arize, paraphrase or quote directly for each idea you plan to use in your essay. Use a technique that suits you, e.g. write summaries, paraphrases or quotations on note cards, or separate sheets of lined paper. Mark each card or sheet of paper clearly with your outline code or reference, e.g., IB2a or IIC, etc. Put all your note cards or paper in the order of your outline, e.g. IA, IB, IC. If using a word processor, create meaningful filenames that match your outline codes for easy cut and paste as you type up your final paper, e.g. cut first Introduction paragraph and paste it to IA. Before you know it, you have a well organized term paper completed exactly as outlined. If it is helpful to you, use a symbol such as “#” to mark the spot where you would like to check back later to edit a paragraph. The unusual symbol will make it easy for you to find the exact location again. Delete the symbol once editing is completed. STEP 7. REVISE YOUR OUTLINE AND DRAFT Read your paper for any content errors. Double check the facts and figures. Arrange and rearrange ideas to follow your outline. Reorganize your outline if necessary, but always keep the purpose of your paper and your readers in mind. Use a free grammar and proof reading checker such as Grammarly. checkCHECKLIST ONE: 1. Is my thesis statement concise and clear? 2. Did I follow my outline? Did I miss anything? 3. Are my arguments presented in a logical sequence? 4. Are all sources properly cited to ensure that I am not plagiarizing? 5. Have I proved my thesis with strong supporting arguments? 6. Have I made my intentions and points clear in the essay? Re-read your paper for grammatical errors. Use a dictionary or a thesaurus as needed. Do a spell check. Correct all errors that you can spot and improve the overall quality of the paper to the best of your ability. Get someone else to read it over. Sometimes a second pair of eyes can see mistakes that you missed. checkCHECKLIST TWO: 1. Did I begin each paragraph with a proper topic sentence? 2. Have I supported my arguments with documented proof or examples? 3. Any run-on or unfinished sentences? 4. Any unnecessary or repetitious words? 5. Varying lengths of sentences? 6. Does one paragraph or idea flow smoothly into the next? 7. Any spelling or grammatical errors? 8. Quotes accurate in source, spelling, and punctuation? 9. Are all my citations accurate and in correct format? 10. Did I avoid using contractions? Use “cannot” instead of “can’t”, “do not” instead of “don’t”? 11. Did I use third person as much as possible? Avoid using phrases such as “I think”, “I guess”, “I suppose” 12. Have I made my points clear and interesting but remained objective? 13. Did I leave a sense of completion for my reader(s) at the end of the paper? The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition by William Strunk, Jr The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition, by William Strunk, Jr. For an excellent source on English composition, check out this classic book by William Strunk, Jr. on the Elements of Style. Contents include: Elementary Rules of Usage, Elementary Principles of Composition, Words & Expressions Commonly Misused, An Approach to Style with a List of Reminders: Place yourself in the background, Revise and rewrite, Avoid fancy words, Be clear, Do not inject opinion, Do not take shortcuts at the cost of clarity, … and much more. Details of The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. partially available online at Bartleby.com. Note: William Strunk, Jr. (1869–1946). The Elements of Style was first published in 1918. STEP 8. TYPE FINAL PAPER All formal reports or essays should be typewritten and printed, preferably on a good quality printer. Read the assignment sheet again to be sure that you understand fully what is expected of you, and that your essay meets the requirements as specified by your teacher. Know how your essay will be evaluated. Proofread final paper carefully for spelling, punctuation, missing or duplicated words. Make the effort to ensure that your final paper is clean, tidy, neat, and attractive. Aim to have your final paper ready a day or two before the deadline. This gives you peace of mind and a chance to triple check. Before handing in your assignment for marking, ask yourself: “Is this the VERY BEST that I can do?
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