Department of Philosophy
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Professor: James Woodbridge
email address:
Office: CDC 426
Office Phone: 895-4051
Dept. Phone: 895-3433


The following comments correspond to the comment numbers written on your papers. They are writing infelicities you should avoid. If you do not understand what the comment means, ask me about it.

1. Wrong/missing punctuation
2. Wrong preposition (e.g., the horrifying "based off of" instead of "based on", or "different than" instead of "different from". Also, the proper form is "with regard to", not "in regards to".)
3. Unlcear/imprecise
4. Awkward construction
5. Ungrammatical
6. Not a sentence
7. Dependent clause used as an independent clause
8. Run-on
9. Tense change
10. Avoid contractions (to avoid misuse of homonyms, e.g., "its" instead of "it's", "there" instead of "they're", or the ubiquitous gaff of misusing "your" for "you're").
11. Avoid passive voice (e.g., "M is Xed by N" rather than the active "N Xes M").
12. Misplaced modifier (e.g., "I can only think when it is quiet" vs. "I can think only when it is quiet". The former implies you cannot breathe, eat, sleep, etc. when it is quiet.)
13. Pronoun with wrong/ambiguous reference
14. New paragraph needed
15. Use/mention confusion
16. Conflating names and their referents
17. Subjunctive needed (as in "if I were your accountant...")
18. Avoid question-form.
19. Misused/misapplied terminology
20. Eliminate helping verb plus gerund construction ("N is Xing")--use main verb ("N Xes").
21. Eliminate "initiating" verb (e.g., "N begins to X" or "N starts to X"--use action verb as main verb ("N Xes").
22. Break up into shorter sentences.
23. Wrong word (e.g., "effect" instead of "affect" or "then" instead of "than")
24. Misuse of "both" (as in, "Both N and M disagree about this." This groups N and M together, in disagreement with someone else, rather than saying that N and M disagree with each other on the issue. For the latter, just say "N and M disagree".)
25. Over-elevated language
26. Overly general--does no work
27. Subject/verb disagreement