The Keables Guide

Key to Codes

Student Orientation video:

Keables Guide Student Orientation video



Abb or Abb.X: abbreviations, symbols and slashes

Ad: adjectives and adverbs

GT: Good or Well

Agr: pronoun-antecedent agreement

Apostrophe rules:

Ap: possessives

Ap.C: contractions

Ap.I: “its” and “it’s”

Ap.J: joint or individual possession

Ap.Pl: possessives of plurals

Ap.S: singular noun ending in s or z

PT: plurals of names

Ap.T: use curly apostrophes

PT: formatting the ‘okina

Ap.W: plural words and letters, not

numbers, abbreviations or dates

ApX: misuse of apostrophe

Apostrophe Chart

Art: articles


Bib: bibliography form

Extra Help: format (print)

Extra Help: format (electronic)

Br: brackets

BrX: use brackets sparingly


Capitalization rules:

Cap: capital letters

Cap.F: first word of a sentence

Cap.N: title as name (“Mom,”


Cap.D: directions (“go south,” “the


Cap.T: titles of books, etc.

Cap.G: deities (“God,” “the gods”)

Cap.X: misuse of capitals

Comma rules:

C: commas

C2nd: additional comma needed

CA: before “and,” “but” (independent


C.Ad: coordinate adjectives

GT: coordinate/cumulative adjs.

C.App: appositives

C.Cont: contrasts

CD: dialogue (I said, “Hello”)

CDA: direct address

CDN: dates, numbers, etc.

CE: ending/concluding element

CI: introductory word group

GT: absolute phrases

C.Inter: interrupting elements

CQ: tag question (“am I?”) or


CS: comma splices

C.Ser: series

C.Tr: transitions

C.Wh: “who, whom (nonrestrictive)

CYN: “yes,” “no,” interjections

Misused commas:

CX: misused comma

CXA: compound elements

Extra Help: comma before and

CX.Ad: cumulative adjectives

CX.Conj: after conjunction

CXE: before subordinate

clause/restrictive element

CXI: short introductory elements

CX.MP: with modifiers and


CXO: before object, complement, list

CXQ: certain quotations

CX.SV: between subject and verb

CX.Th: indirect statements,

quotations with “that”

Creative Writing rules:

CWA: action

CW.Ad: adjectives and adverbs in

creative writing.

CW.Arch: archaic English

CW.Ch: characterization

Extra Help: creating a character

CW.Cl: avoid creative writing clichés

CW.Con: consistent style and tone

CWD: dialogue

Extra Help: verbs for dialogue

Extra Help: writing dialogue

CWP: plot and conflict

CW.SDT: show, don’t tell

CWVT: avoid present tense in


CW.Vul: vulgar language

Other "C" rules:

Ch: choppy sentences

Circ: circular reasoning

Cit: in-text citations

CL: clichés

Col: colons

Col.X: misuse of colon

Comp: incomplete comparisons

Cont: contractions


D: dash

Deg: comparative, superlative degree

GT: degrees of modifiers

Dangling or Misrelated Modifers:

DM: dangling/misrelated modifiers

DM.Ad: adverbs and adjectives

DM.Ap: appositives

GT: appositives

DMP: participles and gerunds

GT: participles and gerunds

DMT: dangling transitions

SqM: squinting modifiers

Extra Help: dangling modifiers

DR: Documentation responsibilities

Extra Help: what to document

DT: typography of dash (dash—like this)

DX: use dashes sparingly


Ell: ellipsis

Ell.T: typography of ellipses

Ell.X: avoid ellipses

EP: end punctuation

Essay rules:

EC: conclusion

EGen: generalizations

EI: introduction

Extra Help: how to begin

EPara: paragraphs

ER: think of your readers

ET: title

Extra Help: writing titles

ETh: topic and thesis

Extra Help: topics and theses

ETrans: transitions


Fl: flabby sentences

GT: coordination and subordination

FN: footnotes

Extra Help: formatting notes

Fr: fragments

FS: fused sentences


G: glossary of usage

G.1: write the rule, not just “G” or “Glossary.”

Ger: possessive with gerunds


h/s: reference to gender (“he” or “she”)

Usage Tip: almunus or alumni?

Hdg: heading (Manuscript Form)

HP: hanging prepositions

Hwtg: handwriting (Manuscript Form)

Hy: hyphens with compounds, prefixes

Hy.E: divide words at the end of lines to make margins and spacing regular

Hy.T: typography

Hy.X: misuse of hyphens


Id: idioms, idiomatic prepositions

Usage Tip: idioms

Ind: indentation (Manuscript Form)

Inf: informal, slang, regionalisms

Int/Ref: “-self” pronouns

GT: intensive and reflexive pronouns

Inter: artificial interruptions

Irr: irregular verbs

GT: irregular verbs

GT: principal parts

Ital: italics

Ital.F: foreign words

Ital.Q: italics in quotations

Ital.T: typography

Ital.W: words and letters

Ital.X: misuse of italics


J: jargon, pretentious language

Usage Tip: jargon


Writing about Literature:

LA: refer clearly to the author

L.An: anachronism

LB: do not boast

L.Bkgd: omit unnecessary


LC: place commas carefully

L.Ch: call characters what author

calls them

L.Con: provide context

L.Doc: use of secondary sources

LF: vague analogies of form and


LI: avoid the irrelevant “I” and “me”

LO: avoid mystery openings

L.Org: avoid mechanical organization

L.Pre: beware of imposing


L.Punc: do not comment on the


LR: do not repeat “in/of the


LRC: do not repeat what was said in


L.Sh: do not rely on “this shows that”

L.Sp: misspelled author’s name,

misquoted title

L.Sum: avoid plot summary and


LT: avoid dull titles

Extra Help: writing a title

L.Terms: misuse of literary terms

L.Th: make your thesis interpretative

Extra Help: theses in essays on


L.Tone: maintain an objective tone

LVT: use present tense in writing

about literature

L.Wdy: avoid wordy transitions

Other "L" rules:

LV: change linking verbs to action verbs

Ly: adjectives ending in “-ly”


Manuscript Form rules:

Extra Help: examples of MF

Hdg: heading

Hwtg: handwriting

Ind: indentation

Mat: materials

MF: manuscript form

MFP: punctuation

Extra Help: formatting dashes

MFQ: quotations

MF.Sp: spacing

MFT: title

MF.Ty: typeface

Mrg: margins

Pg: pagination

Poetic Meter:

M: meter

MA: awkward phrasing

Extra Help: history of a line

MO: one-syllable lines

MP: padded lines

MC: avoid artificial pronunciation

Extra Help: elision

MSS: sentence structure (one-line


MQ: misquotation

Mx: shifts and mixed constructions

MxM: mixed metaphors

Mx.Q: pronoun shifts with quotations


N: numbers

Neg: double negatives


Par: parallelism

Paren: parentheses

Paren.X: use parentheses sparingly

Part: participial endings (“–ed”)

GT: participles

Perf: past perfect

GT: perfect tenses

Pg: pagination (Manuscript Form)

PrepX: redundant prepositions (“rise up,” “start out”)

Pro sh: pronoun reference shifts

PV: passive voice

GT: passive voice

Pronoun Case:

PC: case (“I,” “me,” “my,” etc.)

PCA: compounds (“he and I,” etc.)

PCC: comparisons (“as old as I,” etc.)

PCL: linking verbs (“This is she”)

GT: linking verbs

Poetry rules:

PD: diction

PF: formatting poems

Extra Help: formatting poems

PLE: line and sentence breaks

PLL: line length

PP: punctuation

PSS: loose sentence structure

PTh: theme and idea


Quotation Marks:

QM: quotation marks

QMD: dialogue

QMLQ: long (extracted) quotations

QMP: punctuation with quotations

QMT: typography

QMW: words, letters, numbers,


QMX: misuse (to indicate irony)

QQ: quotations within quotations

Quoting rules:

Q.Br: brackets

QC: introduce with a comma

Q.Ch: other punctuation changes

Q.Col: introduce with a colon

Extra Help: phrases with colons

QD: documentation (parenthetical


QEB: citing electronic texts

Q.Ell: omissions (ellipses)

QEP: alter end punctuation

QI: introducing quotations

QLQ: long quotations

Extra Help: long quotations

QN: enumerating citations (149-51)

QND: citing drama

Q.No: introduce with no punctuation

QNP: numbering short and long


QP: quoting poetry

Q.Punc: punctuation with quotations

QV: vary handling of quotations



Red: redundancy

Extra Help: redundancy

Red.abs: comparatives, absolutes,


Red pro: pronouns (“his reason for

his decision”)

Ref: pronoun reference

GT: demonstrative pronouns

Rep: repetition

RO: run-on sentence

RX: awkward rhymes, jingles

Rhyme in Poetry:

Rh: rhyme

Rh.2L: penultimate syllable


Rh.A: awkward phrasing

Rh.Dif: adjacent sounds different

Rh.Sch: rhyme scheme

Rh.Str: last stressed syllable

Rh.Tr: true rhyme

Rh.W: weak words, only for rhyme


SC: semicolons

SCX: misuse of semicolon

SDT: show, don’t tell

SFG: foregrounding research sources

Sh: pronoun reference shifts

SI: split infinitives

GT: infinitives

Sim: simplify complicated sentences

Sp: spelling checklist

SqM: squinting modifiers

Subject-Verb Agreement:

SV: subject-verb agreement

GT: subject-verb agreement

SVA: “and” and “or”

SVC: complements

SV.Col: collective nouns, numbers,


SVI: inversion (“there is/are,” etc.)

SVP: indefinite pronouns (“any,”

“each,” etc.)


T: titles (punctuation: “The Raven,” Hamlet)

Th: “that” needed for clarity

Ty: typo


Var: vary sentence patterns

VI: intransitive verbs

Voc: meaningless and lifeless words

VS: subjunctive mood (“if I were you”)

GT: moods of verbs

VT: verb tense

VTR: transitive verbs

GT: transitive or intransitive


Wdy: wordiness

WF: wrong form of a word (“evilness,” “a dominate team”)

Usage Tip: verbs formed from nouns

Wh: “who” and “whom”

GT: "who" and "whom"

WW: wrong word

Extra Help: connotation

The English Department