Dr. Sandi Van Lieu

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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.

Body Paragraphs

􀂅 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.

Paper Formatting

􀂅 The paper is laid out properly with MLA  or APA:

  • Times New Roman
  • 12-point font
  • double-spaced
  • 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.


My voice…

􀂅 is compelling

􀂅 is persuasive

􀂅 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


The grammar…

􀂅 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


The paper…

􀂅 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.


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