Writing an Essay
Essay Structure Checklist

Essay structure checklist

Use this essay structure checklist to make sure that you have met all the requirements in writing your essay.

Essay Structure Checklist
Introduction
 1. Is there a preamble, that is, an introductory comment, to familiarize the reader with your topic? [    ]
 2. Have you provided the three or four main ideas to be developed in the body paragraphs? [    ]
 3. Is there a thesis statement, which clearly states the position you will take in your essay? (The thesis statement should be the last sentence in your introductory paragraph.) [    ]
Body paragraph # 1
 4. Is there a topic sentence which serves two purposes: to refer to your thesis and to indicate the main idea to be developed in this paragraph? [    ]
 5. Is there sufficient proof (that is, reasons, details, or examples) to develop the main idea? [    ]
 6. Is the relation between the proof and the idea clear? (The reader should not have to guess how the proof relates to the idea.) [    ]
 7. Is there a concluding sentence to summarize the proof forcefully and to show how it relates to your thesis statement? [    ]
Body paragraph # 2
 8. Is there a topic sentence which serves two purposes: to refer to your thesis and to indicate the main idea to be developed in this paragraph? [    ]
 9. Is there sufficient proof (that is, reasons, details, or examples) to develop the main idea? [    ]
10. Is the relation between the proof and the idea clear? (The reader should not have to guess how the proof relates to the idea.) [    ]
11. Is there a concluding sentence to summarize the proof forcefully and to show how it relates to your thesis statement? [    ]
Body paragraph # 3
12. Is there a topic sentence which serves two purposes: to refer to your thesis and to indicate the main idea to be developed in this paragraph? [    ]
13. Is there sufficient proof (that is, reasons, details, or examples) to develop the main idea? [    ]
14. Is the relation between the proof and the idea clear? (The reader should not have to guess how the proof relates to the idea.) [    ]
15. Is there a concluding sentence to summarize the proof forcefully and to show how it relates to your thesis statement? [    ]
Conclusion
16. Does the conclusion summarize the ideas that were presented in the body paragraphs? [    ]
17. Does it show how the ideas support your thesis statement? [    ]
18. Does it contain, if appropriate, a statement to linger in the mind of the reader? [    ]
 
Mechanics
 1. Does the cover page have the correct format? [    ]
 2. Is the title page written correctly? [    ]
 3. Is each new paragraph indented? [    ]
 4. Are the pages numbered correctly? [    ]
 5. Is there a margin on the right hand side of the page? [    ]
 6. Is the margin at the bottom of the page consistent throughout the essay? [    ]
 7. Is the text of the essay double spaced? [    ]
 8. Are there any corrections on the final copy? [    ]
 9. Is the final copy on acceptable paper? [    ]
10. Is the essay typed or written in blue or black ink? [    ]
11. Have you avoided the use of the pronouns I, we, you, and their derivatives? [    ]
12. Have you avoided expressions such as in this essay or in the following paragraphs? [    ]
13. Is there sufficient space at the end of your essay for the teacher's grade and comments? [    ]
14. Have you checked for errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar? [    ]
15. Have you checked for unity, coherence, and sentence variety? [    ]

If you can answer yes truthfully to each of these questions, you will have a well-structured essay. If you researched your topic and included solid evidence to support your thesis, your essay should be really good. Your grade will reflect your effort.


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