Writers can save effort and time by prioritizing the major stages of revision: content, organization, style, and usage. After completing a first draft, you can use the questions below to guide the process.


Follows prompt

Speaks to audience

Clear thesis

Evidence & support

  • Does paper meet instructor’s requirements?
  • Who is the audience? Does the paper speak to the intended audience?
  • Is there a clear thesis or main purpose described?
  • Does the paper develop the thesis around major subtopics?
  • Is each subtopic developed with evidence and support?


Logical order

Transitional phrasing

Engaging introduction


  • Are major subtopics presented in a logical order?
  • Is transitional phrasing and logical ordering used to create paragraph flow?
  • Are sentences within paragraphs arranged in a logical order?
  • Does the introduction engage the reader and the conclusion provide closure?


Consistent tone

Smooth paraphrase

Sentence variety

Active voice


  • Does tone remain consistent throughout?
  • Have you smoothly incorporated paraphrase and quotation? Cited sources correctly?
  • Have you varied sentence length and type?
  • Are word choices appropriate? Is the writing concise?
  • Have you cast most sentences in the active voice?


Sentence grammar




  • Have you proofread for grammar errors such as comma splices, tense shifts, and vague pronouns?
  • Have you checked apostrophes, hyphens, commas, semicolons, and colons?
  • Did you run spell check and proof capitalization, abbreviations, and numbers?