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My Essay Writing Checklist

Essay layout

Introduction
Is my introduction clear and understandable?
Is my introduction on topic?
Is there a sentence or two about the general topic and the specific issue of the essay?
Does my introduction have a thesis statement or controlling idea?
Have I paraphrased the language from the essay question?

Body
Paragraph 1 - Point 1
Does the paragraph begin with a topic sentence about my first point?
Does this sentence make sense? Is it relevant? Is it logical?
Do I support my first point with relevant and appropriate reasons, explanations, examples and details?
Are the reasons, explanations, examples and details clear and understandable and logically developed?
Do the reasons, explanations, examples and details relate to my thesis statement or controlling idea?
Do they relate to my final opinion?

Paragraph 2 - Point 2
Does the paragraph begin with a topic sentence about my second point?
Does this sentence make sense? Is it relevant? Is it logical?
Do I support my first point with relevant and appropriate reasons, explanations, examples and details?
Are the reasons, explanations, examples and details clear and understandable and logically developed?
Do the reasons, explanations, examples and details relate to my thesis statement or controlling idea?
Do they relate to my final opinion?

Paragraph 3 - Point 3
Does the paragraph begin with a topic sentence about my third point?
Does this sentence make sense? Is it relevant? Is it logical?
Do I support my first point with relevant and appropriate reasons, explanations, examples and details?
Are the reasons, explanations, examples and details clear and understandable and logically developed?
Do the reasons, explanations, examples and details relate to my thesis statement or controlling idea?
Do they relate to my final opinion?

Conclusion
Have I restated the general topic and the specific issue of the essay?
Have I summarised my main points?
Have I restated my thesis statement or controlling idea?
Have I stated my final opinion?

Style
Have I followed the conventions and stylistic features of essay writing?
Have I used essay structure language?
Have I used academic vocabulary?
Have I used a more formal register?
Have I expressed my views and arguments in a logical and objective way?

Organisation
Have I organised my writing into logical unified paragraphs (4 or 5 paragraphs)?
Have I left a space between each paragraph?
Is each paragraph related to the paragraph before it and the paragraph after it?
Do the introduction and conclusion match?
Do they discuss the same thesis statement, supporting ideas and final opinion?
My Writing Checklist

Sentences
Is every sentence clear and easy to understand?
Do my sentences have meaning, express ideas and give information?
Are my sentences just made up of words which express no meaningful idea or information?
Do I say something new and important in each sentence, or do I repeat myself?
In every sentence, do I say what I intend to say and express what I really mean?
Have I varied the lengths of sentences I wrote - some long, some short and some medium in length?
Do my sentences and paragraphs connect logically coherently with effective transitions from idea to idea?
Do I avoid abrupt shifts and awkward transitions?
Is there variety in my sentences?
Do I start my sentences in different ways?
Do I vary the structure of my sentences?
Are all my sentences complete - there are no sentence fragments, comma splices or run-ons?
Have I left out any function words?
Have I deleted unnecessary words?
Each of my sentences is a complete thought with a subject and a verb.

Language
Have I chosen clear, precise and topic specific words appropriate for my essay topic and audience?
Have I avoided vague words?
Do I use specific, concrete words?
Have I cut out any unnecessary words - nothing is more complicated than it needs to be?
Is my writing economical and concise or do I repeat words and ideas?
Do I use the precise word every time? Am I sure of the definitions of the words Ive used? Can I replace any word
with one that is more precise and clear?
When I use pronouns, they clearly refer to someone or something and are consistent?
Are all my modifying words, phrases, and clauses correctly placed? Do they clearly modify the word or phrase they
are supposed to?

Grammar
Have I correctly used
verb tenses prepositions auxiliaries
irregular verbs verb patterns countable nouns
articles participles uncountable nouns
determiners word order adjectives
quantifiers sentence structure adverbs
personal pronouns word formation collocations
impersonal pronouns register subjects and verbs agree
plurals modifiers
relative pronouns intensifiers etc.
relative clauses discourse markers
conditionals linking words

Spelling and Punctuation


Have I spelled every word correctly?
Have I capitalized properly?
Have I capitalized the first word in every sentence?
Have I capitalized all proper nouns?
Have I used punctuation correctly?
Does every sentence end in a full stop (or question mark or exclamation point)?
Have I followed the rules for comma use?