The writing checklist is a tool for determining whether you have remembered all of the steps in the revision and proofreading process.

Step 1: Assignment Guidelines

Have you met assignment guidelines? Consider:

  • Length of paper:
  • Number of sources:
  • Types of sources:
  • Intended Audience:

Step 2: Development and Structure

Have you written strong paragraphs?

Introductory Paragraph(s)

  • Do you have a specific and relevant opening statement?
  • Do you briefly summarize the main points of the paper?
  • Do you define key terminology needed to understand the topic of your paper? Do you briefly highlight necessary background information on the topic?
  • Do you have a thesis or purpose statement?

Body Paragraphs

  • Do you include a topic sentence that summarizes the main point of the paragraph?
  • Do you have evidence that supports your topic sentence and links to your overall argument?
  • Do you analyze your evidence and discuss how it links to your main argument? Do you account for counter-arguments or contrary evidence if it exists?
  • Do you include appropriate transition words, phrases, or sentences between main points?
  • Do you explain relevant terms and concepts to your audience?
  • Does the last sentence conclude the paragraph?

Concluding Paragraph(s)

  • Do you return to your main argument without restating it?
  • Do you avoid the inclusion of new arguments and evidence? Do you explain the impact or significance of your work?

Step 3: Sentence Structure

Have you checked for these common mistakes?

  • Awkward constructions
  • Comma splices
  • Dangling/misplaced modifiers
  • Sentence fragments
  • Run-together/run-on sentences
  • Faulty parallelism

Step 4: Mechanics

Have you used the following correctly?


  • Adverbs/Adjectives
  • Articles
  • Plural marker “s”
  • Possessives Prepositions Pronouns
  • Subject-verb agreement


  • Canadian spellings
  • Accurate word choice Correct capitalization


  • Apostrophes
  • Commas Colons Semi-colons Dashes Hyphens
  • End punctuation Slashes Quotation marks

Step 5: Academic Integrity

  • Have you used quotations correctly?
  • Is your punctuation correct?
  • Have you avoided starting a sentence with a quotation?
  • For integrated quotations (i.e. quotations not following a colon), have you changed verb tenses and plurals, as needed, and indicated changes using square brackets?
  • If you have altered or removed a section of the original text, have you indicated these changes according to your style guide?
  • Have yu paraphrased infrmation accurately but withut cpying the riginal? Have yu included in-text citatins frmatted accrding t yur style guide?
  • Have yu included a reference list (bibligraphy r wrks cited) that adheres t your style guide?


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