Paper comments

I use annotations in Canvas or by hand to give feedback on your papers. To grade them well and in a timely manner, I use a system of highlights and abbreviations. This system also has the benefit it makes you consider why I made the comment, which enables you to avoid repeating mistakes.

Look up the comment on the (sortable) list below. Not all comments have links, but those which do, you should follow and read. Then look back at the comment to confirm you understand why it was written. For instance, a "W" means an issue with word choice, so you would look at my list of commonly misused words to see if yours is there (it may not be).

If you'd like to discuss the paper, make an appointment via my online booking system for 24 hours after your paper has been returned. Make sure you come with an interpretation of my comments--I will not explain them to you without your first explaining to me what you think is going on.

Note: This annotation system owes much to conversations with my colleague Cathay Liu, as well as Nick Byrd's system. The idea to have hyperlinks comes from Jyl Gensler.
Showing 37 items
Comment KeyInterpretationFurther links
Comment KeyInterpretationFurther links
¶ New paragraph  
Confusing, despite re-reading  
-- Subtract for concision  
<> This is not quite right  
≠ Disconnect, not actually related  
⊥ Contradiction  
✓ This is good  
agreement You have a problem with subject-verb agreement 
antecedent Incorrect or ambiguous antecedent for pronoun 
article Problem with definite or indefinite article use 
Citation is missing  
circular Circular reasoning, question-begging, etc. 
Develop as it's good but incomplete  
dangling Dangling modifier 
Fluff which doesn't contribute  
fragment Not a complete sentence 
Green highlight Excellent work! (Not just good, but great!)  
infinitive Problem with infinitive use 
ital This should be italicized and  
jargon Unhelpful, unexplained technical terminology  
Orange highlight This is wrong (see comments for why)  
passive Passive voice, often introduces ambiguity 
possess Incorrect possessive use 
prep Preposition is incorrect Look in a dictionary! 
Relationship to rest of the paper is unclear  
Run-on Expression with multiple clauses that is not a complete sentence 
Support is necessary but missing  
semi/colon Use of semi-colon or colon is incorrect. 
slang Not appropriate word choice for formal essay 
sp spelling 
stet Ignore comment or highlight, it was mistaken 
stranded Preposition without an object 
use/mention Confused use of a word with mention of the word (quotes) 
Word choice 
x and y Check the relation between the two terms. 
Yellow highlight Grammatical error (see comments for type)  
Showing 37 items