Checklist for Thesis-Support Essay: Basic Expectations
- Is there a main idea (thesis sentence) that focuses the information?
- Does all of the information relate to and support that main idea?
- Has the main idea been broken down into its parts (topic sentences), and are those parts indicated clearly in the essay?
- Is the main idea actually a main idea and not just a topic? That is, is there a clear, assertive idea being presented about a topic?
- Does the essay have a clear introduction-body-conclusion order?
- Are the ideas in the body arranged in an order appropriate to their content (e.g., complexity, time, order of importance)?
- Are the ideas in the body arranged in an order appropriate to the thesis, if the thesis indicates an order?
- When moving from one main idea to the next in the essay's body, are the moves marked with transitions that show how the new idea relates to the preceding idea?
- Are all of the examples and explanations relevant to the thesis and topic-sentence ideas?
- Is there enough evidence--are there enough main ideas--to support the thesis fully?
- Are there enough specifics and details to fully explain each main or topic-sentence idea?
- Are the examples and explanations specific and concrete enough so that the reader can understand them and relate them to real-world experience?
- Is the language grammatically correct; does it follow accepted grammatical conventions so that a reader can understand it?
- Is the language appropriate in style for the writing's purpose, audience and context (e.g., not too formal, not too informal, nor too technical, or wordy)?
- Is the essay written in the writer's own voice so that the language is "comfortable," clear and interesting to both the writer and the audience?
- In research essays, is the information documented as needed?
- Is the documentation format standard (MLA, APA, or a designated format) and correct? See here for more information (click on "Other Guides" tab).
- Has the essay been proofread, and is it free of distracting typos and errors?
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