have written a draft of your paper, think about each of the following
questions, one at a time. If you are not sure about any of your answers, ask
your professor, a friend, or a writing center consultant for help.
paper respond appropriately to the ASSIGNMENT? Is it the proper form? Does
it answer the question?
paper have a specific focus or controlling idea? Is that focus expressed
accurately and concisely in a THESIS STATEMENT? Does the thesis "fit" the
paper? (Is it too broad, too narrow, or misleading?)
paper WELL-ORGANIZED? Does it have an introduction, body, and conclusion? Do
the paragraphs flow logically and smoothly?
argument (or discussion, or story...) WELL-DEVELOPED? Are there sufficient
examples, reasons, or details? Does it leave any relevant questions
the information RELATE TO THE THESIS? Is it all necessary? Are any of the
examples or statements irrelevant or extraneous?
TONE appropriate? Is it too informal for a research paper or too stuffy for
a personal narrative? Is it bored, sarcastic, or offensive?
paper have a sense of AUDIENCE? From its topic to its language, is the paper
geared toward its probable readers?
paper uses sources, does it CITE them properly? Is it clear which words and
ideas are from other sources, and which are your own? Do you follow the
citation format assigned by your professor? (For example, the English
Department uses MLA.)
paper end with a sound CONCLUSION? Does it have any loose ends? Does it feel
finished? Does the conclusion restate or somehow answer to the thesis?
punctuation, and other sentence-level concerns are very important. Before
you turn in your paper, be sure that you do not have any mechanical errors.
However, DO NOT start worrying about sentence-level problems until you are
sure you have covered all the "global" concerns described above.