How to Revise an Essay–Body of Essay Checklist

Revising an Essay:  After you have reviewed the revision checklist for the introduction and thesis statement, move on to the body of the essay.  Here are some questions to ask as you revise the essay.


Body Paragraph Development

  1. Does each body paragraph begin with a transitional word or phrase?
  2. Does each body paragraph begin with a clear topic sentence that will be supported within the paragraph?
  3. Does each topic sentence relate back to your overall thesis?
  4. Does each body paragraph support and develop the topic sentence.  To avoid being too wordy, eliminate any material that does not clearly support your topic sentence.   If the material works better in another paragraph, consider revising the paragraph.
  5. Are the points presented in the body paragraphs supported with reliable and valid evidence?  Make sure any material taken from outside sources is cited properly in MLA format within the paragraphs.
  6. Are your paragraphs balanced.  Your paragraphs should be similar in length.  If you have a very short paragraph and a very long paragraph, consider adding more material to lengthen the short paragraph or eliminating material to shorten the long paragraph.  You may also want to make two shorter paragraphs of the long paragraph.
  7. Do your ideas flow logically within the paragraphs?  Do your ideas flow logically from one paragraph to another?
  8. Do you use transitional words or phrases at the beginning of sentences and paragraphs and within the body of the paragraphs to help readers follow your ideas smoothly and logically?
  9. Do you add a closing statement at the end of each body paragraph to help the reader transition logically to the next paragraph?


Once the body of essay checklist is complete, you can move on to the conclusion checklist.


Writing can be a frustrating task for many students, particularly the older students, because they believe they have lost those writing skills they once knew.  For this reason, I have written several ebooks on writing to help students just like these.  I wrote these ebooks in the manner in which I teach the skills to my students.  I learn by following step-by-step instructions, and I find that method works well for most students, especially students whose grammar and writing skills are weak.

How to Write a Basic Essay in Seven Easy Steps: A Beginner’s Guide is designed to help students break down the various steps involved in writing an essay and tackle one task at a time.  My students tend to do well on essays where they write about topics they know a lot about, and when they are allowed to choose their own topics, I receive great essays.  They know themselves better than anyone else, so why wouldn’t they be able to write an essay that focused on themselves?

How to Write an Argumentative Essay is an extension of how to write a basic essay.  Because the argumentative format is somewhat specialized, meaning some elements must be included before it can be classified as an argumentative essay, students must understand some of the terminology related to the argumentative rhetorical mode.  These terms are defined and explained in the ebook along with directions on how to organize an argumentative essay.


How to Write a Short Story: A Beginner’s Guide is designed for the high school or college student as well as a beginning writer or author who wants to write essays of a creative nature, or in other words, short stories.  The basics of organizing a short story is outlined in this ebook in easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions.


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