Major Areas of Interest Originality of Thought Style Thesis Statement and Development Organization Support Errors (grammar, format, etc.)
Originality of Thought Are you simply repeating someone else’s opinions without useful commentary of your own on their opinions? (If your paper is supposed to analyze information instead of merely reporting facts.) Have you thought analytically about your topic and attempted to communicate your own formulated ideas in your paper?
Style Can the average reader easily understand what you are saying? Does your introduction catch your readers’ attention? Are your thoughts clear and concise? Does your paper “flow”? Can your paper hold the interest of your audience?
Thesis Statement and Development Have you introduced your topic in an opening paragraph? Does your paper include a thesis statement? Have you expanded and supported your thesis statement in the body of the paper? Have you tied up the loose ends in your conclusion?
Organization Is each paragraph internally organized; do the sentences flow logically? Does your paper include smooth transitions into each paragraph? Have you grouped like information together in the same paragraph or section? Can you sum up each paragraph in one sentence?
Support Do you adequately explain and back up your main points? Do you use your sources effectively, either through quotes and/or paraphrases, to support your ideas? (For a sourced essay, that is.)
Common Errors Have you carefully read through your paper checking for correct capitalization, punctuation, and sentence structure? Have you followed the guidelines of the format your professor has specified?
Errors—some tips for avoiding them Do not turn in a first draft; proofread your own work! (Reading aloud will make errors even more obvious.) Have a friend look your paper over. Be familiar with the format you are using. (For example, MLA, APA, or Turabian.) Come to the Writing Center for more information and assistance with grammar, formatting, and much more!