Revising an Essay: After you have reviewed the revision checklist for the style of the essay, move on to the format and mechanics checklist. Here are some questions to ask as you revise the essay.
Format and Mechanics
- Most instructors require students to type their essays using a word-processing program such as Microsoft Word. If you are required to submit a typed essay to your instructor, answer these questions.
- Have you included your name, course, date, and assignment name in the upper left-hand corner of the essay? If not, include all of these items or the items required by your instructor.
- Does the length of the essay meet the assignment requirements? If the essay is too long, shorten it to fit the required length. If it is too short, add more material to the essay to lengthen it.
- Is your paper double-spaced?
- Does your paper have a title that is centered, not underlined, not italicized, not within quotation marks, and the first letter of major words capitalized?
- Are your paragraphs indented?
- Is there extra space between paragraphs? There should not be any extra space between paragraphs.
- Have you used 2nd person pronouns throughout the paper? You should not use 2nd person pronouns—you, your, yourself, etc. Go through the paper and edit these pronouns. First-person pronouns or third-person pronouns used in formal essays are generally accepted by instructors.
- Finally, have you proofread your paper for the following grammar and mechanics errors?
- Spelling errors
- Pronoun errors
- Pronoun-antecedent agreement errors
- Verb and verb tense errors
- Subject-verb agreement errors
- Comma errors
- Fragment errors
- Comma Splice errors
- Run-On errors/Fused Sentence errors
- Apostrophe errors
- Contractions (avoid contractions)
- End punctuation errors
- Abbreviation errors
- Capitals errors
- Quotations errors
- Transition words errors
- Awkward wording or phrasing, wordiness, incoherent sentence errors
- Slang, informal language, or dialect errors
Once the format and mechanics checklist is complete, you can move on to the citing sources checklist.
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