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Guide to Effective Revision

Before handing in your paper, you should ask yourself these questions:

1. Thesis. What point am I trying to make about the topic? Is the argument clear and focused? How persuasive is the thesis? Is it original, provocative, exciting?

2. Evidence. Do I use examples and quotations effectively? Do I have enough evidence to prove my main points? Do I sufficiently explain the connection between the evidence and those points?

3. Organization. Is the paper logically consistent throughout? Does the essay have a clearly defined introduction, body, and conclusion? Does each paragraph have a topic sentence that summarizes its main idea? Does each paragraph flow logically from the previous one?

4. Conclusion. Is the conclusion consistent with the evidence? Does it build on and move beyond the thesis statement? Does it suggest the larger significance of the paper?

5. Mechanics. Have I thoroughly proofread the paper for mistakes in spelling, capitalization, and punctuation? Do I need to check once more for errors in grammar and sentence structure?

6. Style. How smoothly does the paper flow? How lively and vivid is the prose? Have I carefully crafted every paragraph of this essay in order to clarify my ideas?

7. Citation of Sources. Do I give full citations for every source that I use? Does this hold true not only for direct quotations, but also for paraphrased passages and examples from the texts? Have I provided enough information so that the reader can easily locate each source to which I refer?


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