever you are writing, it is expected to be received by the reader. Throughout the planning and in the writing stage, be sure to keep at the forefront of your mind how the reader will react.

Will they have any questions? When will those questions be answered? Are they to be obvious answers or will they be uncovered later in the text?

Whatever the answer, be sure that it will be revealed to the reader at some point.

Another of the facets of great writing skills is to assess how much description will need to go into profiles of people, places, historical events and more.

Put yourself in the reader’s shoes and take it from there.

Drafting and Re-Drafting

Your first draft is certainly not your last. That’s why it is a draft.

Be prepared to make tweaks, move things around, take things out and add things in. What sounded good the first time may not sound quite right when you re-read through it. You may need to be a little harsh on yourself to perfect your writing, but it will lead to better work.

Fine-tuning the small details and making sure that every sentence serves a purpose can be draining and time-consuming. If you have taken the time to improve your writing skills before you started writing, then it may be easier to identify and rectify errors.

Editing and Proofreading

You may want to think about getting somebody who is detached from your works to read over the piece and edit it after you have made your own amends. This will ensure that the story or the information makes sense to the standard reader and flows in a way which the reader can understand.

Once the editing is complete, proofreading must then take place.

Proofreading will seek to ensure that grammatical, syntax and spelling errors are eradicated and that the whole text makes complete sense. Any words which don’t quite fit in the context can be amended and then the finished product can then be achieved.

Whatever the type of writing you are creating, at Express Proofreading, our expert team can manage the proofreading of your work, but should you want to check for yourself first, read our blog on how to effectively proofread your documents.

You can obtain an instant proofreading quote through our website. We even have an express turnaround service, so if you are working to a deadline, then you can still ensure the quality of your work is at its best.

5 Stages of the Writing Process

Whatever the purpose of the piece that you are writing, there are certain stages, or checkpoints, in the writing process which it helps to bear in mind to make sure that you stay on track.

In this blog, we have highlighted 5 key stages of the writing process and given details on what should be done at each of these stages. This will help to ensure that you have all of the information you need before you start writing, and can usually streamline the writing process.

1.      Brainstorming

The primary stage of the writing process with any form of writing is the brainstorming of ideas. Whether it is a novel, a business report, or an academic essay, it is important to get all of your ideas into some kind of visual format, rather than just inside your head.

Writing out ideas for different chapters of the report, essay or novel will help you to link up themes and think of related topics or details to include when it gets around to the writing of the piece.

2.      Planning and Research

Once you have brainstormed the various elements of the piece you are creating, the next stage of the writing process is the planning and research.

You can plan where different chapters will appear and see if they make sense where they are. It is likely that some degree of research will be required so that you can provide accurate details, whether it be the setting for a novel, information on a profession or sourcing published data for your project.

List the required research, and once you have identified everything that needs researching, go ahead and do it. Be sure to note down important information and where you found it. This will help if you need to revisit it or for referencing purposes in reports or essays.

If you have a deadline, be sure to factor in enough time for your research so that you can get enough information, but also so that you don’t get sucked into an abyss of never-ending research.

3.      Drafting

It may take time for you to get to this stage, but if you have planned accordingly, then that is fine. Often, the more effort that is put into the planning phase, the easier the drafting stage becomes.

At this point in the writing process, you will be actually writing up the piece. Remember to structure it properly with paragraphs, page numbers, a contents page and reference list depending on the type of document you are writing.

Make sure that, particularly when writing for formal business or academic purposes, you write up your research in your own words. It is fine to use information from other sources and refer to it, just make sure it is referenced properly.

This is a rough draft, but the more thought that goes into it as you write, the less time it is expected that you will need to spend editing. Dedicate a certain amount of time per day or per week to writing, if you think this will help you to focus.

Once you have finished the first draft and included everything that you want to say, re-read it and check that everything flows in an order that makes sense.

Check and double-check that you have included the right information in the right places, and that someone other than yourself as the author would be able to understand it.

4.      Editing

The fine-tuning of your work is the next stage of the writing process.

You can be confident that all of your ideas and research are included in the right place thanks to your thorough drafting.

Now, read it again, aloud if possible. This can make it easier to identify errors in the flow or structure.

If you feel like some elements could do with further clarification, this is the time when you can do that extra research to make it crystal clear.

Having read the entire document multiple times now, you may have discovered that some areas are repetitive. It’s then your call to decide whether to remove the repeated sections or to rephrase them if they are still important in every section or chapter of the piece of writing.

5.      Proofreading

When you are happy with the content, structure, flow and all of the points made, it may then be time for the final stage of the writing process: proofreading.

Spelling, punctuation, grammar, syntax, capitalisations or incorrect uses of words can be rectified at this stage. Proofreading is paramount, particularly when presenting research or if you are expecting people to pay money for your work. It should be in perfect condition without any errors.

You could check out our blog on how to proofread effectively if you would like some guidance.

Once you have taken a look through it yourself, it may then be best to hire a professional proofreader. A fresh set of eyes on this document that you could have spent months or even years preparing, may be able to spot errors quicker because they are less emotionally attached to it.

At Express Proofreading, our team of professional proofreaders are fully trained to identify and rectify issues found in your work, no matter how long or short the piece of writing is.

We can be prompt with reviewing and returning the document, so if you are on a tight schedule, please let us know and we will endeavour to meet your needs. Get in touch today for an instant quote, whether you require our services immediately or are simply planning ahead.

10 Tips to Successfully Writing a Book

There are many reasons that people choose to write books. Having an escape and allowing others an opportunity to escape, or building authority in an industry are just a couple, but there are endless motivations. So long as you are driven and have the knowledge and passion for writing, you have the opportunity to shine.

It can help to keep the reason why you are writing your book in mind throughout. This helps with remembering why you started if you need some encouragement, and can often make the process of writing quicker.

In this blog, we have outlined 10 tips to help when it comes to writing a book and taking the steps towards publication. These pointers can be effective in keeping you on track throughout the process of writing a book, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction.

1.      Develop a Strong Idea

Every book starts with an idea. Before you dive straight into writing a book, try to identify a gap in the market and make it a bestselling idea. While this may sound like it’s easier said than done, take a look at the top-performing books in the genre that you are writing about as a starting point.

Make sure that the story or information you want to share in your book will be different from what is out there at the moment. Uniqueness is key.

2.      Arrange your Creative Environment

Once you have examined the competition and thought a bit deeper about your idea, you will need to create a working space that will encourage productivity.

This doesn’t mean that you have to re-arrange your entire workspace, but simple steps such as closing your emails and social media and turning your phone off or putting it to one side can help you to focus your thoughts at first.

With fewer opportunities for procrastination, you can help to eliminate excuses for not writing the book.

3.      Research

Once you have your idea, think about what you need to know. It is best to list all of the things you need to find out first, and then to set a time frame for research so that you don’t get carried away and end up procrastinating.

If you need to research occupations, cultures, historical events and so on, do some preliminary research. Should you need to delve further into a topic, you can re-visit it at a later date, but at this stage, try to get enough information to help you plan out the main parts of the book.

You may also want to think about the motivation behind your book; is it fiction or non-fiction? Visit our blog for some guidance on different writing styles to suit the messaging.

4.      Outline the Story

Mind mapping is helpful here. Separate all ideas on a mind-map first. You can then transfer each part of the story to sticky notes and move them around so that they fit into the right parts of the story. These sticky notes could indicate different chapters.

Having this outline when writing a book will help to keep on track and to organise all ideas, making it easier to focus as you write. You will always know what is coming up next if you plan it out before you start.

5.      One at a Time

Stay committed to one project at a time. This may seem difficult to do, as new and exciting ideas may arise, or projects may be offered to you. There is lots to think about and organise when writing a book, and having details of two or three books in your head at once may confuse things and make it take longer to write.

Learn to turn down other projects and not to spread yourself too thin. Stay focused!

If you do have a genius idea, make a note somewhere but then re-focus on your current project.

6.      Set Deadlines

Whatever your timeframe, be sure to set ‘checkpoints’. This can help to focus on the different stages of writing a book and keeping your focus, motivating you to keep going and to work effectively.

Remember that in addition to the research, planning and actual writing of a book, you will also need to allow time for editing, proofreading and publishing.

7.      Edit

Once your first draft has been completed, it is time for editing.

First, read through the book yourself to see if the messages you aimed to convey were achieved and if you feel your storytelling makes sense. If chapters need to be rearranged, this is your chance to do so.

When you are content with the structure of the book, get a second set of eyes to edit it, too. Ask a trusted colleague, peer or a professional editor to carefully edit the book. At this stage, you can also find out if the book makes sense to them. If so, brilliant! If more things need clarifying, you can add or change elements of the book at this stage.

8.      Proofread

The proofreading stage comes after all of the editing is complete. A proofreader’s role is to check the syntax, grammar and punctuation within the book, so if any small errors such as typos have been made in the writing or editing stages, they can be rectified at this point.

Our professional proofreaders have the skills and expertise to proofread your book efficiently and to the highest standard. Obtain an instant quote, and we will make sure that your book is to the best grammatical standards with no silly or potentially embarrassing mistakes.

9.      Prepare Manuscript

You may already have an idea of the publishers you want to send your book to. Each publisher is likely to have their own guidelines, as they can adapt them to a format which is the easiest for them to work with.

If you take the time to follow the guidelines set out by these publishers, it will show that you are serious about working with them and understand what they are looking for.

10.       Query Letter

Your query letter is a one-page document that you send to literary agents and it has to excite them about your book. The intention of the query letter is to intrigue these agents enough to request your manuscript.

It may be challenging to condense your entire book into about 300 words, but it has to be done.

Give a very brief summary of the book, the genre, word count and why you wrote it.  Then, give a one or two paragraph introduction to the book as well as a short introduction to yourself.

There are plenty of resources online which can give you a deeper insight into what makes a fantastic query letter which, when you get to this stage, you could take a look at.

An Introduction to Writing a Book

We hope that our top ten tips for writing a book help you in the planning and execution of your book.

Remember that at Express Proofreading, we offer proofreading as well as editing services to make sure that your work is the best it can be before you send it off to the publishers.

If you want to check things through yourself first, read our blog on how to effectively proofread your documents. For more information about our book proofreading services visit our book proofreading page and obtain an instant proofreading quote today.

A Quick Guide to Key Writing Styles to Consider

There can be endless reasons and motivations behind crafting a particular piece of writing. From novel writing to explaining a research process and creating company communications or advertising campaigns, there are different elements of language which will be required to make that writing the best it can be.

For example, when writing a novel, authors will need to be descriptive in every element of detail so that readers can picture characters and settings in their heads. Advertisers need to try and persuade people to purchase a product or service. Instructions and recipes need to be straightforward yet detailed.

Striking the balance between these requirements takes practice, and often, more than one writing style will need to be incorporated.

To help guide you through planning and consideration of the type of language to use, we have highlighted four of the main writing styles.

Writing to Inform

Essays are written to inform. As are newspaper articles and professional business documents such as annual reports.

Each of these three examples will have a different approach from authors, but the essence and tone of each piece will have similar elements.

For instance, the point of writing to inform is to convey information to the reader and enlighten them about a topic which is usually non-fiction.

To reinforce points of interest to the reader, you could consider the following:

  • Use a clear writing structure to explain your point
  • Include quotes from notable people
  • Use facts and figures – give specific details to draw the reader in

Writing to Persuade

There are many facets to writing to persuade. Persuasive writing in an academic setting gives writers a great opportunity to utilise many of the tricks of this writing style.

In the world of advertising, persuasion is everything. It’s all about convincing the reader to accept your point of view, and if you are taking a stand on an issue, you can use persuasive language to help carve the strongest possible argument to win over the reader.

Some other instances of when persuasive language is used are in political speeches and campaigns, blogs, reviews and complaints.

Whether you are writing for the public or a professor, make sure to give reasons and convincing arguments, but even more importantly, justify your points with evidence.

If you don’t give evidence, it is merely opinion, which isn’t likely to be persuasive enough alone.

Features of persuasive writing include the following:

  • Rhetorical questions – a question asked without expecting an answer
  • Alliteration – words starting with the same letters
  • Pronouns – e.g. ‘you will love this new product’
  • Adjectives – reinforce the perception of an object, person, product or service
  • Stating the benefits – let them know what they will gain from it
  • Catchy slogans – something to stick in their heads

Writing to Describe

In almost all kinds of writing, descriptive language will be used. It is a culmination of different writing styles, especially for creative writing when a scene must be set, and a story must be told.

Think about when you are reading a book, or if you are a writer, when constructing the ideas. The author needs to be able to visualise their story first, so that they can recount it to readers.

Descriptive writing styles vary between writers, but the common factor is that they possess the tools to adequately describe a setting. Smells, tastes, looks and more need to be so detailed in order to create a truly immersive story.

Here are some of the most common features of descriptive, or figurative, language which we see in the writing styles of all great novelists, in addition to what is used in persuasive writing.

  • Pathetic Fallacy – when the weather is symbolic of the mood, i.e. rainy = sad
  • Repetition – to reinforce a point or to build suspense
  • Personification – giving inanimate objects human attributes, i.e. the wind howled
  • Onomatopoeia – when a word describes a sound, i.e. whoosh
  • Similes – comparing something to being like another, i.e. cunning as a fox
  • Metaphor – describes something as another to explain ideas, i.e. the world is your oyster

This list is non-exhaustive but gives an idea of the different elements which help to build up an image in the reader’s head, whatever the context of the writing.

Writing to Explain

The last of the writing styles covered in this blog is writing to explain. This is the type of writing which has no opinions or persuasive aspects to it. It is purely functional.

Think textbooks, recipes and instruction manuals.

When writing to explain, it is usually to explain a process, which should be in logical order and easy to follow. It should be direct and in language that is easy to understand.

Which Writing Style Should You Use?

We hope this blog has helped to give an overview of different writing styles and the contexts in which each of them are applied.

Proofreading is key to ensuring that whatever your message, it is portrayed properly and without any errors. Read our blog on common errors to look out for so can avoid them in your own writing.

If, when you have completed your project, whether it is a novel, a textbook or an essay, our professional team is more than happy to cast an expert eye over your work. Obtain an instant proofreading quote, or contact us to discuss your requirements.

The Ultimate Guide to Writing your CV

A CV, or résumé, is often the only document which employers will see before deciding whether to bring you to interview or continue with the application process. Because of this, your CV must be easy to read and highlight your achievements both in education and work experience.

It is a chance to big yourself up. After all, when you apply for a job, you want to show that you are the best suited applicant for the role. We have developed this CV guide to help you create a plan of action when it comes to creating, updating or revamping your CV.

A Well-Crafted CV

While you may have tons of things you want to include on your CV, try to keep it short and simple. Make it easy to navigate and try not to make it longer than one A4 page. Remember, companies can receive hundreds of applications for one role. They want to be able to shortlist fast, so learn how to make a CV that is clear and ordered.

Tailor to Your Industry

You may have had many jobs which, if you included them all on your CV, would make it pages long. The key to overcoming this is to pick out the jobs which have the most relevance to the one you are applying for.

Give detail of your responsibilities and achievements in those roles, and then mention the other positions you held and across which dates elsewhere on the document.

You could list the less-relevant ones in a box to the side, or simply underneath the rest of the experience.

Whatever the job is that you are applying for, our CV and Cover Letter review service offers guidance and suggestions for improvement. Our team or experts can edit and recommend changes, if you would like a second opinion once you have drafted it.

What to Include

Here is a basic checklist of the sections you should have on your CV:

  • Your Name
  • Updated Contact Details
  • Job History - most recent job first
  • Education -where and when you studied, plus the grades achieved
  • Additional Skills - relevant awards or training to help showcase your suitability to the role
  • Hobbies & Interests – if you can relate it to the work you are looking for, great, but it is an opportunity to show your personality. Try not to make it too generic, otherwise don’t do it.


Most CV’s aren’t created in a few minutes. Be prepared to re-jig elements of the document and the layout to fit everything on.

Here’s how to make a CV that encompasses everything about you. Write out all of the information you want to include and accept that you may have to shorten it down to highlight the ‘best bits’.

There are plenty of templates online if you are looking for something fancy. If you would prefer to keep it traditional, follow our CV guide template here.

Headers for Different Sections

You want your CV to be as easy as possible to navigate, and headers are the best way to do this.

Introduce your job history, education and interests under separate headers, and use sub-headings to further distinguish between roles and educational institutions.

The additional benefit of this is, when you upload your CV to an online application form, the forms can pick out information from the right areas, saving you some time!

Bullet Points

Keep it concise. Whether this is your first job or your twenty-first, recruiters still want to be able to skim your document for the most important information.

When you are pushed for space, bullet points come in very handy. They can summarise sentences in a fraction of the word count without losing any vital information.

Prioritise your bullet points; put the most relevant things at the top and the less important bits nearer the bottom.

Professional Fonts

You can probably make your own judgement as to which fonts look more professional than others. Going with the default on your program will usually do the job. From our experience and for the purposes of our CV guide, some of the most professional fonts include Arial, Tahoma and Times New Roman.

Obviously, don’t go for anything too crazy. Even if a company is asking for an out-of-the-ordinary CV, there is probably more than you can do with the design of it than with the fonts.

Use font sizes to differentiate between sections of your CV. You may also consider making the font a little smaller if you have lots to include. Be sensible about it, though. Don’t make the font tiny; recruiters should still be able to read it clearly.

Cover Letters

With every CV that you submit for a position, you should include a Cover Letter. Whether the job ad specifies it or not, it is best practice.

Your Cover Letter is where you can explain in more detail why you are the ideal fit for the role you are applying for. You can go into a little more depth about your relevant experience and tie it into the job requirements.

Perhaps one of the most important points in this CV guide is this. Tailor your Cover Letter to every single position you apply for. Mention the company and why it appeals to you. While you can send the same CV out to similar companies, take the time to personalise the Cover Letter to the position. This is much more likely to get you noticed and show that you are keen.

Structuring your Cover Letter

Start with an introduction to yourself and state the position which you are applying for. It is also helpful to put your contact details on there, too.

Explain why you want to work with the company and what you can bring to the role. Try and balance it so that you show what the job would mean for you as well as the value that you will bring to the company.

Mention your relevant experience and achievements, and if you feel like it is natural, you can include a little personality to help your application stand out.

At the end of your Cover Letter, thank the recruiter for taking the time to read the application. Tell them you are looking forward to hearing from them and sign off.

The Road to CV Success

We hope that our CV guide has provided you with all of the information on how to make a CV that showcases the very best of you and your achievements. Remember that your CV and Cover Letter go hand in hand to compliment one another, so you should take time in preparing them both.

At Express Proofreading we offer a specialist CV review service where we will review and edit your CV to ensure that it is the best that it can be. We also offer a CV and cover letter proofreading service for which you can obtain an instant proofreading quote by visiting our instant quote page.