Essay Feedback - Let's talk about how to polish your writing.
Essay Development = First Impressions
Mrs. Carter's Editing Marks Explained
- BMS = Be more specific - use more detail and specific language to convey your point.
- BMC = Be more concise - say it in fewer words
- BMP = Be more precise - find a better word to convey your point; what you have chosen isn't the best fit (closely related to the next bullet)
- "wordy" or "wrdy" = Make your point using fewer words. Combine your ideas more effectively.
- RAR = Read aloud and revise. Often your hearing yourself read an awkward phrase or sentence can help you revise it for clarity.
- WC = Word choice; You may have chosen the wrong word, or you may need to use a better word. Sometimes this is the "Princess Bride" comment: "INCONCEIVABLE!" - "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
- Clarify/Huh? = I do not understand what you are trying to say. The burden of conveying a point is on you, the writer, not on me, the reader.
- PV or "passive" or "zombies" = You are using a passive voice verb. Writing needs to be ACTIVE! Put the "do-er" before the verb you are using. Look at your verb. Ask yourself who's doing it. Put him/her/them/it before the verb in the revised sentence. Remember, that if you can insert the word "zombies" and it makes sense, you have a passive voice construction. Kill the zombies - remove them from your writing by making the subject clear and moving it before the verb.
- Red. = Redundant: You've written the same sentence, phrase, or word twice or more. Combine your thoughts more effectively, OR remove the offending sentence, phrase, or word.
- awk = Awkward construction. Clarify.
- x2 or "Make note" = If I've circled, boxed, underlined, or already pointed out something on your paper and written "x2" or "Make note," that means that I am not going to mark the error again. This is an error that you should look for in the rest of the paper and revise. "Make a note" mental or real to prevent doing it again in another paper.
- RO = Run-on sentence
- c/s = Comma splice - a type of run on sentence using a comma to separate two complete sentences
- frag. = Sentence fragment
- "Make II" or "II" or "parallel" = Error in parallel structure. Make sure you are setting and FULFILLING a pattern.
- SVA or agr. = agreement error
- WS or "white space" = Make better use of the empty last line of a paragraph. Either remove words in the paragraph to move text up a line, or add more detail and support to make use of that available space on the page.
- quotes? or support? = You need to use more support for your observations and assertions. Prove your argument by citing evidence from the text either as specific examples or as direct quotes. Don't just tell me; show me.
- relevance? = The point you are making or the support you are using lacks relevance to your overall topic or argument. Explain its relevance or change your point/support to contain more relevance.
- So what? = You have made an observation about the text. Now, EXPLAIN WHY the observation is IMPORTANT or SIGNIFICANT.
- Other common proofreader's marks (from Merriam Webster)
Essay Specific Feedback - Common Class Errors