Paper Cover Page – Checklist

Crisp Informative Title:


Substantive and organizational issues:

  • Does each paragraph have a single task or thought?
  • Does the beginning of each paragraph provide a good transition – does it make clear to reader how the paragraph relates to the previous and what job it does in the paper?
  • Are there supporting or critical points in the readings that you should refer to? When you refer to the readings, are your references clear?
  • Have you thought hard about objections to what you are arguing? In developing your argument have you anticipated and replied to objections, or have you raised and responded to objections explicitly?

Stylistic matters:

  • Examine each sentence that is more than two lines long. Is it clear? Would it be clearer if you split it into two sentences?
  • Examine each sentence in the passive voice and try to rewrite as many as possible in active voice.
  • In each case where you use two or more adjectives or adverbs, think about whether both are needed or whether one would do. Could nouns or verbs do the work instead?
  • Read your paper out loud to spot awkward expressions.