44 Essay Checklists
Dr. Sandi Van Lieu
As you being to wrap-up your essay and submit it to your instructor, you will want to go through it several times to look for all the basics of what you learned make up a strong essay.
Following are some checklists you can you as you are revising/editing your essay:
My introduction is a minimum of 4-6 sentences.
I start with an engaging sentence that relates to my main topic.
I grab the reader’s attention.
I set the tone for the rest of the essay.
I move from general to specific, with the thesis as the last sentence in the intro.
My thesis is an argument and is written in a sophisticated way.
My conclusion is brief but powerful.
My conclusion wraps up the argument successfully.
My conclusion moves from specific to broad.
I have re-stated the thesis, then related it back to my topic.
If I’m writing a proposal or similar type of essay, my conclusion includes a call to action.
My conclusion leaves the readers feeling that the time they spent reading the essay was worth their time because they learned something new or were presented information in a way that they hadn’t considered previously.
My last line is memorable and/or gives the reader something to think about.
Each body paragraph opens with a topic sentence.
Sources are used as support in each body paragraph in the form of quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing, but not too much as to overwhelm the paper.
I have used supporting evidence and the correct number of sources required by my instructor.
My writing uses critical-thinking and higher-level thinking such as analysis and evaluation.
There is strong organization and paragraph development.
The body paragraphs connect directly to the thesis.
The body paragraphs have proper in-text citations in MLA format.
There are transitions or signal phrases into all quotes.
There are clear transitions from one paragraph to another.
The paper is laid out properly with MLA or APA:
- Times New Roman
- 12-point font
- 1-inch margins around the paper
- ½ inch paragraph indentations
My header with my name, my instructor’s name, and the date are correct (check MLA or APA).
I have a centered, interesting title.
The in-text citations, whether in MLA or APA, match to the Works Cited or References at the end of the paper.
My paper meets the word count as set out by my instructor (usually does NOT include your Works Cited).
writing, Grammar, and MISC.
engages the reader
uses formal and appropriate tone (academic)
doesn’t use slang, jargon, or sexist language
uses mature vocabulary words
uses a variety of sentence patterns
uses clear arguments and sentences that are understandable
includes full sentences with a subject and predicate
does not include fragments
has verb agreement
uses the same verb tense
does not use first or second person
uses a variety of adjectives, nouns, verbs, and adverbs to describe
includes properly punctuated sentences
uses commas, semicolons, apostrophes, and other punctuation marks properly
sentences and proper nouns are capitalized
the period goes after an in-text citations (parenthesis)
I have run Microsoft spelling/grammar check and/or Grammarly.
I have met all of the requirements as set forth by my instructor in the essay directions.
literary Analysis Essay
Essay is written in PRESENT tense, not past.
In the introduction, the name of the story is in quotation marks and the full name of the author is there.
I analyze (break down) or evaluate the text well.
There is minimal summary of the story.
I use descriptive language and describe the scenes effectively.
- “Checklists,” created by Dr. Sandi Van Lieu and licensed under CC BY NC SA 3.0.