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Essay Checklist

  • STYLE - IS THE STYLE APPROPRIATE?
    • Subject: Does your essay directly respond to the assignment?
    • Audience: Is the style/tone appropriate for the readers?
      (ie. Does your instructor want a formal research assignment? A narrative? Analysis of a subject? Each choice requires a different style of organization)
  • CONTENT
  • INTRODUCTION
    • Is the introduction interesting? Does it catch the reader’s attention?
    • Does your thesis clearly indicate the main idea of the essay?
    • Do the last sentences of your opening paragraph lead into the body?
  • SUPPORT/BODY PARAGRAPHS
    • Does each supporting paragraph have a clear topic sentence?
    • Does every paragraph support the thesis statement?
    • Is each supporting point explained fully with an example?
    • Are there smooth transitions between supporting points?
    • Does each paragraph have a strong conclusion?
  • CONCLUSION
    • Does the conclusion summarize the issues raised in the introduction?
    • Does the conclusion show how the topic can be related to larger concerns or questions?
    • Have you avoided adding new information at the end of the essay (the conclusion should be the final statement on your subject, not the place to introduce new ideas that may be important parts of your argument)?
  • MECHANICS - BASIC GRAMMAR AND PUNCTUATION
    • Have you edited your paper for general grammar errors such as:
      subject/verb agreement – run-on sentences – sentence fragments – comma splices? If you have questions about these and other grammar rules, ask your instructor for clarification.
  • REFERENCING
    • Have you made sure that any quotes from other sources have been properly cited? Follow the correct Style Guide.
    • Do you know what format your instructor prefers? Most essays are typically: double-spaced and word-processed with page numbers.
    • Clearly indicate your name, the instructor’s name, your class, the date and title of the essay. Some instructors prefer a separate title page (always check with your instructor before handing in an essay).