When reviewing a draft it is very difficult to keep all of the desirable characteristics of an essay in mind at the same time. When trying to decide whether to reorganize your ideas, for example, it is easy to miss other problems in need of revision such as transitions between paragraphs.

Consequently, it is wise to review your paper several times, each time focusing on different potential problems.

For example, review:

  • Once to assess the draft as a whole. Consider:
    • Is there a clear focus?
    • Are the points related to that focus sufficiently developed?
    • Are the main points clearly connected to the assignment instructions?
  • Once to assess the draft’s paragraphs. Consider:
    • Does each paragraph have a clear focus?
    • Are the transitions between paragraphs clear?  
  • Once to assess individual sentences for understandability and word choice. Also consider:
    • Is the connection between one sentence and the next clear?