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  • Essays

Essay Checklist

The following guidelines are designed to give students a checklist to use, whether they are revising individually or as part of a peer review team.

Essay Writing Checklist


  • Is the main idea (i.e., the writer's opinion of the story title) stated clearly?

  • Is the introductory paragraph interesting? Does it make the reader want to keep on reading?

Body Paragraph

  • Does each body paragraph have a clear topic sentence that is related to the main idea of the essay?

  • Does each body paragraph include specific information from the text(including quoted evidence from the text, if required by the instructor)that supports the topic sentence?

  • Is there a clear plan for the order of the body paragraphs (i.e., order
    of importance, chronology in the story, etc.)?

  • Does each body paragraph transition smoothly to the next?


  • Is the main idea of the essay restated in different words?

  • Are the supporting ideas summarized succinctly and clearly?

  • Is the concluding paragraph interesting? Does it leave an impression
    on the reader?

Overall Essay

  • Is any important material left unsaid?

  • Is any material repetitious and unnecessary?

  • Has the writer tried to incorporate "voice" in the essay so that it has
    his/her distinctive mark?

  • Are there changes needed in word choice, sentence length and
    structure, etc.?

  • Are the quotations (if required) properly cited?

  • Has the essay been proofread for spelling, punctuation, grammar,

  • Does the essay have an interesting and appropriate title?

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