Academic English I (AEI) - Spring 2017, Kawamoto


Proofreading: Editing Marks
Let us take a look at some common editing
marks used in proofreading English writing.

Adding letters/words (, ^)

Consider the sentence:

     This is a pen.

We can add some letters to change it
to: "This is a pencil."

     This is a pen.

We can use the same mark to add words to a sentence:

This is a pen. This is a blue pen.
We can also use the "carrot" marks above or below the lines to add letters/words to a sentence: This is a pen.

Note 1: When we want to add small punctuation marks such as periods, colons, semicolons, etc., we circle them to distinguish them from stray marks. For example:
This is Mr. Smith.
A regular period mark is added (not a period with a circle around it). Note 2: When we want to add a space, we use the "sharp" mark. For example:
He likes apples a lot.
Removing letters/words () To remove the extra 'n' in this sentence, we use a line with a loop at the end as follows:
This is a pen.
Do not use a plain line (it has a different meaning, see below). We can also use this mark to remove words from a sentence. For example:
This is a pen.
Note 1: To remove spaces, we use the "chain" mark. For example:
She cannot come.
Replacing (removing and then adding) single letters When we want to change a single letter, it is not good practice to use both the remove and add marks. That is: In this case, we do the following:
Switching letters/words () We can switch letters and words in a sentence as follows:
This is a blue pen.
This pen is blue.
Changing cases (, ) We can change lowercase letters to uppercase and uppercase letters to lowercase as follows:
Check spelling (sp) A simple spelling error can be indicated with the "check spelling" mark: This sentence should be corrected to: "We study about the government and environment." New paragraph () We use this mark when we want to start a new paragraph. For example: is rewritten as: We explain the procedure below. First, we must collect... The beginning of a new paragraph is usually indented 2-5 spaces. Ignore marks (STET) When we want to restore edited text to its original state, we use the "STET" keyword. For example: Here, we should ignore the mark to remove "wonderfully" (i.e., the sentence stays in its original form: "He was a wonderfully fine boy.").