Essay Checklist

Essay Checklist



Assignment Task Response
  • Have I responded to all of the instruction word/s in the assignment question?
  • Have I responded to the marking schedule requirements?


  • Do I have a clear relevant opening sentence or sentences?
  • Do I outline the main content of the essay and how it  will be addressed?
  • Do I indicate the sequence of material in the essay?


The Body Content
  • Do I develop the main points/arguments in the way outlined in the introduction?
  • Are my illustrations and examples brief and to the point?
  • Do I provide enough supporting detail for the points I have made?
  • Do I move smoothly from one point to another?
  • Is there a logical sequence/organisation of ideas?


Paragraphs and Sentences
  • Does each paragraph have a topic sentence?
  • Are my main points or ideas separated into separate paragraphs?
  • Do I have a balance of sentence length and structures?
  • Have I used appropriate transition words (e.g. in addition, furthermore, however)?


  • Have I used references to support all of the main points  and factual statements made?
  • Have I effectively incorporated materials from my research into the essay?
  • Have I used a mixture of summary, paraphrase and  short quotes?
  • Have I acknowledged all references made in the body text and at the end of the essay?
  • Have I set out my references in the appropriate format?


The Conclusion
  • Does my conclusion restate and summarise the main points made?


Grammar and Editing
  • Have I used correct tenses in the essay?
  • Is my vocabulary as academic and precise as possible?
  • Is my writing style formal with words chosen to show objectivity and accurate representation of facts?
  • Have I proofread the entire essay to make sure there are no typing and spelling errors?
  • Is the essay within the word limit (plus or minus 10%)?


  • Have I followed the assignment presentation requirements of my course?
    • Font style and size
    • Spacing
    • Margins
    • Page numbering
    • Title page if required
  • Have I put my Student ID number on every page?


Material adapted from the following source

Academic Essay Checklist. (n.d.). Retrieved from