Research Paper Checklist

(Specific requirements will vary according to your teacher, but this is a pretty good basic checklist.)

Y/N Essay is at least 6 full pages long, not including Works Cited page.

Y/N Essay is evenly double spaced, Times New Roman size 12, 1 inch margins, full header in upper left, last name and page number in upper right, and a title.

Y/N Introduction paragraph provides background information sufficient to understand the essay and is clear and well-organized. The last sentence is the thesis statement.

Y/N Thesis statement is an assertion that is arguable, provable, related to a critical lens, and includes author’s purpose.

Y/N Topic sentences make arguable, provable, unique (different from the others) assertions that support the thesis statement.

Y/N Conclusion sentences restate the main idea of the paragraph and perhaps expand on earlier ideas.

Y/N Each paragraph includes at least one quote or paraphrase from the primary source. Some paragraphs have multiple primary source quotes. Quotes have lead-ins, slashes for line breaks, and correct citations. Paraphrases are specific and correctly cited.

Y/N Quotes from the primary source are analyzed with specific references to the language of the quote. All quotes and paraphrases from the primary source have sufficient context, explanation and analysis that supports the topic sentence.

Y/N There are transition sentences between the topic sentence and the first quote and between quotes.

Y/N Each paragraph includes at least one quote or paraphrase from a critical article. Overall, there are quotes from at least four different secondary sources. Quotes have lead-ins and correct citation format. Paraphrases are specific and correctly cited.

Y/N Every piece of information from a critical article is both explained on its own and used in conjunction with information from the primary source. Analysis supports, builds on, disagrees with, or qualifies the article; it also supports the topic sentence.

Y/N Essay is in present tense and third person. It avoids phrases such as “This quote shows” and “This shows.” It does not refer to “the reader” or “the audience.” Titles of long works are italicized and titles of short works (articles) are in quotes. Essay is free of grammatical, spelling, and other errors.

Y/N Conclusion paragraph summarizes the main ideas of the paragraph and pushes them further to draw an insightful conclusion related to the critical lens.

Y/N Works Cited page has a correctly formatted citation for all of the sources used in the paper. It is evenly double spaced with correct indentations and is in alphabetical order.

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