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Editing Checklist

The Checklist


  • Context/background is included.
  • Standard Thesis OR Statement of Intent is clear and introduces main sections.


  • Headings are concise and relate to content.
  • Each paragraph has a clear topic sentence.
  • Order of sections is logical.
  • All sources are acknowledged (in citations and references).


  • Thesis is restated.
  • Main points are summarized.


  • The paper has been checked for
    • errors in sentence structure,
    • errors in subject-verb agreement, and
    • errors in pronoun agreement.
  • Commas are used appropriately.
  • Colons are only used after full sentences (before a list or further explanation).


  • Transitions are used within and between paragraphs.
  • 3rd person pronouns are used.
  • No informal language or contractions are used.
  • Consistency in tone is maintained.

Editing Tips

  1. Read and apply teacher feedback from previous papers.
  2. Compare the paper and outline.
  3. Put the paper aside for a day or two if possible. Having a fresh look at it can help you find grammatical errors or places where ideas do not flow logically.
  4. Print your work. It is sometimes easier to see your errors on paper than on the screen.
  5. Edit with a purpose – one or two areas to look for at a time.
  6. Edit in chunks.
  7. Read your work out loud or use software that reads it to you.
  8. To focus on the sentence structure, read sentences from the end to the beginning.