Writing Check List and Correction Codes

Writing Check List 

Here are some essential tips on how to be successful at writing compositions:

1. Give it your full attention. DO NOT do it while having your dinner, watching TV and having a conversation with your partner at the same time.

2. Give it the time it needs to do a good job. DO NOT dash it off in your ten minute coffee break! If you don’t have time to do it before the next class, no problem, do it when you can and hand it in at a later date, but do it properly!

3. You should always make sure to have your reference books and notes with you when doing a composition and USE THEM. If you are using a phrase that requires either a gerund or an infinitive for example, CHECK which one is correct, do not just guess. If your notes or books do not give a full explanation, check on the Internet.

4. Avoid repetition. I repeat: avoid repetition.

5. Use cohesive devices such as linking words and expressions, relative pronouns etc in order to make your compositions flow better.

6. Make sure that what you are writing follows a logical progression.

7. Watch out for things like: subject verb agreement (eg He says NOT he say), correct use of tenses (check if not sure, when do you use past simple, when present perfect, for example? Look at your grammar reference book, or your notes or the INTERNET!!), should you be using a gerund or an infinitive, etc etc

8. Remember to stay focused on the TASK at all times. What have you been asked to do? Are you doing it? Have you included EVERYTHING? Or are you going off on some strange tangent to nowhere?

9. You should also check EVERYTHING mentioned on the correction code on the next page before you hand your work in. If you do all this, you’re compositions will be better and you will improve faster. Remember, you do not improve from my corrections, only from YOUR OWN.

10. Do your compositions when you are fresh and alert and your brain is fully engaged. DO NOT do them at 1.00am after a full days work with your eyes popping out of your head with tiredness!

And here’s how I deal with correction:

1st Correction: when your composition is returned, you will only see the correction codes below. You will then have a chance to self-correct and when you have done that, you can hand in the work a second time.

2nd Correction: I will explain any remaining mistakes and give the correct form.

Writing Composition Correction Codes

SP         spelling                  //          HW                           handwriting

G         grammar error         //         WO                            word order

A          article                           //         Prep                            preposition

WF          word form                  //         V                            vocabulary error

T          wrong tense                  //         S/V                            subject verb agreement

MW          missing word                  //         POS                           Position

!!!          low level error         //         ?                            I don’t understand

P          punctuation error         //         NP                            new paragraph

AWK          awkward phrasing         //         R         repetition

WW         wrong word                  //         REG                           register

LW          linking word or expression

SC          sentence construction is faulty

IL          illogical development of the argument

( )          word or phrase not needed (delete it)

NS          Non sequitur: a given proposition does NOT logically follow from the previous proposition, hence your use of a given linking word such as ‘therefore’ or ‘thus’ is inappropriate


About Robert D. E. Senior

Fully qualified and experienced Professional English teacher / trainer UK native speaker BA (hons, first class) Linguistics and TEFL 15 years experience in UK, Spain and Austria FCE - CAE - CPE - BEC V - BEC H - TOEFL - IELTS Business, Academic and General English
This entry was posted in Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Writing Check List and Correction Codes

  1. John Ager says:

    Hi, you may find my post about writing helpful:
    Best wishes, John.


  2. Please let me know if you’re looking for a author for your blog. You have some really great posts and I feel I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some material for your blog in exchange for a link back
    to mine. Please send me an e-mail if interested.

    Many thanks!


    • Hi Leo

      I’m afraid I’ve only just now seen your comment (see below), so you see how
      infrequently I post! But yes! I would most definitely be interested in
      having you write some material, that would be great in fact and for sure I
      would be happy to link back to your blog. Could you send me first though
      the link to your blog so I can have a look at it?

      Robert D. E. Senior


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