Proofreading Marks and symbols -Tips for Writers

Home / Proofreading Marks Download PDF File
Proofreading Marks

Proofreading marks forms an important or essential part of writing and then revising in order to edit and correct the errors. This helps improve the quality of writing and expression of the writer for the reader. There are various symbols used for proofreaders enlisted below which are mostly and commonly used by proofreaders. They use it to indicate errors and problems in a piece of writing and further suggest for the editions and solutions.

There are two varieties of marks commonly used by in the proofreading which are:

  1. Abbreviations, and
  2. Abstract symbols.

The marks or symbols commonly are handwritten on the paper on which the text is contained. The manner in which these are used is, the symbols are put in between the text or inserted in the text, whereas the abbreviations are mostly placed in margin area with the pointing arrow directing the paragraph or section needing editing. The differences in use of proofreading marks takes place with the difference in language or the standard in-house symbols of specific proof reader groups or publishers.

The list of abbreviations and their use are as follows:

Abbreviation

Symbol

sp:Spelling
Use: Indication that there is a need to spell the abbreviation mostly in the first stage of its mention for clarity in the later text.
Dele: Dele
Use: Indication that there is a need to delete certain marked section in the text.
stet:Let it stand
Use: Indication that there is a need to ignore the proofreading marks and there is no need for any change or correction in text.
¶ : Pilcrow
Use: Indication that there is a need to begin new paragraph
fl: flush left
Use: Indication that there is a need to align text lush with left sided margin.
^ / v : Caret
Use: Indication that there is a need to insert.
fr: flush right
Use: Indication that there is a need to align text lush with right sided margin.
# : Caret
Use: Indication that there is a need to insert space.
eq #: equalize spacing
Use: Indication that there is a need to insert the spaces in order to make text understandable or properly formatted.
|| : Close Up
Use: Indication that there is a need to tie words together which are written apart or elimination of the space.
ls: letter space
Use: Indication that there is a need to insert the spaces between the letters in order to make them understandable or derive accurate meaning.
][: Close Up
Use: Indication that there is a need to centre-align the text.
ital: italics
Use: Indication that there is a need to put in italics in the letter or a sentence or paragraph to differentiate it from the remaining text.
]: Close Up
Use: Indication that there is a need to move the text right.
rom: roman
Use: Indication that there is a need to put in the text a roman and non-italic font style.
[ : Close Up
Use: Indication that there is a need to move the text left.
bf: bold face
Use: Indication that there is a need to put boldface to differentiate a part of text.
M : Close Up
Use: Indication that there is a need to insert em dash.
lc: lower case
Use: Indication that there is a need to write the text in the lower case font.
N: Close Up
Use: Indication that there is a need to insert en dash.
caps: capitalize
Use: Indication that there is a need to write the text in the capitals or capital case font.

Meaning: Change to the correct type of font
Use: Indication that there is a need to change to correct font style
sc: small caps
Use: Indication that there is a need to write the text in the smaller case font.

Meaning: change of badly printed text
Use: Indication that there is a need to a bad print of text

Symbol Symbol

Meaning: Put this in bold
Use: Indication that there is a need to convert certain text i006E bold

Meaning: Turn this upside down
Use: Indication that there is a need to turn the text or something upside down

Meaning: To put a full stop
Use: Indication that there is a need to insert a full stop

Meaning: To put a colon
Use: Indication that there is a need to insert colon
or
Meaning: single quote marks
Use: Indication that there is a need to insert single quotes
or
Meaning: Double quote marks
Use: Indication that there is a need to insert double quote marks

Meaning: Hyphen
Use: Indication that there is a need to insert hyphen

Meaning: Paragraph Break
Use: Indication that there is a need for paragraph break

Meaning: Remove paragraph break
Use: Indication that there is a need to remove paragraph break
/
Meaning: used as a separator
Use: Indication that there is a need to used for separation of two or more symbols and mostly as a concluding stroke
=
Meaning: Align horizontally
Use: Indication that there is a need to align the text horizontally
//
Meaning: Align vertically
Use: Indication that there is a need to align text vertically
Wdy
Meaning: wordy
Use: Indication that there is a wordiness in text which makes it burdened.
S/V
Meaning: subject-verb agreement
Use: Indication that there is subject verb disagreement.
Rep
Meaning: unnecessary repetition
Use: Indication that there is unwanted repetition of words or information
WW
Meaning: wrong word
Use: Indication that there is use of a wrong word

Certain Tips to be kept in mind by the writers are:

  1. Concentration

Proof reading means to check the mistakes of the writer and when you are to act as a checker you have to focus and concentrate. Keep yourself away from any sort of distraction like chatting, watching televisions, listening high vocal music, email checking or talking over phone. Else it can lead you to ignore the mistakes.

  1. Putting it on paper

Go for the paper mode of checking if you are not very comfortable with the digital text. Getting a hard copy will not only involve your fingers to write but aloud ears if you read it aloud to catch the mistakes which are more auditory than visual.

  1. To look for homonyms

Proof readers have to careful to point out the errors that share same pronunciation or the spelling but have very different meanings. Just a shift in alphabet can lead to making your writing reveal a very different meaning than required. For example then and than, principal and principle and many more.

  1. Taking care of contractions and apostrophes

Making right use of apostrophes can lead to better grades rather than making mistakes like putting an apostrophe to categorise a plural form, which is absolutely wrong.

  1. Keep a check on punctuations

Punctuations are very essential for a perfect writing, understanding and expression of meaning a writer wants to share. For example proper spacing use of commas, periods, capitals, etc. Be careful.

  1. Read the text backwards

While reading at a faster pace or reading own text we tend to avoid minor mistakes for which proof reader can chose to read slowly or backward one word by other.

  1. Check for numbers

Be very accurate and cautious while writing numbers. Like an extra zero or a zero less than needed can bring a huge difference in statistics and meaning.

  1. Arrange for proofreading by someone else

A neutral check by a stranger is always a good idea which will amaze you with the mistakes ignored or not at all considered in the checking by the initial proof reader.