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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.

fmt (formatting)

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This means there is a problem with the formatting of this text.

Some examples of formatting issues:

  • italics
  • capitalization
  • spacing
 

Examples

(hover over sentences for corrections)

. . . like the novel written in Shanghainese,  Fanhua    (book titles should be italicized, and should not be all in capital letters)

. . . like the novel written in Shanghainese, Fanhua   (book titles should be italicized, and should not be all in capital letters)

. . . published  Standard Tibetan Language Scheme      (book titles are italicized, and English does not use 书名号)

. . . published Standard Tibetan Language Scheme     (book titles are italicized, and English does not use 书名号)

Article titles should have important words capitalized and be in quotation marks.

Article titles should have important words capitalized and be in quotation marks.

Austin Woerner