Once you've finished your paper, you should aim to leave time for:
To help with this, consider printing out the paper, reading it out loud, and asking someone else to go over it.
Once you've revised, edited and proofread, take a break – an hour or a day or two – to get a fresh perspective. Then, ask yourself these questions:
Re-read the instructions your professor gave you for the assignment and evaluate whether you addressed all the requirements.
Think carefully about what you said and didn't say and ask yourself: Is it clear? Do I need to define my terms? Did I articulate my arguments clearly? Did I make adequate transitions between my ideas? Is my logic solid?
Make a list of what you think you’ve done well and not so well. Here's a checklist you can use to analyze your paper in this way:
Does it set context? Does it define key terms? Does it situate your argument in an ongoing conversation?
Make an outline of your paper. Does the outline make sense? Are there gaps in the logic? Is each point relevant, and equally developed?
Are they coherent? Are there good transitions between paragraphs?
Have you presented an argument or is your paper a summary of the issue or a series of observations? Is your argument convincing? Have you supplied ample evidence for each of your supporting points?
Does it sum up your main point? Does it leave the reader with something to think about?
For more information, check out the document "Revising Your Paper" from the University of Washington's Odegaard Writing & Research Center, on which this section is based.
The Writing Assistance Program at the Student Success Centre is a free service for Concordia students who want to improve their writing skills or who need assistance with written assignments. Don't hesitate to make an appointment if you need help with your writing.