Correction Symbols, Revision Strategies, and Words to Avoid in Academic Writing
Correction Symbols & Revision Strategies | Words to Avoid in Academic Writing/Academic Conventions
Directions: Use the following correction symbols and revision strategies to rewrite your first drafts. Make corrections in CONTENT, ORGANIZATION, GRAMMAR, VOCABULARY, and MECHANICS.
??? = I don’t understand this word/phrase/sentence è Check sentence structure and meaning. Rephrase in simple sentence structure (S + V+ C).
red. = redundancy è Eliminate repetitions.
¶ = incorrect paragraphing è Check for unity (one main idea per paragraph).
TS = topic sentence needed è Write a TS using all of the keywords (topic + controlling idea + aspect).
trans = transition needed, or incorrect transition è Add a transition to increase coherence.
XXX or strikethrough = Omit this sentence/word/phrase. It does not support the topic, or it is unnecessary or redundant.
_____ OR ~~~~ = This sentence needs to be rephrased due to incorrect sentence structure and possible translation from your native language.
run-on = run-on sentence or comma splice è Use a period to create two separate sentences, or use a conjunction to join the two clauses (and, but, or).
frag = sentence fragment or incomplete sentence, usually due to the use of a dependent clause without a main clause è Change the punctuation or add the missing sentence element.
Gr = Major grammar problems è Rephrase in simple sentence structure (S + V + C).
art = article mistake è Check for general or specific use of the noun.
|^ = A word or phrase is missing. è Add the necessary sentence element (e.g. an article, preposition)|
Tns = incorrect verb tense used è Check for time expressions that indicate the appropriate tense.
prep = incorrect preposition è Use the appropriate preposition for location, time, or instrument. Check the dictionary for V + prep, ADJ + prep, and N + prep phrases.
vf = incorrect verb form (verb ending) è Check for subject-verb agreement and verb tense.
pr = pronoun reference problem
Identify the noun that you want to refer to in the same sentence or the sentence
before. Use the pronoun that agrees with
the referent noun (Sg or Pl).
wo = incorrect word order è Use Subject-Verb-Place-Time word order.
voc = vocabulary mistake (wrong word) è Check your bilingual dictionary for the meaning you wanted to express, then the English-English dictionary for usage.
wf = incorrect word form, e.g. a noun instead of an adjective è Check for the word form needed.
Sp = incorrect spelling; consult your English-English dictionary
P = punctuation mistake
cap = capitalization mistake
WORDS TO AVOID IN ACADEMIC WRITING & ACADEMIC CONVENTIONS
I, me, my Rephrase the sentence to avoid reference to personal opinions.
You, your Rephrase the sentence to focus on the topic. Specify the person you are referring to. Use "we" if you want to refer to everyone.
people Specify what kinds of people you are thinking about, e.g. politicians, business people, students, etc.
they Use a noun to indicate who “they” are, e.g. politicians, business people, students, etc.
good Replace his word with an adjective that does not express a value judgment, e.g. effective, successful, positive.
bad Replace this word with an adjective that does not express a value judgment, e.g. ineffective, unsuccessful, negative.
etc. Give three examples: ______, _______, and _______.
do Replace this verb with the one that expresses the action directly. Consult your bilingual dictionary to see if there is a more expressive verb or if the use of “do” is idiomatic.
make Replace this verb with the one that expresses the action directly. Consult your bilingual dictionary to see if there is a more expressive verb or if the use of “make” is idiomatic.
thing Find the appropriate name for the item in the dictionary.
problem Identify the problem by name, e.g. illness, unemployment, etc.
big Use the more formal word "large".
can't, isn't Do not use contractions in academic writing. Write out the words in long form: cannot, is not