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Comments & Symbols on Written Work

Perplexed by the comments and markings in my feedback on your work – whether online, or on paper? You will find some answers here.

Items in grey rows fall on the formal/mechanics side of the spectrum of evaluation.
  • They refer to criteria such as length requirements, spelling, and grammar.
Items in green rows fall on the content/conceptual side, and
  • include criteria for assessing the articulation of ideas, the evaluation of evidence, and the composition and presentation of arguments.
links to help pages.

This list is worth some attention prior to paper-writing, as a guide to common issues to keep in mind.

Marking

Meaning

highlights or P

There is a spelling / grammar issue here (it could be any from this list)

ABC

A bit confused

A/E

An affect/effect issue

AGR

Error in agreement (e.g.g., subject-verb , pronoun-antecedent )

APQ

Need to answer all parts of the question

AWK

Construction or word choice difficult to understand (if this is a draft, rewrite!)

BEA

Need better explanation of argument(s)

CAP

A capitalization error (uppercase/lowercase)

CIT

Improper citation, or citation needed; inline, this can indicate improper formatting of a source’s title, etc.

CUT

Cut quotation down

EA

Excellent answer

EWE

Example without (adequate) explanation

Frag

A fragment, not a complete sentence

GA

Good answer

GOTH

Grain of truth here

HWO

Hand in with original

I/W

An if / whether issue

ITS

An its / it’s issue

MCI

Missing crucial information

MHT

Your meanings are too hard to track (specify where needed, and be consistent)

MW

Missing a word or words here.

NAS

Not a sentence

NBA

Need better argument(s)

NBO

Need better discussion(s) of objection(s)

ND

Need definition(s) (or better definition(s))

NE

Need to elaborate

NO

Need objection(s)

NMS

Not what you meant to say

NQR

Not quite right

OT

Need to stay on topic

PTA

Present the argument(s)

P

Improper punctuation (is there a problem with a comma, semicolon, colon, dash, apostrophe, or period? )

RB

You wrote, “the reason is because,” which should be “the reason is that…”

RO

Run-on sentence (or comma splice)

RED

There is a redundancy right here. Note that finding it might require that you read upstream.

SAL

Short of assigned length

Sp

Misspelled

STR

Strike this word

TC

Tense consistency issue (Are you drifting between past and present? )

TIP

Tie to (larger) point

TN

A then / than issue

TRANS

Need transition (or better transition)

TTT

A there / their / they’re issue

TT2

A to / too / two issue

U/M

Honor the use/mention distinction

YY

A your / you’re issue

Uh-huh: I like this!

V

Vagueness is an issue here

W

Poor word choice

WF/PS

Word form / part of speech error: The root of the word is correct, but the form isn’t (it’s the wrong tense or number, etc., or is a non-word – e.g., ‘conspiration’ instead of ‘conspiracy’), or the wrong part of speech (adjective, adverb, verb, etc. – e.g., ‘conspire’ instead of ‘conspiracy’).

X

Wrong!

?

Huh?

#

Add or remove a space

Indent

New paragraph

Acknowledgment – this taxonomy of comments was inspired by Ned Markosian.
Course Resources, Philosophy