Proofreading Marks And Symbols: The Language You Should Understand

Proofreading Marks And Symbols: The Language You Should Understand

All students constantly deal with various writing assignments. Without a doubt, they are necessary to improve your knowledge and develop skills, but sometimes it is impossible to endure this stress. That’s why modern writing services are so popular. And it goes not about writing an essay or a term paper from scratch only. Many students order proofreading services to ensure their documents meet all academic requirements.

It means that you send your draft, and the experienced editor reads it with a keen eye. One will find out mistakes and typos. The purpose of proofreading is to polish your paper to get rid of all errors. Actually, it is the last stage before delivering the document to the professor. 

Once you received the paper from the author, you may mention some proofreading marks and proofreading symbols. Don’t be too surprised since they have a particular meaning, and knowing it, you can make your paper better. Let us provide you with the basic information. 

What Are Proofreading Symbols Used For?

Proofreading editing marks are used by specialists who read your text and want to write down some notes about future amends. For example, when you’re reading the book, you highlight some quotes. But what if you want to distinguish them? You’ll use different ways to mark the quote about the main character, about the antagonist, about nature, and so on. The same thing works for proofreading marks definition. They are used to highlight different errors:

  • spelling;
  • vocabulary;
  • grammatical;
  • punctuation.

Along with basic proofreading marks, there are also symbols to highlight layout and formatting issues.

Proofreaders usually deal with a hard-copy document since it is easier to read and to edit. They leave their notes on the sides of the margins, depending on the part of the sentence they want to change. The proofreader will also include a corresponding mark to show that the line has some issues. 

If you’ve received a document with these symbols, it may be pretty confusing. Fortunately, you can use the ‘Track Changes’ function in Microsoft word to see edits. Of course, you can just accept them and deliver the paper in order to impress the professor and get an A-grade. However, if you want to learn from mistakes, you definitely need to understand what are proofreading marks and how you can read them to analyze your weak points. 

What Are Proofreading Marks? How Do They Look Like?

There are several types of proofreading marks, depending on their meaning:

  • Operational marks cover everything. They are used to highlight incorrect sentence structure, improper spacing, spelling mistakes, etc. Some of the proofreading marks examples look really familiar, so you can recognize them with ease. For example, everyone knows what the “delete” symbol means. There is also the “transpose” mark that is needed to indicate the necessity to change the order of words. Or the “let it stand” mark when the proofreader decided to ignore some correction;
  • Punctuations marks are also easy to recognize. A lot of students ignore periods, semicolons, commas, apostrophes, etc. The proofreader uses symbols to show that you need insert en or em dash, a hyphen, etc. Of course, one may just add them, but it is important to understand which corrections were made and where;
  • Typography marks are necessary to make formatting amends. They are used if the author has forgotten about capitals, the italic type, boldface type, etc. Formatting is one of the most important parts of proofreading since it defines your grade. It is especially significant when you’re going to publish the article somewhere;
  • Abbreviations. Finally, the proofreader can use some abbreviations to suggest some changes. For example, your text may be too wordy, and you can understand it from the WDW abbreviation. DICT stands for faulty diction, and the REP is used when you need to get rid of unnecessary repetition. Our list of proofreading symbols with examples will help you to understand the sense of the most popular abbreviations. 

Basic Proofreading Marks

Below you can find a proofreading marks chart. Explore it attentively to remember the most popular symbols you may meet in your paper. It is absolutely normal that your document contains some amends. There are almost no students who can come up with a flawless paper from scratch. And it is not about your smartness or literacy. Writing a paper, we don’t mention a lot of details. And the fresh view from the real professional will help you define main issues, analyze them, and get rid of them. 

Symbol Meaning
Close up (delete space)
, Move left\right
Insert period
Insert hyphen
Insert comma
Set in capitals
Set in roman type
Verb tense issue
Awkward construction
Wrong word

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