I have the students checking each other’s papers in class. These are the things that we will be looking for. I recommend that they go over their papers again, using this list, and see if there is anything the peer editors missed.
First, is the paper double spaced throughout, including the outline and the Works Cited?
If not, please note where it is not.
On the outline:
Is there a B for every A, a 2 for every 1, etc?
Not including the thesis sentence (one sentence only), are all the other things on the outline either complete sentences or fragments? Either is correct, but if there is a mix, it is a problem. Please mark any aberrant (outside the norm) lines.
Are all the paragraphs for the paper (5) accounted for in the outline?
Please read through the paper.
Count sentences. Yes, I know that can be juvenile, but if I think the paragraph is short on information, I am going to do that. Mark how many sentences are in each paragraph.
If there is an acronym given, such as NASA, is it explained the first time it is used? (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, has a Nobel Prize winner on staff.)
Is there a topic sentence for each paragraph? Are all the sentences in the paragraph talking about that topic? Note if they are not.
If the paragraph is long, is there a concluding sentence reminding the reader of the topic of the paragraph?
Are the arguments presented coherently? If there are any points which seem to need more development, mark those.
Is the citation done correctly? Is there somewhere you think a citation might be needed, even though it isnâ€™t given? Mark that.
Are there any quotations longer than four lines? Are those quotations in block quote form?
Are there any sentences that sound significantly different from the rest of the writing that are not in quotations? Note any you found.
Circle any â€œyouâ€ and any contractions. You donâ€™t want those.
If there is more than one article by the same author, are the two cited correctly in the paper? (Davis, â€œResearchâ€) and (Davis, Missionary 243)
If there is an author for an article, is that what is cited?
(Davis) NOT (â€œResearchâ€)
Is there at least one direct quote? If not, note that.
Is there at least one citation in each body paragraph? If not, note that.
Are four sources cited in the paper?
Does the paper follow the outline?
On the Works Cited:
Is there a Works Cited? Does it have the right title?
Is it in alphabetical order?
Is it hanging indented from the first line? (The first line will be farther to the left side than those following.)
Does each citation end with a period?