Guide to Lee's Grading/Critiquing Comments

last updated 9/27/05


usually means it made me laugh

ah an interesting revelation or thematic/deepening move, or a relatively surprising image 
interesting  I'm not sure what to say one way or another, but it stopped me
nice  a nice move, craft-wise (a lovely sentence) or idea-wise (a lovely thematic statement), or more likely a combination
wow  I want to steal this line or ending or move, and worship at your feet
tighten make cuts, get more efficient
more give more detail, or risk something
push  push this idea/metaphor/image/analysis/depth more
flesh  give this more concrete/sensory detail or figurative language
dev. develop this with more concrete detail or examples, or more thoughtful exposition/philosophizing/thematics
get concrete flesh with sensory details
bloated wordy, airy, needlessly abstract
amorphous floating up in the abstract air; something without grounding, or without a clear enough central line holding it all together
¶  make a new paragraph
If I do a straight underline, it can often mean i am merely keeping track of your subject-matter, but sometimes it means there is a cliché or an awkward sentence or something you need to reword (often I will use a squiggly underline for these things)
hmmm; mmmm I'm probably not sure if this is working yet, or I need to think about it more, or you need to think about it more
trust the reader
You're either beating me over the head with extra explanation, or perhaps you're dumbing down your piece for a less intelligent reader.
complexify something about your thematics, thesis, opinion, characters, arguments, etc. is way too simplistic or fallacious
tone? perhaps in this place I don't think you are in control of your tone or attitude enough (in control means using it to your advantage, or being consistent); perhaps you have made strange audience choices
voice? often like tone, though may be more about diction than attitude; the persona controlling this piece suddenly seems different; consistency problems
pacing? something here is too fast or too slow (too general, or too concretely meaningless)
too fast you need to slow down and give details or examples
faster you need to speed up, make cuts, or get to a point
dramatize give me a concrete scene with action and dialogue
summarizes this gives easy summary when I probably don't want or need summary; says you are likely too general, or going too fast (covering too much)
cut? get rid of this word, sentence, or section (it's too slow, or it over explains, or it's cliched); I may simply draw lines through things if I am reading quickly
NO NO NO whatever you're doing, don't do it; you haven't earned that; i don't believe it; i am artistically offended
() circle; I'm circling a surface error (grammar, commas, spelling) which I may or may not label
awk awkward or wordy sentence
reword this sentence needs tightening, or simply to be clarified, smoothed out
sp spelling problem
trans transition problem; fluidity problem--see Prentice Hall
tense problematic tense shift--see Prentice Hall
coord. conj. coordinating conjunctions need commas before them--see Prentice Hall
comma splice you have an evil comma between independent clauses--see Prentice Hall
fused you have an evil lack of punctuation between independent clauses--see Prentice Hall
shift probably a pronoun shift--keep it consistent--see Prentice Hall
caps something here needs capitalization--see Prentice Hall