Paragraph Focus and Development

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Essay Comments. I will use the following proofreading marks to provide feedback on your writing. Please keep this list so that you may refer to it when reviewing and revising your work. You will need to know these proofreading marks in order to have productive writing conferences with me.
Paragraph Focus and Development


Topic sentence claim should raise an argument in support of the thesis.


Closing sentence claim should summarize how the paragraph’s argument proves the thesis.


The chosen quotation does not support the paragraph’s topic-sentence claim. Carefully select quotations that allow for the explication of substantive literary devices such as motif, symbolism, metaphor, simile, ambiguity, setting, and others in support of the paragraph’s topic-sentence claim.


Q /

Indicates that you should change your quotation to a paraphrase.


/ P

Indicates that you should change your paraphrase to a quotation.


The paragraph’s argument could be improved by including 3-5 total instances of substantive evidence.


Indicated text makes statements without adequate proof.


Did not complete Explication Step 1: Identify the literary element.


Did not complete Explication Step 2: Apply the literary element’s definition to explain how it conveys the author’s meaning in the selected passage.


Did not complete Explication Step 3: Identify the author’s argument or rhetorical appeal and how that argument supports the topic sentence claim.


Information or explication provided is incorrect.

¶ / S

Too much summary. Paragraph is either too off-topic or ineffective at delivering concise literary analysis.

Essay Style: Grammar, Mechanics, and Voice

[ ]

Brackets connecting the end of one sentence with the beginning of another indicates that you should consolidate the two sentences.

Choppy: She took dance classes. She had no natural grace or sense of rhythm.

Revised: She took dance classes, but she had no natural grace or sense of rhythm,

Choppy: Bears emerge from hibernation in the spring. They wander through wetlands.

They feed mainly on grasses.

Revised: When bears emerge from hibernation in the spring, they wander through wetlands and feed mainly on grasses.


Sentence is unclear or illogical.


Repetitive. The essay has previously provided the information or claim indicated.


Indefinite reference. Because of this… this is why… while this was happening…


Transitional phrase needed or transitional phrase improperly used.


Word choice results in lack of clarity or otherwise distracts from the argument.


Indicated phrase is worded awkwardly. Consider rephrasing.


Run-on sentence


Sentence fragment

MLA Format and Documentation

Circled MLA formatting is incorrect. Missing or incorrect heading, title, etc.


Essay’s margins are incorrect. The top, bottom, left, and right of the essay should be set to 1 inch.


Quote is not properly introduced. (“dangling quote”)


A citation is necessary to document the information’s source. Lacking a citation is considered plagiarism.


The diction and syntax too closely resemble the original source, and therefore may be considered plagiarism.

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