Handout: Questions to Ask When Reviewing/Revising an Essay

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  1. Is there a clearly stated purpose/objective?
  2. Are there effective transitions?
  3. How is this idea related to my thesis?
  4. How is this idea related to the ideas that come before and after it?
  5. Are the introduction and conclusion focused on the main point of the essay?
  6. As a reader, can you easily follow the writer’s flow of ideas?
  7. Is this the order I would use if I were explaining my idea to a friend in conversation?
  8. Will this order be easy for readers to follow?
  9. Why did I put the ideas in this order – what was my organizing principle?
  10. Are there places where I seem to suddenly change topics or bring up a new idea?
  11. If so, do those places have strong transitions?
  12. Did I follow the order my thesis suggests, and did I include everything the thesis promised to cover?
  13. Is each paragraph focused on a single idea?
  14. Do the same words or phrases appear in several places here?
  15. If so, could I eliminate or combine some of the paragraphs or sentences?
  16. At any point in the essay, do you feel lost or confused?
  17. Is it due to a missing transition?
  18. Could reorganization clear the confusion?
  19. Do any of the ideas/paragraphs seem out of order, too early or too late to as effective as they could be?
  20. Are you answering the essay prompt?
  21. If I look at the prompt as a checklist, did I answer all fo the questions in the prompt?
  22. Do I have the right balance between different parts of the assignment (for example, have I balanced my summary of someone else’s argument and my criticisms of the argument)?
Logical Relationship Transitional Expression
Similarity also, in the same way, just as…, so too, likewise, similarly
Exception/Contrast but, however, in spite of, on the one hand… on the other hand, nevertheless, nonetheless, notwithstanding, in contrast, on the contrary, still, yet
Sequence/Order first, second, third, … next, then, finally
Time after, afterward, at last, before, currently, during, earlier, immediately, later, meanwhile, now, recently, simultaneously, subsequently, then
Example for example, for instance, namely, specifically, to illustrate
Emphasis even, indeed, in fact, of course, truly
Place/Position above, adjacent, below, beyond, here, in front, in back, nearby, there
Cause and Effect accordingly, consequently, hence, so, therefore, thus
Additional Support or Evidence additionally, again, also, and, as well, besides, equally important, further, furthermore, in addition, moreover, then
Conclusion/Summary finally, in a word, in brief, briefly, in conclusion, in the end, in the final analysis, on the whole, thus, to conclude, to summarize, in sum, to sum up, in summary

 

LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW IF YOU USED THIS HANDOUT IN YOUR CLASS. HOW DID IT GO? WOULD YOU DO IT AGAIN? DID YOU MAKE ANY MODIFICATIONS?

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