Marking Guide - Doug Mann

The following hieroglyphics and cryptic notations were used in the course of marking your papers.

(1) Basic Mistakes

[...] or circle = Identifies phrase or sentence to which the comments below refer.

X = Punctuation, word, or phrase redundant (word/phrase slashed or crossed out).

= A good point. Pat yourself on the back. Then get back to work.

? = What the hezmana does this mean? Your point is by no means clear.

= Begin a new paragraph here.

So[sh]ial = Spelling error (error circled). Buy a dictionary, or gow bak to hie skul and larn the langwage fur gawd's saake!

constr/c\u/tion = Transpose elements of word, sentence (wavy line).

the/rain = split words, phrases (wavy slash between two words).

> = Indent this sentence or paragraph.

~=Approximately; sort of; well, not really...

W=Word or phrase used incorrectly; please consult your dictionary.

NW=This is not a word (at least not in any language I'm familiar with).

CON=Avoid contractions like this.

SS=Use single spacing here.

DS=Use double spacing here.

FM=Error in the form of a footnote or bibliographical reference.

F=Absence of a footnote or endnote where one is required.


(2) Language Problems

G=Grammar dubious or just plain wrong.

C=Clumsy Phrasing: Clarify your prose or simplify your sentence structure or wording.

U=Unclear Phrase/Sentence: I'm not sure what you're trying to say here.

S=Poor Syntax/Word Order.

NS=This is not a full sentence.

J=Jargon: unnecessary use of obscure or overly technical terminology.

SL=Improper use of Slang word/phrase.

VB=Verbosity: You use too many words here; pare it down to essentials.

RM=Rambling Sentence: This sentence just seems to go on and on and on... Split it into two or more shorter ones.

RP=Repetition: You have already made this point or used this expression. You have already made this point or used this expression. Did I mention you have already made this point or used this expression?

CH=Choppy Prose: You need to go with the flow more here.

ST=Overly Stiff/Formal prose: lighten up! try to disconnect from your inner bureaucrat.

EX=Unnecessary Exaggeration: this is probably the most exaggerated thing ever said in the history of the universe! I'm not kidding!

P=Proofread this sentence or section: either it reads like nonsense, is full of basic language errors, or needs to be substantially restructured.


(3) Content Problems

XP=Explain what you mean by this.

Vg=Vague: Clarify this, or give an example to illustrate your point.

D=Define this term or concept.

DV=Develop this idea further.

SW=So What? What's the significance of this point?

RV=Is this Relevant to your argument? (e.g. "Marxism explains the nature of modern society. Also, I have a cousin named Karl!")

LG=Logical Flaw or Fallacy: This is internally contradictory, commits a basic logical error, or does not follow from what you have already said.

FZ=Fuzzy Thinking: I can't wrap my mind around what you're saying here.

CS=This is contrary to Common Sense, and you need to say more to prove its validity.

DG=This is too Dogmatically stated.

WK=This is too Weakly stated.

CN=This Contradicts a previous point.

T=Tautology: Your point is only trivially true (e.g. "According to my extensive research, all black cats share the quality of blackness" as opposed to "In the night, all cats are grey," which is making an actual claim).

Q=Quote out of place or context.

QN=Quote not needed, paraphrase this.

PL=This sentence/paragraph is plagiarised: read the university policy on plagiarism on the course outline. You're in trouble.

EV=Where's your Evidence for this claim?

ST?=Dubious use of Statistics (e.g. "Studies have show that 99% of all people have noses, therefore they must smell good.").