1. Education
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Teachers' Correction Marks


Confused about the teacher's marks on your paper? This list of correction marks includes the most common proofreader marks you'll see on you paper drafts.

1. Spelling

This "sp" on your paper means there is a spelling error. Check your spelling, and don't forget about those commonly confused words! These are words that your spell check won't catch.

2. Capitalization

If you see this notation on your paper, you have a capitalization error. Check to see if you have put the first letter of a proper noun in lower case. Check capitalization rules.

3. Awkward Phrase

The "awk" indicates a passage that just seems clunky and awkward. If the teacher marks a passage as awkward, you know that he or she has stumbled and become confused about your meaning. In the next draft of your paper, be sure to rework the phrase for clarity.

4. Insert Apostrophe

You will see this mark if you've omitted an apostrphe. This is another mistake that the spell checker won't catch. Review the rules for apostrphe use and revise your paper.

5. Insert Comma

Comma rules can be quite tricky! The teacher will use this mark to indicate that you should insert a comma between two words. 

6. Paragraph

This mark indicates that you need to begin a new paragraph in a certain location. When you revise your paper, be sure to rework your format so that you begin a new paragraph each time you complete one point or thought and begin a new one.

7. No Paragraph

Sometimes we make the mistake of starting a new paragraph before we complete our message or point. Teachers will use this mark to indicate that you should not start a new paragraph at a particular point.

8. Delete

The "delete" symbol is used to indicate that a character, word, or phrase should be deleted from your text. Wordiness is a common problem for writers, but one you can overcome with practice. When you omit unnecessary words, you make your writing crisper and more direct. 

9. Insert a Period

Sometimes we omit a period accidentally, but sometimes we jam senteces together in error. Either way, you will see this mark if the teacher wants you to end a sentece and insert a period in a specific point.

10. Insert Quotation Marks

If you forget to enclose a title or a quote within quotation marks, your teacher will use this symbol to mark the omission.

11. Transpose

To transpose means to switch around. It's really easy to type ie when we mean ei--or make some similar error when typing. This squiggly mark means you need to switch around some letters or words.

12. Move Right

Spacing errors can occur when formatting a bibliography. If you see a mark like this one, it indicates you should move your text to the left or right.

  1. About.com
  2. Education
  3. Homework/Study Tips
  4. Writing Essays
  5. Proofreaders' and Teachers' Correction Marks

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.