Essay checklist

Even highly experienced writers need to revise their work several times, so never submit a first draft, no matter how carefully you write.

Once you have finished the first draft put it aside, at least overnight, and focus on something else. You will more easily notice where improvements or corrections are needed after a break.

Now, with fresh eyes, try to scruitinise your essay for the following.

Does the essay:

  • Provide an answer to the question? Is this stated in the introduction?
  • Present an argument that is easy to follow?
  • Contain logically organised paragraphs?
  • Support each claim with appropriate evidence?
  • Contain correct sentence structure and grammar?
  • Include accurate and consistent referencing?


It is important to ensure you have referenced your research accurately. However, different disciplines use different referencing styles. Your assignments should specify which style to use, but if you are unsure, ask your lecturer or tutor.

There are two main approaches:

  1. in-text citations and a list of references at the end of the essay OR
  2. footnotes (or endnotes) and a bibliography at the end of the essay

For more information, view the Citing and Referencing Library Guide which contains guidelines and examples for the main referencing styles used at Monash University.