Did you review the prompt and the rubric?
Did you ask the professor any questions that you had?
Did you access the resources (course materials, campus guides, office hours, The Learning Center) that you needed?
Do you know the essay's purpose (inform, convince, persuade, express, mediate)?
Did you determine an organizational approach (chronological, sequential, or rhetorical)?
1 inch margins
Times New Roman
12 point font
has your name
has the course name
has the professor's name
has the date (Month Day, Year)
No extra spaces between the header/title, title/body, or paragraphs
Begin with a descriptive title about the content of the assignment and not the name of the assignment
Title is centered in the middle of the page (not underlined, bolded, italicized, or in larger/different font)
Does the topic(s) of this essay match the question in the prompt?
Did you review the rubric to know how your writing will be assessed?
Did you give your reader context and present more than one side of an argument?
Did you support all of the claims you make with concrete evidence?
Did you challenge yourself/audience, choosing a complex topic, and/or take a firm stance?
First Paragraph Acts as an Introduction
Hook: grabs the reader's attention and prepares them for their reading experience (usually 1-2 sentences)
Uses one of the following methods: anecdote, analogy, hypothetical, definition, example, quote
Context: briefly introduces the ideas and topics you will be discussing in this paper (usually 2-3 sentences)
Thesis: gives a summary of the argument and provides a map for reading the paper
Who/what: this paper will be about (topic/issue)?
How: this paper will be argued?
Why: what you are arguing matters?
Body Paragraphs Follow the TEAR structure
Every paragraph begins with a topic sentence (a summary of the information to follow)
Followed by evidence (anecdote, analogy, hypothetical, statistic, example, direct quote, paraphrase)
Followed by analysis (what the evidence means given the argument in the paragraph)
Followed by relate back to thesis (what this paragraph means given the argument in the thesis)
Transitions between paragraphs provide "flow":
Last Paragraph Acts as a Conclusion
Restate your thesis statement given the information you have now revealed to the reader
Return to the hook from the beginning and provide a new spin on the information
Leave the reader with "food for thought": practical advice, call-to-action, jarring statistic/information
Complete a revision using one of the following methods:
Global Revision: Read over with a peer to catch gaps in explanation
Content Revision: Why is this important to the reader?
Structural Revision: Read over with a pen and label each of the parts (hook, context, thesis, TEAR, etc.)
Editing Spelling, Grammar, Style
Remove cliches: right path/road, judge a book by its cover. a picture is worth a thousand words
Remove slang: thru, kids, extremely, definitely, totally, so into, going down, crib, vs., pros
Remove "school voice" constructions: [is + (verb)ing]
Remove generalizations [Use Ctrl+F to find and fix the following words]:
Remove all contractions [Use Ctrl+F to find and fix the following words]:
Remove all vague words [Use Ctrl+F to find and fix the following words]:
Complete one of these proofreading techniques:
Start from the end: By starting from the end, you have no choice but to focus on what each word says and how it adds to the paper. It gives you a new perspective on something that you have "hopefully" become very familiar with.
Read your paper out loud: After reading and revising your paper multiple times, you can become too familiar with what you are saying, and your eye might skip over something because your brain will fill in what you were supposed to say. By reading your paper out loud, you are getting another sense involved, which may pick up on something you missed.
Give it a rest: Sometimes, you just need to take a break from the essay. Leave it alone for a few days or hours. When you come back , your eyes will be fresh, and you can look at it with a renewed focus.
Give it to someone else: Even if you leave the paper, read it out loud, or even backwards, you might just be too close to the essay. You cannot act like a reader if you are not objective. Giving it to someone else gives you the opportunity to see how it would be received by a reader.
Complete a spelling, grammar, and style check [Start>Word Options>Proofing>Style and Grammar]