Take some time to reflect on your rough draft. Put it away for a day or so and then reread it and make corrections. This is also the time to, once again, read the assignment sheet and rubric to make sure that you will maximize your chances of a better grade. Correct any grammatical and spelling errors. Double-check your Works Cited or References page and your parenthetical citations.
Examine the flow of your writing. Read it out loud. Does it sound good? Do the sentences transition easily from one to the next? If you wrote this paper all by yourself, you will have a certain style or “voice” to your writing that can be identified by your teacher. Is this voice consistent? Or do you sound alternately like a college professor? Be yourself. No one wants to read something that sounds like a piece of legal writing or literary criticism from the 18th century.
On that note, remember that your teacher may have 30 of these to read. Make your writing interesting. If it reads like a bore in an attempt to sound professorial, it’s not going to help you.
If possible, present your rough draft to your teacher a week before the due date. If your teacher allows or requires a rough draft, they will make corrections on it. Make sure you follow these suggestions.
The Checklist: Read through this and see how you did:
Pre-Research – Because I took the time, I knew...
__ what was expected of me.
__ the kind of evidence I needed.
__ all the technical details.
__ how much time I needed per step.
__ how I was going to take notes and stay organized.
My topic was:
__ broad enough to find enough quality information.
__ narrow enough to not be overwhelmed.
__ something that interested me.
Background Research, Keywords, and Questions - I initially had...
__ 2 to 3 background articles on my topic.
__ definitions and explanations to understand my topic better.
__ keywords written down to search.
__ questions from my initial research and keywords to guide my research.
__ an essential question.
Searching - In my formal searching process, I...
__ examined different sources.
__ used appropriate databases.
__ evaluated my websites for accuracy.
__ searched carefully for websites that matched my needs.
__ found books which fit my project (if appropriate).
__ created a Works Cited (or References page) in Easybib.
Works Cited/References Page:
__ I registered/logged in with Easybib.
__ I used and kept the same style in my paper (MLA or APA).
__ I was careful to document all the sources that I used.
Notes - I took notes that...
__ related directly to my topic.
__ contained subtopic headings and words which identified the source.
__ answered most of my questions.
__ paraphrased or summarized the source.
__ were in my own words.
__ had quotes around the author's exact words.
__ had citations that I put in my Easybib.com account
My thesis statement...
__ was strong and defined.
__ was debatable.
__ was proven with my research.
My outline had the following:
__ a place for my introduction, body, and conclusion.
__ a thesis statement as the last sentence of the introduction.
__ subtopics that become body paragraphs.
__ subtopics with evidence that all related back to my thesis.
The Rough Draft Had:
An Introduction with:
__ an attention grabber.
__ an overview of my topic.
__ my thesis statement at the end.
My Body paragraphs:
__ began with a topic sentence that presents the subtopic.
__ gave strong evidence to support the subtopic.
__ had a sentence which transitions to the next paragraph.
__ restated my thesis in different words or a different way.
__ briefly summarized each subtopic.
__ ended with a strong clincher.
Parenthetical Citations: I have included them for...
__ all paraphrases.
__ all direct quotations.
__ all summaries.
My parenthetical citations:
__ are all in either MLA or APA format.
__ relate to sources in my Works Cited or Reference page.
__ are put at the end of the sentence and refer to the information preceding it.