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Austin's Editing Marks

This is a guide to the symbols I use when marking up your writing assignments. Each symbol stands for a particular kind of error. By marking the types of errors you're making, my aim is to help you identify the areas on which you need to focus to improve the accuracy of your written English.

Important: When I mark up your assignments, I will not necessarily mark every single error you make. Instead, I will mark those errors that seem to occur most frequently in your writing, or those that cause the greatest difficulties for the reader.

When looking over my feedback on your writing, look for patterns. Which symbols do you see most often on your writing? Make sure you understand that particular category of error (ask me if you're unclear!) and in your future writing, focus on that specific issue.

Note: This guide is a work in progress. As I gather more examples I will add them to this guide, and add more detailed descriptions as well. If you want know more about a type of error I haven't documented very extensively, please ask me!


Standard editing marks

These are marks and symbols that are widely used in the English-speaking world when editing documents. I use them when marking up your papers, and you may well see other teachers using them as well.


Austin's special editing marks

These are symbols and abbreviations that I've invented. You won't necessarily see other people using these marks.

vf (verb form)

If you see this mark on your paper, it means that the "form" of the verb is incorrect. Usually this means that the way you've combined the verb with particles like "to" or "be," or the use of the endings "-ing" or "-ed," is incorrect.


Examples

(hover your cursor over the sentences for corrections)

is going  to   die out

is going to die out

was not going to go extinct but  to evolve

was not going to go extinct but to evolve

that only literature  written  in Taiwanese is "Taiwanese literature"

that only literature written in Taiwanese is "Taiwanese literature"

being created      (or better,  that have been created  from the Japanese occupation till now)

being created     (or better, that have been created from the Japanese occupation till now)

by lengthening  the ending syllable

by lengthening the ending syllable

that speakers of Taiwanese  are declining

that speakers of Taiwanese are declining

Taiwanese  does not only have

Taiwanese does not only have

Austin Woerner