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Tips for Correcting Notebook Entries

I'm sure we all appreciate when people correct our entries but some methods of corrections are more helpful than others. Perhaps we can share one thing we like and dislike so people can learn how to better help others.


Like: Using different font colours or highlighting so that I don't need to look through the whole entry to find the mistakes.


Dislike: Striking out Chinese characters instead of using a dark colour (or some other way to indicate it should be deleted) making it hard to actually notice any change.

For example 看 is [strikethrough] instead of .



Like: When people list many alternatives to see the possible word order and/or vocabulary which can be used.


Dislike: When people change the original so much that it's almost like they've written their own entry instead.


I used different font colours and bolding to make it easier for them to find their mistakes.  I will also differentiate colours when giving suggestions as well.

I appreciated any one participate his knowledge with me when he corrected my note, I like change my word to the best in this sentence that I wrote to know more vocabulary and use it in the right place

Hi! what i do is to underline the word or the phrase that its not correct and then with a dark color write down the one that should be there and always in capital letters so you dont have to read all the text again and you can see the mistakes clearly hope this help good luck 

What I like to do is use a dark colour to delete parts and another for additions. If necessary, I'll add notes like this too. Some people just change the word which just means I need to spend more time checking the original. I avoid strikethroughs for reasons I said above. In addition, I like to highlight small changes like adding a comma or changing to a big I because I don't think changing the font colour makes it clear enough. When there are optional words which can be added (or ignored), I put them in round brackets. If there are [different / multiple] ways to say the same thing, I put them in square brackets.


I never tell anyone what they mean, so I hope people understand. :D

Another thing I see is people changing the spelling of words, mainly from British English to American English even when it's impossible to tell which version it was written in.


Similarly, with all my stuff in simplified Chinese, sometimes people convert it to traditional, add corrections/notes in traditional, and then don't convert it back, which is a bit of a nuisance.

I notice a lot of fellow learners correcting entries. Even people with an apparent high level making quite poor corrections, mainly from missing many mistakes. I'm not sure how helpful that is to the writer, although the intention is good.

I'm starting to think writing notebook entries aren't really that helpful. Most of the time I find multiple people correcting different things. It's impossible to know who is right, if someone missed something, misunderstood or changed something needlessly. What I do find helpful is when someone explains every bit of the correction (which of course could take a lot of work), but I still tend to find someone whose correction challenges that, leaving me with doubt.


My tips:

It's helpful when you include the original posting!

It's not helpful when your response doesn't include an actual correction. Like mentioned before, this isn't the time to share your personal beliefs.


Great discussion!

Yes I've noticed the correcting of British English to American English and also changes which alter the meaning from what I thought the original poster meant. I think it might be good if italki posted guidelines on a standard way to correct. Sometimes it can be confusing if you get three posts and each of them have similarities but for other words or phrases there can be three different changes. It leaves you confused. However for correcting the notebooks it can be a long process to correct lots of mistakes and then to explain why you did it. So I think for low levels it's probably best to stick to a short length.

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