A helpful essay writing checklist
One of the best ways to reduce anxiety when completing essay assignments for university is to stay organized. There are many different methods that can be used to do so; one of the best and simplest ways to begin is to create a checklist.
Your checklist should cover each stage of writing your essay, and for each element, you can include a date that you expect to complete it. Here’s one way to set up your checklist:
- Thesis Statement
- Develop supporting ideas
- Organize your research into supporting idea categories.
- Create a basic outline
Choose a general topic for the essay.
Develop a strong thesis statement to serve as the basis for your essay.
Find appropriate sources to defend your thesis. Take notes as you read, and organize your reference list as you go.
Depending on the length of the essay, choose a number of main supporting ideas which you will use to defend your thesis. A one page essay might have three or four, a five page essay might have nine or ten.
Sort your notes so that you can easily access the supporting sources for each category.
Create a basic outline for the essay. It should look something like this:
- Thesis statement
- Summarize supporting ideas
- Transition to first body paragraph
- State supporting idea
- Use sources with citations to link supporting idea to thesis statement
- Transition to next body paragraph
- Repeat as needed for each supporting idea
Body Paragraph #1
- Restate thesis statement
- Resummarize supporting ideas
- Strong concluding sentence
Always begin your essay by writing the body paragraphs. You may wish to make changes in your outline at this point, and it will save you having to rewrite the introduction and conclusion too extensively.
Now that the body paragraphs and essay structure are finalized, write the introduction and conclusion paragraphs.
Read over the essay looking for ways to improve flow, sentence structure, and organization. Make these corrections.
Read over the essay again (if possible, have a friend help) and look for grammatical and spelling mistakes. Correct these mistakes.
Be sure your essay is formatted according to requirements. And you’re done!