Add the Finishing Touches to Your Essay

You have now completed all of the paragraphs of your essay. Before you can consider this a finished product, however, you must give some thought to the formatting of your paper.

Check the order of your paragraphs.

Look at your paragraphs. Which one is the strongest? You might want to start with the strongest paragraph, end with the second strongest, and put the weakest in the middle. Whatever order you decide on, be sure it makes sense. If your paper is describing a process, you will probably need to stick to the order in which the steps must be completed.
Check the instructions for the assignment.

When you prepare a final draft, you must be sure to follow all of the instructions you have been given.

  • Are your margins correct?
  • Have you titled it as directed?
  • What other information (name, date, etc.) must you include?
  • Did you double-space your lines?

Check your writing.

Nothing can substitute for revision of your work. By reviewing what you have done, you can improve weak points that otherwise would be missed. Read and reread your paper.

  • Does it make logical sense?
  • Leave it for a few hours and then read it again. Does it still make logical sense?
  • Do the sentences flow smoothly from one another?

If not, try to add some words and phrases to help connect them. Transition words, such as “therefore” or “however,” sometimes help. Also, you might refer in one sentence to a thought in the previous sentence. This is especially useful when you move from one paragraph to another.

Have you run a spell checker or a grammar checker?

These aids cannot catch every error, but they might catch errors that you have missed.

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