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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.

sva (subject-verb agreement)

This mark means that the subject of the sentence does not agree with the verb.


Examples

(hover your cursor over the sentences for corrections)

where  are  the connections

where are the connections

the language they speak  makes  them who they are    OR     the language s  they speak  make  them who they are

the language they speak makes them who they are   OR    the languages they speak make them who they are

Here Crystal  cites

Here Crystal cites

language which  relies  on     OR    language s  which  rely  on

language which relies on    OR   languages which rely on

people who major in Manchu  are  rare . . .  the main obstacle that impede s

people who major in Manchu are rare . . .  the main obstacle that impedes

the speed of extinction of these languages  is  totally different

the speed of extinction of these languages is totally different

Austin Woerner