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REVISION CHECKLIST – HOW-TO ESSAY
BASICS
o Paper is at about 900-1200 words, or about 3-4 pages
o Submitted on time
o Stapled!
MLA FORMATTING
o One-inch margins
o Heading on top left (your name, my name, course, date)
o Page numbers in top right
o Double spaced throughout
o Descriiptive title
o In-text citations: Smith says, “cellphones are great” (Smith 45).
o Work Cited page (if work has been cited)
INTRODUCTION
o Explains why you feel the need to explain this process.
o What’s the problem with what people normally do?
o What do most people need to know, but usually don’t?
o Establishes your credibility
o Who are YOU to be telling people how to do something?
o Establishes your audience and your narrative voice
o Are you writing directly to the reader, as in a personal conversation,
o Or are you creating an educational piece that simply puts the information out into the world?
o Identifies the process and indicates why and under what circumstances it is performed.
o This should limit your focus to something fairly specific
o i.e. not “swimming,” but “freestyle swimming in an indoor pool.”
o Includes thesis identifying the area of the process we should focus on.
o Swimming is best learned by focusing on body position and technique, not necessarily by obsessing over which swim suit to wear.
o Introduces whatever background, materials, or preliminary steps may be needed.
o i.e. To learn how to swim, a person should have access to a swimming pool, a swim suit, and preferably a diligent lifeguard.
BODY OF PAPER
o Each paragraph contains only one main idea
o Each main idea is described in as much detail as is necessary, but not more
o All information that is needed is there
o Any optional information that would be useful or helpful is included as an aside
o Necessary vs optional information is clearly marked, and reasons for multiple options are explained
CONCLUSION
o Recaps the essay’s main argument and reasons supporting it
o Introduces no new ideas
GRAMMAR & MECHANICS
o No incomplete sentences
o Free of pronoun/antecedent agreement (singular objects cannot go with plural pronouns, i.e. “the student” cannot pass “their” exam.)
o No spelling mistakes (including wrong words not caught by your computer)
RESPONSES TO REVIEWER’S FEEDBACK
o Author has responded in some way to all of reviewer’s feedback
o Author has continued to make similar corrections throughout entire essay, as suggested by reviewer

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