Highlight the thesisstatement Does the thesis give you a clear picture of the situation and the focus of the argument? Does the reader know what this paper will be about?
TOPIC/TRANSITIONSENTENCES Highlight the topic sentence of each body paragraph sentence should be general – if sentence includes detail note on side of paper The second (and subsequent) body paragraphs should also include a transition (pull from prior paragraph)
WORD CHOICE Circle the word there if it begins a sentence. Circle the “be” verbs: am, is, are, was, were, be, being, been
NUMBERSLook for all numbers in the paper. If any areincorrect, highlight them.Spell out a number that begins a sentence.Spell out a number that expresses order (i.e.first, second, third, etc.)Spell out a number that tells how many if it is oneor two words. If it is longer than two words, writeit numerically.Use numerals to express numbers inconventional situations (like percentages, dates,addresses, times, etc.)
FORMATCheck for MLA formatting—this should be theeasiest part of your research paper grade! Makeany corrections with a red pen.Margins should be 1” (Allow Word to autofix“orphan” lines)4-line heading (First Last, Mrs. Stewart, EnglishII PreAP, Date [6 December 2012])Double spaced (with no extra lines betweenparagraphs)Header (in same font—Last name and page #)
CITATIONSHighlight all parenthetical citations in your paper.Then check for……the period. It should go only after theparentheses. Not before and after. Not justbefore. Just after. Like this Mrs. Stewart is theweirdest teacher ever (“Weird Teachers”).…the titles. Titles must be capitalized! No, I don’tmean IN ALL CAPS. The major words should becapitalized like such The Social Network.Notice that the title was italicized because it’s amajor work. If it’s an article title, it should be in“quotation marks.”
Works Cited/Citations Make sure the first word of the citation matches the first word of the Works Cited entry. Do NOT list the url address (http://www.) on the Works Cited page.
Works CitedCheck page titleFormat Double-spaced Alphabetical order Hanging indentDo all entries on the Works Cited pagehave at least one parenthetical citationin the paper?
POINT OF VIEW Highlight ALL instances of first (I, me, my, we, our, us, etc.) or second (you, your, etc.) person. Unless the supporting evidence is anecdotal, eliminate these from your paper.
CONTRACTIONS Search for any contractions in your paper and highlight them when you spot ‘em. Uncontraction these. Okay, so that’s not a word, but you know what I mean.
CONJUNCTIONSMany English teachers say to not start asentence with a coordinating conjunction(FANBOYS—for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so)because it often leads to a sentence fragment.There is really nothing wrong with starting witha conjunction if used correctly. Double-checkany sentence starting with a conjunction.**Hint: the most common sentence-startingconjuctions are “and,” “but,” and “so.”
GENERAL TYPOS If you haven’t already, switch papers with someone else. Read carefully for general typos, spelling and punctuation errors, etc. Mark in red ink.
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