7. Marking Symbols and Abbreviations

The following abbreviations and symbols are commonly used to identify mistakes in writing and will be found in most writing handbooks (sometimes in slightly different forms). If your essay is marked with one of these abbreviations or symbols and you do not understand what is wrong, use a writing handbook or a dictionary, or both, for further explanation of what the error is and how to correct it. If you still do not understand what the error is or how to correct it, ask your instructor.

abbr Abbreviation is faulty or inappropriate. shift shift in verb tense or mood, or in point of view
ad misuse of adverb or adjective slang inappropriately low diction
agr faulty agreement of verb with subject or of pronoun with antecedent sp faulty spelling
art article (a, an, or the) misused or missing
sub faulty subordination
awk awkward sexist sexist language
cap capital letter required
t The verb tense is faulty.
case error in noun case trans A transition is needed.
coh lack of coherence transpose Change the word order as indicated.
coord faulty coordination u unity lacking
cs comma splice usage faulty usage–see a dictionary
dev faulty development v or vb verb faulty
diction faulty or inappropriate diction var lack of variety in sentence structure
doc documentation of sources missing, incomplete, or inaccuarate w wordy
emph faulty emphasis ww wrong word
frag sentence fragment // faulty parallelism
fs fused sentence (also called run-on) insert Insert at this point.
hyphen error in hyphenation # add space
idiom not idiomatic English close space close space
ital Use italics. delete delete
lc Use lowercase letter. Start a new paragraph.
mixed mixed construction (also referred to as alignment) no ¶ Do not start a new paragraph.
mm misplaced modifier check good point, or aptly put
mood wrong verb mood ? Questionable
num numbers in wrong format ?? not understandable
p punctuation
pass passive voice that is ineffective
passim (Latin for “here and there”) The error marked at this point appears elsewhere in this essay (though it may not be marked elsewhere –it is your task to find it).
pl error in the plural form
ref error in pronoun reference
rep repetitious

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