Key to Common Grading Feedback

Here’s a list of my commonly used ENG 0900 grading phrases and what they mean; those in blue are grammar and writing related and those in pink are structure, organization, or thesis related. The few green underlined comments are about citation and only relate to the last essay of the semester.

Explain more / add more depth: isolates a location in the essay that could use one or two more sentences to describe your meaning or other specific example.

Italicize / no italics: the title or name you’re referencing is in the wrong format; the title of website names or sources names such as The Atlantic or The Guardian should be italicized.

Move Thesis: your thesis is in a location other than the last sentence of your introduction paragraph.

No “I”: points out a location where you used singular first-person pronoun (I, me, my, mine) in a third-person essay assignment.

No “you”: points out a location where you used second-person pronoun (you) in a third-person essay assignment.

Needs clarification: sentence doesn’t fully explain your point; sentence is too vague.

Phrasing: the sentence reads in a confusing way, or the sentence isn’t using common English word order.

Proofing: points out a typo, a missing word, a repeated word, or spelling error.

Punctuation: the circled or referenced punctuation is incorrect.

Singular / Plural: the underlined words are not using subject/verb or pronoun/antecedent agreements.

Correct example: When someone (singular) is faced with failure, he or she (singular) has the choice to keep going or stop trying.

Incorrect example: When someone (singular) is faced with failure, he or she (they) have the choice to keep going or stop trying.

Too Short / Paragraph too short: Your paragraph doesn’t include the minimum 6-8 sentences as required.

Use quotes / no quotes: the title you’re referencing is in the wrong format; the title of an online article such as “When Internet Memes Infiltrate Physical Life” from The Atlantic should be in quotation marks.

Weak conclusion / needs part ___: the conclusion paragraph doesn’t feel convincing enough; you are missing part 1 (remind) or part 2 (how your points prove your thesis).

Weak introduction: doesn’t provide enough grounding information to prepare readers for your thesis or body paragraph content; oftentimes, simply repeats the same idea over an over in different language.  

Weak paragraph / develop paragraph more: points out body paragraphs that feel weaker than the rest of your body paragraphs.

Word Choice / WC: the word circled/highlighted doesn’t fit the context of the sentence or is the incorrect preposition.

Word Form: most often points out the wrong verb or pronoun form/tense; incorrect use of plural versus possessive; use of dangling modifiers, or incorrect homonym/homophone.

However, if you choose to rewrite an essay or are replacing a failed essay, please do not rely solely on my comments and feedback; I don’t point out each and every grammatical or mechanical mistake but those that show up “the first time,” most often, and/or appear to be distracting from your sentence/argument meaning the most.

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