After completing your first draft, read through your paper many times. With each read through, keep one of the following priorities in mind. It is also wise to have someone else read your paper to see if they can find your main idea and what details you used to support your main idea.
Does your paper contain the type of information your assignment calls for? If your assignment is a persuasive paper, does your paper make a compelling argument? If your assignment is an informative paper, is the information you provide directly related to your specific topic? Are all the details and information in your paper directly related to your topic?
Is your paper organized? Do you have an introduction, a thesis, supporting details, and a conclusion? Are your supporting details grouped into paragraphs of similar types of information? Do your paragraphs follow a logical progression from one detail to another related detail?
Is your writing clear and concise? Did you use a variety of sentence formats? Did you avoid archaic words, phrases, and grammar? Did you avoid the use of slang, contractions, jargon, or technical terms (unless otherwise directed by your instructor)?
4. Grammar & Punctuation
Did you use proper English grammar? Did you use proper punctuation (commas, periods, quotation marks, etc.)? Did you capitalize proper nouns and the start of sentences? If you are not sure, use the recommended books to the left to check your grammar.
Are all your words spelled correctly? Did you use the correct spelling of similar sounding words? Use your word processor's spell check feature, but remember: it will not catch words used incorrectly if they are spelled right. Have someone else check your work!
Did you use your instructor's preferred method for citing your sources within your paper? Did you cite all information and details about your topic? Did you paraphrase the information you obtained from your sources? Did you include the source's page number for direct quotations? For any questions regarding citation, see the recommended style guides on the "Cite Sources" tab of this Libguide.
Does your paper follow the formatting guidelines your instructor gave you? The most common format rules include 12 point Times New Roman font, one inch margins, double spacing between lines, indenting the first line of each paragraph, and a title page (not included in page count requirements). Check your assignment sheet for the formatting rules your instructor wants you to use.