Home > Strategies and Skill Development > Verbal Strategy Families > Editorial Markup

Editorial markup strategies are strategies for evaluating text in terms of such standards as the clarity, brevity, and precision with which a text communicates its intended meaning. Typically someone following editorial markup strategies highlights or indicates particular points in a text where difficulties arise and then provides a comment that pinpoints the nature of the difficulty. Editorial markup is not the same thing as proofreading, since it focuses on meaning, not form. It consists of methods and techniques for locating and communicating difficulties in the way ideas are expressed in a text. The hypothesized development of these skills is presented in Development Table 37.

This ability corresponds in part to Writing Standard 5 from the Common Core State Standards.

Literature Note - Markup

Development Table 37. Hypothesized Development of Editorial Markup Skills

(oral to word)
Recognizes infelicities in word choice or spelling that can produce ambiguities or inaccuracies of meaning.
Can apply text mark-up language to suggest possible places where word choice could be improved.
Can propose alternate words or spellings that will eliminate misinterpretations.
(word to sentence)
Recognizes infelicities at the level of surface form that can produce ambiguities or inaccuracies in meaning (tense choices, placement of punctuation, unclear use of pronouns, etc.).
Can apply text mark-up strategies to indicate places in a text that contain ambiguities or express the wrong meaning.
Can propose alternate formal choices that will eliminate misinterpretations or confusions.
(sentence to text)
Recognizes infelicities in usage, grammar, and punctuation that make the intended meaning unclear or harder to extract from the text.
Can apply text mark-up strategies to indicate places in a text that contain infelicities in usage, grammar, and punctuation.
Can propose alternate phrasings that will clarify the intended meaning.
(sentence to context)
Recognizes infelicities in information flow across sentences, where grammatical choices make it harder to follow the natural theme/rheme, topic/comment organization of a text.
Can apply text mark-up strategies that point out places in a text where the sequence of ideas is hard to follow.
Can propose paraphrases that improve information flow across sentences within a text.
(sentence and context to discourse)
Recognizes stylistic/grammatical choices that obscure or deemphasize important ideas (e.g., nominalizations in place of active verbs, allowing suppression of information about subject or object, agentless passives; comparisons without a standard of comparison).
Can apply text mark-up strategies in which one adds notes that require the author to supply information that is grammatically implied but not explicitly present in the text.
Can propose rephrasing that emphasizes key ideas or makes implicit information explicit.

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