The following checklist provides questions for you to ask yourself in each cycle of the revising process. Turn in with completed essay.




1.  What is my thesis?  Is the thesis clearly stated at the end of the intro?


2.  Is every paragraph and every sentence clearly related to my thesis?  Which parts that are not so related can be eliminated? Note changes.


3.  What is my purpose in writing?  Is everything in the essay clearly aimed at accomplishing that purpose?


4.  Who is my audience?  Have I given my reader strong enough arguments or sufficient information to support the thesis or develop the dominant impression?  What could I add in the way of evidence, illustrations, or examples to reach my reader more effectively? Note any changes made.


5.  Is the essay clearly organized?  Have I arranged the arguments or evidence in the most effective order, considering my purpose and the needs of my audience?  Have I tested the structure of my essay against the outline?


6.  Is the title sufficiently interesting?  Does it sound like a title and not a headline?  Does it reflect the controlling idea of my essay?


7.  Is the introduction sufficiently interesting to get my reader involved in the essay?  Does it give my reader a clear sense of how and why I am writing on this subject? Does it set time and place of the topic?


8. Is everything in each paragraph clearly related to the topic sentence? Does the topic sentence relate back to my thesis?


9. Does the conclusion provide closure as well as reinforce my arguement?  Will my reader feel that I have come to an end and not merely a stopping place?





1.  Are the sentences all of similar length and similar structure, or have I varied them in order to emphasize appropriate words or phrases?  Have I used passive voice ("it" and "there" patterns)?   Identify and revise


2.  Are links (transitions) between sentences clear?


3.  Have I used balance and parallelism in order to emphasize parallel ideas?


4.  Have I combined sentences in order to show the relationship of ideas as clearly as possible,either through coordination or subordination?


5.  Do any sentences sound awkward or confusing when read aloud?


6.  Have I avoided trite expressions that will put the reader to sleep?  Can I substitute fresh phrases for cliches or jargon?


7.  Are all the words consistent with the purpose and audience? Are there intrusive expressions that are too informal in a formal paper or too formal or pedantic in a less formal paper?


8.  Have I used words accurately?  If I have chosen a word I do not normally use, have I checked a dictionary to be sure that it means what I think it means and that it is appropriate?




1.  Are the verb tenses consistent with edited American English?


2.  Are plural endings consistent with edited American English?


3.  Are comparative and superlative adjective forms consistent with edited American English?


4.  Do the subjects and verbs agree in person and number?


5.  Do the pronouns agree with the antecedents?


6.  Have I avoided other other grammatical problems or inappropriate usage?


7. Have I used commas where I should have used periods or semicolons, producing comma splices?


8.  Have I used periods where I should have used commas, producing sentence fragments?


9.  Have I used other punctuation marks effectively?


10.Have I documented all secondary sources and included the necessary footnotes and bibliography in the correct form? 


11. Have I checked the spelling of all words I am unsure of?


Source: The Confident Writer, Constance Gefvert