Writing Checklist

A writing checklist is a must have for all writers. Whether you are writing an academic paper or a business report, it is always a great idea to have one handy.


Benefits of writing checklist:

  • Helps you revise and polish final drafts
  • Can be used as a guide during the writing process
  • Can enhance and improve the final draft

When I revise a document, I like to look at three important elements:

  • Content: what I am saying
  • Grammar: how I am saying it
  • Organization: how I am organizing it

Let's review each of these three things below.


Content Writing Checklist:

For this section you want to review your paper and make sure that you are clearly communicating your ideas.

____Did I clearly answer the prompt?

____Is my thesis clear?

____Is my thesis narrow enough to be proved in a paper of this length?

____Does the evidence/supporting details support my thesis and controlling idea of the paper?

____Have I addressed the opposition or potential questions that a reader might have?

___Are my ideas original?


Grammar Writing Checklist:


____Are my sentences complete?

____Are my sentences varied?

____Have I spell checked my document?

____Is my paper free from unnecessary verb tense shift?

____Is each pronoun clear?

____Is my paper slang free?


Organization Writing Checklist:

____Does my paper have an introduction, body paragraphs and a conclusion?

____Does each paragraph support the thesis and overall purpose of the paper?

____Does each of my paragraphs have a transitional sentence/phrase?

____Does each paragraph have a topic sentence and concluding sentence?

____Have I properly cited my sources?

____Is the overall organization of my paper easy to follow?


The writing checklists above are general guidelines of what you should be looking for when writing. The checklists work for both academic and business writing. Feel free to modify the checklist above or even make your own.


Other important things to remember:



Here is a general outline for the typical academic paper (can also be used for business writing):


First Paragraph: (introduction)

  • Start with a quote, statement, statistic or interesting fact. You want to grab your readers attention.
  • State your thesis, breiftly listing the main points you will elaborate on later in the paper. For thesis help, click here.

For more help on how to write an introduction, click here.


Second Paragraph: (body paragraph)

  • Have a topic sentence
  • Explain your first point.
  • Offer evidence/quotes to support.
  • Explain how the evidence/quote you provided explains the first point.
  • Provide a concluding sentence that transitions into the next paragraph.


Third Paragraph: (body paragraph)

  • Have a topic sentence
  • Explain your second point.
  • Offer evidence/quotes to support.
  • Explain how the evidence/quote you provided explains the second point.
  • Provide a concluding sentence that transitions into the next paragraph.


Other Paragraphs: (body paragraph)

  • Follow the same pattern as above


For additional help on how to write a paragraph, click here or contact me.


Last Paragraph: (Conclusion)

  • Conclude briefly
  • Briefly restate the points you have made (restatement of your thesis in different words)

Many people struggle with how to write a conclusion. Click here for some additional tips on how to write a conclusion.



If you follow the outline above and use the writing checklist during and after your writing, your final draft will be much better. It make take a little more time than just turning in a piece of writing that you have not revised, but you are more likely to get a better grade.





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