Checklist for Writing Assignments


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First things first:

  • Did you read your assignment sheet?
  • Did you read any short stories, essays, or articles or conduct any research needed for this assignment?

Introduction:

  • Does your introduction clearly outline and present the topic?
  • Do you have context and background information? (i.e., Do you give a broad and short overview of the topic at large?)
  • Do you have a clear and strong thesis?
  • Does the introduction include a list of points that support your stance on the subject?

Body Paragraphs:

  • Are the paragraphs unified and organized? Are the sentences within each paragraph organized?
  • Does each paragraph open with a topic sentence that relates to the thesis and summarizes the points in the paragraph?
  • Does each paragraph support the thesis with examples, evidence, or analysis?
  • Do you cover all the points addressed in your introduction?

Conclusion:

  • Does the conclusion restate the thesis and the main points from the body paragraphs?
  • Does the conclusion summarize your argument and tie everything together?
  • Does the conclusion tell readers how they are affected by the topic?
  • Does the conclusion address the broader implications of the issue and why it matters?

Evidence:

  • Are your assertions backed by credible or appropriate sources depending on the topic?
  • Is your information supported by both quantitative and qualitative data from studies, reports, books, and articles, for example?
  • Do you provide enough examples and details to clearly illustrate your points?
  • Are quotes short, relevant, and explained?
  • Are quotes and ideas cited?
  • Do you address other perspectives and sides of the argument?
  • Do you analyze the topics and sources at hand?

Style:

  • Do you write to your audience?
  • Is your diction (i.e., word choice and phrasing) clear and appropriate?
  • Did you take a fresh and creative approach to your topic?
  • Does your paper show evidence of critical thinking?
  • Is your analysis and logic free of faulty reasoning?
  • Does your paper have a clear and original voice?
  • Is your paper concise (i.e., to the point, free of extra words and sentences)? Does every sentence and every word in each sentence have a purpose?
  • Is your sentence structure varied?
  • Do you have transitions between paragraphs and ideas that help your ideas flow?
  • Is your paper free of contractions, clichés, slang, and spelling errors?
  • Is your paper free of grammatical errors? Does everything sound right? Is tense consistent and appropriate (history=past tense, literature=present tense)?

Mechanics:

  • Did you double-check all of your commas, semicolons, and colons?
  • Did you double-check to make sure every sentence is clear and complete?
  • Did you double-check any use of apostrophes or if you were missing one?

Last but not least:

  • Do you have a creative title?
  • Is your paper double spaced and in Times New Roman with a size 12 font (unless otherwise stated)? Do you have the same font throughout?
  • Did you proofread your paper?
  • Did you re-read your professor’s directions for this assignment?
  • Did you follow your professor’s directions for formatting and length?
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