Essay Editing Symbols Elementary

Correction Symbols for Editing

Following are editing symbols commonly used by writers and editors.


incorrect abbreviationsubfaulty subordination
absttoo abstracttrans transition
adadjective/adverb confusionvarsentence variety
agrsubject/verb agreementvberror in verb form


awkward stylewcpoor word choice
capronoun casewrwrite out word
compfaulty comparisonwwwrong word
cscomma splice. / ? / !insert punctuation
dmdangling modifier,insert comma


fragment;insert semi-colon
fsfused or run on sentence:

insert colon

glossee glossary"insert quote marks
grobvious grammatical error'insert apostrophe 
levinappropriate level of usage: too colloquial or too fancy


insert hyphen
logfaulty logic... / () / [] /insert punctuation
mmmisplaced modifier//faulty parallelism
passawkward use of passive verb
|separate words
perror in punctuation/do not capitalize
reffaulty pronoun referencexcareless error
repundesirable repetition?illegible or unclear
r-orun-on or fused sentence

A caret shows where an additional or corrected or substituted letter, word, or phrase is to be inserted in or above the line.

A horizontal line delete mark is made through a phrase, sentence, or paragraph. A vertical line delete mark is made through a single letter or mark of punctuation. The letter or punctuation to be deleted may also be circled with the delete mark.

A stroke through a capital letter means set it in lowercase.

Three lines under a lowercase letter mean to make it a capital.

One line under a word means to set in italics.

 A series of strikethroughs means to remove underlining.

A wavy line means to set in boldface.

This mark means to close up space. It's often used with the delete mark.

This mark means begin a new paragraph.

A straight line between letters or characters means to add one space. A space mark (#) means the same thing.

Two short parallel lines mean insert a hyphen.

This mark means to change the order of—or transpose—letters, words, or phrases.

Dots under a word or passage mean leave the word or passage as it was before the correction. The word stet ("let it stand") is often written in the margin.

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