- Is there a clearly stated purpose/objective?
- Are there effective transitions?
- How is this idea related to my thesis?
- How is this idea related to the ideas that come before and after it?
- Are the introduction and conclusion focused on the main point of the essay?
- As a reader, can you easily follow the writer’s flow of ideas?
- Is this the order I would use if I were explaining my idea to a friend in conversation?
- Will this order be easy for readers to follow?
- Why did I put the ideas in this order – what was my organizing principle?
- Are there places where I seem to suddenly change topics or bring up a new idea?
- If so, do those places have strong transitions?
- Did I follow the order my thesis suggests, and did I include everything the thesis promised to cover?
- Is each paragraph focused on a single idea?
- Do the same words or phrases appear in several places here?
- If so, could I eliminate or combine some of the paragraphs or sentences?
- At any point in the essay, do you feel lost or confused?
- Is it due to a missing transition?
- Could reorganization clear the confusion?
- Do any of the ideas/paragraphs seem out of order, too early or too late to as effective as they could be?
- Are you answering the essay prompt?
- If I look at the prompt as a checklist, did I answer all fo the questions in the prompt?
- 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?