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Writing Checklist

 Keep this checklist handy when you revise and edit your writing.

Overall Considerations   

_____ My paper has a clear purpose.

_____ The main idea (or thesis) is obvious and/or clearly stated.

_____ I have used words appropriate to my readers.

_____ The tone matches the subject and audience.

_____ The paper is organized in a clear and logical way.

_____ In argumentation, each point is supported by solid, persuasive facts and examples.

_____ My ideas are linked with transitions so my writing is unified and coherent.

_____ My writing has style, created by word choice, sentence variety and length, and figures of speech.

_____ Any outside sources are carefully documented.


_____ I have fixed all sentence errors, including fragments and run-ons.

 Grammar and Usage

_____ All apostrophes are used correctly.

_____ Every verb agrees with its subject; all pronouns agree with their antecedents.

_____ I used all adverbs correctly.

_____ I placed pronouns as close as possible to their antecedents to avoid confusion.

_____ I did not use any double negatives.

_____ I avoided dangling participles and misplaced modifiers.

_____ I used the appropriate voice (active or passive).

_____ All idioms are used correctly.

_____ I eliminated all unnecessary words.

_____ There are no mixed metaphors.


_____ I proofread my paper for spelling errors, even if I used a spell checker.

_____ I looked for misspellings in words with prefixes and suffixes.

_____ I checked for spelling demons, too.

_____ I looked for words with missing letters, extra letters, and transposed letters.

_____ All plural words are spelled correctly.


_____ I checked that all commas are in the right places.

_____ I use semicolon correctly, too.

_____ I did not overuse exclamation marks.

_____ I double-checked all punctuation.

_____ Every word is capitalized correctly, especially proper nouns.

_____ All abbreviations are written correctly.

_____ Numbers are spelled out or written, depending on my style guide.