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Editing Your Own Work: A Basic Checklist  

P       Do the ideas in your thesis match the material in your topic sentences? 

P       Does the order of ideas in your thesis reflect the order of your paragraphs? 

P       Do new ideas build on previous material?  Are related ideas next to each other?

P       Do your topic sentences reflect the main ideas of the paragraphs?

P       Do you have effective transitions between all of your paragraphs?

P       Do you tie your examples into your main ideas?

P       Do you explain how your paraphrases and quotations support your claims?

P       Are your examples, paraphrases, and quotations all relevant to your main ideas?

P       Are your paraphrases and quotations accurate?  Are you citing correctly?

P       Is your sentence structure emphasizing the material you consider most important?

P       Are your word choices as specific and accurate as you can make them?

P       Are you using first, second, or third person consistently? (Second person is usually not acceptable in formal papers.)

P         Do your nouns, verbs, and pronouns match in tense (past, present, future), number (singular or plural), and reference (which noun the verb or pronoun is actually referring back to)?

P         Are you punctuating correctly?

Semicolons need a complete sentence on each side.

Colons have a complete sentence before and a list or explanation after.

Commas cannot combine two complete sentences without a   conjunction (and, but, or, etc.)

P         Have you read your paper out loud to catch mistakes that you might have missed otherwise?