Essays – Final Draft Checklist

Essay checklists for final drafts are crucial for learners to confirm all the elements the teacher requires are present in their work before submitting it. I give my students a short list right on the submission page in my online course as a reminder. It isn’t a comprehensive composition list; it’s more of a last-minute, final inventory.

Here’s a simple self-check I’ve created:

  • Does the essay have a full introduction? Does the introduction inform the reader of the essay’s topic and include a statement about the main idea/thesis?
  • Does the essay contain supporting details/evidence in the middle paragraphs? Do I include information that builds on the main idea and gives the reader a clear picture of the themes? Do I include facts, statistics, examples, or reasons to support the main idea? Have I written at least two middle paragraphs?
  • Does the essay have a conclusion? Does the conclusion adequately summarize the essay by highlighting each of the essay’s main points? Does it include a final thought on the topic?
  • Is the entire essay written in my own words? Did I check for plagiarism? If I did any research, did I paraphrase the writers’ words and cite any sources appropriately?
  • Can I delete any repetitive or unnecessary details to make the essay more concise?
  • Do the paragraphs contain a variety of sentence types to keep the reader’s interest?
  • Does the essay avoid stereotypes and discriminatory language? Is the language inclusive?
  • Have I spell-checked the entire essay?
  • Is the essay written with proper grammar, capitalization, and punctuation?
  • Is the essay free of slang or texting shorthand (such as “u,” “ur,” “LOL,” or “BTW.”)