Your Essay Writing Checklist

An essay writing checklist will ensure that your work has everything it needs to achieve your goal. Whether you are writing an essay as part of a personal project or for an academic assignment, it should contain the following components.

Essay Introduction Checklist

The introduction is necessary to hook the reader and get them to move on to the next part of the essay. Make sure your intro does the following:

  • Conveys the main idea of the essay clearly
  • Grabs the reader’s attention with interesting but concise language
  • Encourages the reader to continue with compelling information

Essay Body Paragraphs Checklist

The body consists of the meatier part of your essay. This is where you will develop your argument. Each paragraph should focus on one key claim or idea with supporting evidence. Your evidence should come from reputable sources. Make sure your essay body does the following:

  • Organizes each idea or claim into a coherent paragraph
  • Contains evidence that includes scholarly resources like textbooks or academic journals
  • The first sentence of each paragraph outlines the claim or idea discussed in that paragraph
  • Connects the idea conveyed in the paragraph to your overall argument

Essay Conclusion Checklist

Your essay’s conclusion should summarize your main points and tie them all together. You can also work in any quotes or other material that didn’t make it into the body of the essay.

The conclusion should end with a clincher or a final sentence that gives your essay closure and makes the reader feel satisfied. Make sure your conclusion does the following:

  • Summarizes all main points and how they relate to your topic or argument
  • Does not contain new ideas – these should be discussed before the conclusion
  • Does not use phrases like “in conclusion” or “in summary”
  • Tells the reader why this topic matters and why they should care about it

Finalizing Your Essay

Even if you can check off the items listed above, you may still need to polish your essay. These items should be considered last to avoid missing any language issues or overlooking important facts and evidence. Make sure your essay:

  • Contains all important material that you found in your research
  • Doesn’t contain anything unnecessary that doesn’t help your argument
  • Doesn’t repeat information that’s already been stated
  • Speaks in your voice so it feels authentic and original
  • Includes quotations that are properly cited (if applicable)
  • Reads smoothly and naturally with no poor word choices
  • Contains no spelling or grammar mistakes

Each part of the essay plays a role. The introduction hooks the reader by giving them a taste of what’s contained in the text. The body conveys your strongest evidence and arguments. And the conclusion brings it all together, emphasizes your point, and wraps everything up with a memorable final sentence.

Writing a good essay takes practice, so be prepared to reread your work. You should begin with research and an outline to give your finished piece structure and organization. A well-written essay will have a powerful impact on the reader.