Skip to content
- Have you reread the assignment to make sure you’ve answered all parts adequately?
- Is your thesis clear, specific, and arguable? Does it provide an outline for the rest of the paper?
- Is the tone and language of your assignment appropriate for the intended audience?
- Do you use effective transitions between paragraphs and ideas to guide the reader through the paper?
- Do body paragraphs have topic sentences that summarize the main point and content of the paragraph and correspond to the thesis statement?
- Do you use concrete details and examples to support your claim and further explain how that evidence supports your claim?
- Have you varied sentence structure and length?
- Have you eliminated unclear or awkward wording?
- Have you reviewed each sentence to eliminate run-ons and fragments?
- Have you tried to eliminate wordiness by removing unnecessary words such as a lot or really?
Grammar and Usage
- Do pronouns have clear and correct referents?
- Have you eliminated any unintentional or incorrect shifts in tense?
- Do all verbs agree with their subjects? Double check long and complex sentences.
- Is your paper properly punctuated? Review usage rules if you’re at all unclear.
- Is all spelling correct? Be careful of homonyms like your/you’re, to/too/two and there/their/they’re.
- Are all quotes and paraphrases properly introduced and explained? Are they correctly cited both within the text and in a Works Cited page?
- Have you replaced “to be” verbs (be, been, is, are, were, was) with stronger, active verbs?
- Have you eliminated jargon, slang, clichés, and euphemisms in favor of more precise language?
- Do you use active voice to increase directness? Use passive voice only where appropriate.
- Have you eliminated repetition and redundancies? Read each sentence and ask yourself if it introduces a new information, ideas, or analysis. If it is simply restating old information, rewrite it or delete it.