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Proofreading Marks: Home

Some marks may be proprietary to Matthew Bodie's reviewing and commenting on papers in his courses or in the Writing Studio, but many are used by others and form a sort of universal language for reviewing documents.

Alphabetically

  Proofreading Marks and their Associated Errors Presented Alphabetically

Mark

Error

;

•  Semicolon error; either insert a semicolon or change current punctuation to semicolon. See http://tinyurl.com/semicolonhelp

:

•  Colon error. Colons are used before a list or an explanation that is preceded by a clause that can stand by itself. See http://tinyurl.com/colonhelp

,

•  Comma error for serial elements or parenthetical elements. See http://bit.ly/JsQd9Y


"..."

•  Quotation error; place quotations around word or phrase. Quotes are used for demarcating someone's exact words or placed around shorter works, such as episodes, poems, and chapters. See http://bit.ly/thtPAX

¶ (ALT+20)

•  Paragraph; need new paragraph or paragraphing is not logical. Essays should have an introduction, body, and conclusion. See http://tinyurl.com/5paressay  

||

•  Parallelism is faulty. She loves eating chocolate éclairs, taking moonlit walks, and singing classic jazz. Note: each verb ends in ing. See http://tinyurl.com/parallelhelp

ABB

•  Abbreviation is incorrect or faulty. See http://bit.ly/MXDC2c

APOS

•  Apostrophe error. Apostrophes define possession or are used to indicate a missing letter, such as in contractions like can't . See http://bit.ly/HIALGL

AWK

•  Awkward; sentence or passage is difficult to read or understand. See http://bit.ly/awkwardsentences 

BE

•  "To be" and "to have" make weak verbs; avoid usage of these verbs and instead exploit active/power verbs. See http://bit.ly/KkeQWX

CAP

•  Capitalization error; the word is either in need of or wrongly capitalized. See http://tinyurl.com/capshelp

C/S

•  Comma Splice; sentence incorrectly joins two main clauses with a comma. A period or semicolon should be used instead. See http://tinyurl.com/commasplicehelp

[cite]

•  In-text citation is missing or incorrect. See http://tinyurl.com/intextcitationhelp

CITE

•  Citation page contains error See http://bit.ly/rXGPlm

COLL

•  Colloquialism (i.e., informal language); avoid substituting formal words, such as children for informal words, such as kids. Avoid slang, jargon, cliché, and contractions. See http://tinyurl.com/colloquialwriting

COMB

•  Combine; use proper coordination and subordination to avoid choppiness or redundancy in sentence structure. Use conjunctions to reduce this problem. See http://tinyurl.com/combinesent ; See http://tinyurl.com/conjunctionhelp

CON

•  Conclusion error; the last paragraph of the paper should rephrase thesis and/or unify the paper's message in a meaningful way. See http://tinyurl.com/conclusionhelp

CARG

•  Counterarguments or alternative views are missing. See http://bit.ly/tZtyNg

DEMO

•  DEMO - Demonstrative pronoun; for sake of clarity, use a noun after the demonstrative pronouns: this, that, these, those . See: http://bit.ly/demohelp

D/S

•  Double space area or entire paper. See http://tinyurl.com/2space-wholepaper

EC

•  Expletive construction; avoid usage of vague introductory terms, such as there is/there are or it is/it seems/it appears . Those terms hide the subject, rob the verb of its power, and elongate the sentence. See http://tinyurl.com/expletiveconstructs

END

•  Ending; paragraph ending does not conform with topic sentence or unite section in a meaningful way. See http://tinyurl.com/endingparagraph

FRAG

•  Fragment; sentence does not contain subject and verb. See http://tinyurl.com/fragmenthelp

HEAD

•  Heading information does not meet required formatting. See MLA or APA tutorial videos.

H/INDENT

•  Hanging indent; 2nd and all subsequent lines in each entry should be indented .5” See http://bit.ly/HMTu4d

HYP

•  Hyphen error; use hyphens to combine compound words when before a noun; write numbers; create compounds; or add as prefix. See http://tinyurl.com/hyphenhelp

INDENT

•  Indentation error; See Word documentation on indenting first line of paragraph. 

INTRO,

•  Introductory comma; Introductory phrases or clauses longer than four words require a comma before the subject. See http://tinyurl.com/introcommas

ITAL

•  Italics error; italics are used to identify titles of larger works, such as books, films, and journals. They also are needed when using a word as a word. See http://tinyurl.com/wordsaswords

LOG

•  Logic of idea or placement of idea is questionable. See http://bit.ly/JEV21z

LONG

•  Paper is not the required length.

MARG

•  Margin is not formatted correctly. See http://tinyurl.com/1inchmargins

MC

•  Mixed construction - a sentence with incompatible elements that begins with one type of structure and shifts to another type of structure. See http://bit.ly/I3vi2n

NOM

•  Nominalization; be concise and avoid turning verbs into nouns. Example to revise: Sara looked at Jack with condemnation. Revised example: Sara condemned Jack. See http://tinyurl.com/nominalization

NS

•  Non-sequitur; the Latin term non-sequitur means "it does not follow." This mark could mean ideas do not connect or that a claim is not supported by significant evidence. See: http://bit.ly/HYwS0v

NUM

•  Numbers error. According to MLA style, numbers should be spelled out when two words or less. See http://tinyurl.com/mlanumbers

OPEN

•  Opener of paper needs work or is uninteresting; openings should draw in the reader. See: http://tinyurl.com/introparhelp

P/A

•  Pronoun and antecedent disagree, or pronoun has a vague reference. See http://tinyurl.com/pronounagreement and http://bit.ly/JDbShr

PG#

•  Page number missing; insert page numbers. See: MLA or APA tutorial videos.

POV

•  Point of View; most formal writing is in third person. Avoid I, me, my, we, us, our, you and your . See http://bit.ly/pointofviewhelp

P/V

•  Passive voice; use active voice instead. See http://tinyurl.com/passivevoicehelp

R/O

•  Run-on or fused sentence; two main clauses with no punctuation. Usually either inserting a comma and coordinating conjunction (i.e., FANBOYS), semicolon, or period with new sentence will correct. See http://tinyurl.com/commasplicehelp

RED

•  Redundancy; avoid using the same or root word in close proximity or repeatedly, unless for rhetorical effect. See http://tinyurl.com/wordchoicehelp

REL

•  Relevance is missing or difficult to discern. See http://bit.ly/JEUB7j

RHET

•  Rhetorical mode used contains problems. See http://tinyurl.com/rhetoricalmodes

SP

•  Spelling mistake; See http://tinyurl.com/commonconfusables

SPACE

•  Line spacing is incorrect. See http://bit.ly/HIPK3C

SD

•  Supporting details are lacking; more research and/or examples are needed. See http://tinyurl.com/abstractconcretehelp and http://bit.ly/QUgUKO

S/V

•  Subject & verb disagree. See http://bit.ly/uzCR5r

TENSE

•  Tense error; be consistent in tense; for example, do not shift from past to present or vice versa. See http://tinyurl.com/tensehelp

TONE

•  Tone area appears biased, gender-specific, unreasonable, or overly confrontational. See http://tinyurl.com/writingtone

TOP

•  Topic Sentence error; establish the main idea of the paragraph. See http://tinyurl.com/topicsent ; http://tinyurl.com/gen-to-particular

TRANS

•  Transition missing; transitions should be used between paragraphs and sentences to help the reader move seamlessly from one paragraph to the next. See http://tinyurl.com/transitionshelp

TS

•  Thesis Statement is missing or faulty; create a clear roadmap for your paper. See http://tinyurl.com/thesishelp

VARY

•  Vary sentence types and lengths. Too many consecutive simple sentences appear choppy, and too many consecutive compound/complex sentences complicate reading. See http://tinyurl.com/sentencevariety

WC

•  Word Choice; choice of words is questionable or words are missing. See http://bit.ly/vYX6Vh

WDY

•  Wordy; choice of words could be more precise. See http://bit.ly/HIZElG

Learning Resources

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