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Revision, Grammar, and Style
In this section, you’ll find resources focused on helping you review and revise your essay. You’ll also find resources on grammar, mechanics, and style.
This checklist covers three types of revision: global, paragraph-level, and sentence-level revision.
Does your paper meet all the assignment guidelines?
Does your paper follow the assignment rubric?
Do you use enough outside sources in your paper?
Is your paper the appropriate length?
Does your essay have an introduction?
Does your introduction have a hook to capture the reader’s interest?
Does the introduction provide the reader with important context or background information on your topic?
Does your essay have a thesis statement?
Does it take a clear position?
Is your position debatable?
Is it specific and narrow enough for the scope of the assignment?
Is it positioned at the end of your introduction?
Does it forecast the content of your essay?
Are any paragraphs off topic or unrelated to your argument?
Do any paragraphs stand out as being too short?
Can any of these paragraphs be deleted or combined with other paragraphs?
Do any paragraphs stand out as being too long?
Can any of these paragraphs be broken up into multiple paragraphs?
Is there redundancy in any of these paragraphs? Can redundant content be deleted?
Does your essay have a conclusion?
Does it summarize your argument and main supporting points?
Does it consider the implications and significance of your argument?
Does it consider how future research should build off of or respond to your argument?
Does each paragraph contain a topic sentence?
Does each topic sentence state the paragraph’s main idea or claim?
Does each topic sentence tie back to your thesis statement in some way?
Does each topic sentence match up with the content of the paragraph?
Is each piece of evidence followed by analysis?
Does the analysis refer back to the evidence?
When relevant, does your analysis perform a close reading of your evidence?
Does your analysis demonstrate how your evidence supports the paragraph’s claim?
Does your analysis demonstrate how the evidence fits into your larger argument?
Does each paragraph contain a concluding sentence?
Does this concluding sentence link back to the main idea of the paragraph OR
To the next paragraph OR
Back to the thesis statement?
Are there any sentences that can be combined?
Do you use a variety of sentence structures?
Does your sentence length vary throughout your paper?
Have you omitted unnecessary or redundant words?
Do you use the appropriate point of view?
Do you stick to one point of view throughout the paper?
Common Grammatical and Mechanical Mistakes:
Have you reviewed your draft for issues with parallel structure?
Have you corrected any instances of comma splices?
Does every sentence have a subject and a verb?
Does each subject and verb agree?
Are proper nouns and the beginnings of sentences capitalized?
Do you correctly use they’re, there, and their?
Do you correctly use it’s and its?
Are apostrophes used correctly?
Follow Rules & Guidelines
Academic writing refers to a style of expression researchers use to define the intellectual boundaries of their disciplines.
Characteristics of academic writing often include:
use of third-person rather than first-person perspective.
a clear focus on the research problem under investigation.
precise word choice. (USC, 2016)
Tutorial on Writing in Third Person