A Student’s Guide to Lite Marking

Lisa Kurz
Campus Writing Program

Marginal Notations

  1. AGR (agreement)
  2. FRAG (fragment)
  3. MM (misplaced modifier)
  4. CS (comma splice)
  5. REF (reference)
  6. PRED (illogical predication)
  7. //STR (parallel structure)
  8. Wordy
  9. Choppy
  10. Unclear
  11. Awkward
  12. Good


  1. circles locating errors confined to one or two words
  2. wavy underlines noting larger errors
  3. checks praising good word choices
  4. straight underlines highlighting well-put phrases or sentences
  5. arrows and question marks pointing out puzzling connections of words

Grammar—Very Loosely Defined

The experts are in surprising disagreement about what errors one must avoid, but most educated people would agree that a well-written piece should not contain any of the following errors.

1) [AGR] Errors in agreement.

2) [FRAG] Sentence fragments.

3) [MM or DM] Misplaced and dangling modifiers.

4) [CS] Comma splices.

5) [REF] Faulty pronoun references.

6) [PRED] Illogical predication.

7) [//STR] Parallel structure.

Style—More Loosely Defined Still

  8) Wordy: in need of condensing

  9) Choppy: a rough ride for the reader from one idea to the next

10) Unclear: enough said

11) Awkward: tortured syntax

(Portions of this Guide were taken from Douglas Hunt’s “No-Tears Marking.”

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