Listed below are some of the questions you should ask yourself when revising and editing your assignment.
Have I answered the question or task as fully as possible?
- What is my thesis/ central proposition/ main assertion?
- Do I make a clear argument or take a position about the topic? Do I state that position in my introduction?
- Does my introduction or opening paragraph prepare the reader for what follows?
Is my essay clearly structured?
Are my paragraphs clearly connected and coherent?
- Does each paragraph begin with a topic sentence?
- Do the sentences flow smoothly and logically from point to point?
- Does each sentence clearly follow on from the one before?
- Does each paragraph state its case clearly and completely, or should there be more evidence/ detail?
- Are there adequate transitions between sentences and paragraphs? Are transitions varied or are they all the same kind?
- Are all examples and quotes relevant to and supportive of my answer?
- Are facts and opinions supported with examples or explanations where necessary?
Is my written expression appropriate?
- Have I used direct and clear language?
- Have I explained my ideas clearly and explicitly?
- Have I kept my audience in mind? Have I said all I need to say so that my reader can understand, or am I assuming they will 'know what I mean'?
- Have I written complete, grammatically correct sentences?
- In long sentences, have I separated related ideas with commas or semicolons for easier understanding?
- Is my use of tenses correct?
- Have I used non-discriminatory language?
Have I fully referenced my sources of information?
- Have I referenced all the words, ideas and information sources I have used in my assignment?
- Have I used a consistent referencing style?
- Is there a clear distinction between my thoughts and words and those of the author(s) I've read and cited?
- Are quotations properly introduced?
- Are they accurate?
- Are they formatted correctly?
- Do the quotations add evidence or provide an authoritative voice, or am I letting the author(s) speak for me? Would writing it in my own words be more effective?
Have I remained within or exceeded the set word limit?
I don't have enough words:
- Have I fully answered the question or task?
- Do I need to read more? Should I include more information or discussion?
- Have I provided enough evidence to support my argument/s?
I have too many words:
- Have I included only relevant information?
- Is there any unnecessary repetition in my assignment?
- Is my written expression as clear and concise as possible, or is it too 'wordy'?
Have I proofread and revised my assignment for errors?
- Have I checked my spelling? Have I read through my assignment and not just relied on a computer spell checker?
- Is all my bibliographical information correct?
- Have I used correct punctuation? Have I ended every sentence with a full stop?
Is my assignment well presented?
- Does the presentation follow any guidelines set by my lecturer or school?
- Have I included a cover sheet? (assignment cover sheets are available from your school office)
- Have I made sure my assignment is legible? Is it typed or written neatly?
- Have I used double-line spacing?
- Have I numbered pages and used wide margins?
- Have I kept an extra copy?
Barnett, S. and Cain, A. 1997, A Short Guide to Writing About Literature, Harper Collins.
Cuba, l. 1988, A Short Guide to Writing About Social Science, Harper Collins.