Ask yourself these questions:
- Have I read the entire paper aloud, one word at a time?
- Have I eliminated unnecessary words?
- If quotations have been used, have they been smoothly integrated into the text with my own sentence both before and after the quote?
- Have I documented paraphrases and quotations appropriately?
- If the paper is about a literary text, have I named the author and work in my introduction?
- If the paper is about a literary text, do I refer to the writer by full name the first time and by last name thereafter?
- Does the paper have an original, meaningful title?
- Have I maintained consistent use of verb tense?
- Have I used strong verbs?
- Have I minimized the use of passive voice?
- . Have I checked the grammar and punctuation of the paper thoroughly?
- Have I checked for spelling errors and typos (Especially these words: to/too/two;
their/there/they’re; your/you’re; its/it’s; past/passed; except/accept; effect/affect)?
Check for varied sentence structure and length:With a pen in your hand, read your paper out
loud. At the end of each sentence, make a slash mark (/). Look at your sentences: are they very
long? very short? You may need to combine some very short sentences, and/or break up some
very long sentences.
Check for complete sentences:Starting from the last sentence in your paper, read it backwards,
one sentence at a time. This helps you focus on a single sentence. Double-underline the subject
and underline the verb for each independent clause. Make sure each subject has a verb. If the
for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so, or which, it isn’t a complete sentence. If it
starts with because, it probably isn’t a complete sentence. Be on the lookout for misplaced or
absent commas that result in run-on sentences or comma splices.
Check pronouns’ referents:Draw a small square around each pronoun. Draw an arrow to the
pronoun’s antecedent/referent. Check for clarity (does the reader know who they are? what do
you mean by it?) and singular/plural consistency (someone did his or her homework, not their
Check transitional words and phrases:Draw a wavy line under each transitional word or
moreover, in addition, on the other hand, etc.). You should have some transitions but
not too many. Is each transitional word being used appropriately?