Essay Checklist

Instructors use a check list or guidelines similar to the following to assess essays and other written work. It will be useful for you to self-assess your essay against this guideline before submitting it, and to review/revise your work in line with your assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your essay.


  • Background reading
  • Understanding of topic
  • Understanding of theoretical issues
  • Relevance of answer to question
  • Strong Introduction
  • Clear argument
  • Use of appropriate evidence
  • Analysis and evaluation
  • Appropriate Conclusion


  • Legible, well presented, neat
  • Well structured
  • Accurate spelling
  • Cohesive (flow, links between stages of argument)
  • Paragraph structure (length, organisation)
  • Appropriate use of terminology
  • Author’s names spelled correctly
  • References and bibliography
  • Strengths of this piece of work
  • Weaknesses of this piece of work
  • How this essay could be improved

Essay Checklist

  • Have I answered the question?
  • Have I covered all of the main aspects?
  • Have I covered aspects in enough depth?
  • Is the content relevant?
  • Is the content accurate?
  • Have I arranged the material logically?
  • Does the essay flow from one section to the next, and paragraph to paragraph?
  • Have I used enough sources and references?
  • Have I referenced all the sources correctly?
  • Does the essay meet the word count?
  • Have I written clearly?
  • Is the grammar, punctuation and spelling accurate?
  • Is the essay presented in line with guidelines?
  • Have I read the essay/is it coherent?
  • Have I presented a convincing case?

Further Study