Common Proofreading Symbols

SymbolMeaningExample
insert a comma
apostrophe or single
quotation mark
insert something
use double quotation marks
use a period here
delete
transpose elements
close up this space
a space needed here
begin new paragraph
no paragraph

Common Proofreading Abbreviations

(The abbreviation would appear in the margin,
probably with a line or arrow pointing to the offending element.)
AbbreviationMeaningExample
Aba faulty abbreviationShe had earned a Phd along with her M.D.
Agr
See also P/A and S/V
agreement problem:
subject/verb or
pronoun/antecedent
The piano as well as the guitar need tuning.
The student lost their book.
Awkawkward expression
or construction
The storm had the effect of causing
millions of dollars in damage.
Capfaulty capitalizationWe spent the Fall in Southern spain.
CScomma spliceRaoul tried his best, this time that
wasn't good enough
DICTfaulty dictionDue to the fact that we were wondering
as to whether it would rain, we stayed home.
Dgldangling constructionWorking harder than ever, this job
proved to be too much for him to handle.
- edproblem with
final -ed
Last summer he walk all the way to Birmingham.
FragfragmentDepending on the amount of snow we get this
winter and whether the towns buy new trucks.
| |problem in parallel formMy income is bigger than my wife.
P/Apronoun/antecedent
agreement
A student in accounting would be wise to see
their advisor this month.
Pronproblem with pronounMy aunt and my mother have wrecked her car
The committee has lost their chance to change things.
You'll have to do this on one's own time.
Repunnecessary repetitionThe car was blue in color.
R-Orun-on sentenceRaoul tried his best this time
that wasn't good enough.
Spspelling errorThis sentence is flaude with two mispellings.
- sproblem with final -sHe wonder what these teacher think of him.
STETLet it standThe proofreader uses this Latin term to indicate that proofreading marks calling for a change should be ignored and the text as originally written should be "let stand."
S/Vsubject/verb agreementThe problem with these cities are leadership.
Tverb tense problemHe comes into the room, and he pulled his gun.
WdywordySeldom have we perused a document so verbose,
so ostentatious in phrasing, so burdened with too many words.
WWwrong wordWhat affect did the movie have on Sheila?
She tried to hard to analyze its conclusion.

Some Online Aids on Proofreading and Editing

    Editing and Rewriting (from the Guide to Grammar and Writing)
    "Revising Your Writing" from Paradigm
    "Editing Your Writing" from Paradigm
    Proofreading Strategies — from Bowling Green University


Guide to Grammar and Writing

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Capital Community College