Public Relations Today

Checklist: Are You Really Ready to Submit That Paper?

Jayne Miller wrote this on Sep 14, 2015


Submitting work with Chalkup is easy. Too easy, maybe?

Before dragging and dropping that paper into your assignment window and revelling in the success notification, here is a quick checklist that will help you decide if you’re really ready to turn in your work.

Instructions: Did I Do it Properly? 

First, look back at your original assignment. Have you satisfied everything the assignment requires of you?

 Start big picture (is the content of your work on point?) and then narrow down to the smaller stuff (fonts, format, cover page, etc.) One last instruction scan can save you from submitting something that is missing a key element. 

Copyediting: Did I Do it Accurately? 

If it looks like you have all of the pieces of your assignment assembled, move to a final copyedit. Ideally, you can step away from your work and do a final read after you’ve had some time away (one of the best ways to catch errors). Or jump into Chalkup's collaboration space and have a friend be a second pair of eyes.

At the very least, run a spellcheck. If the squiggly red lines didn’t catch your attention already, it will only take you a few minutes to do a proper spelling scan. Or if you’re dealing with a shorter paper and have a little extra time, try reading your paper backwards. It’s a great way to force yourself to focus on each word and will make it easier to spot any errors.

Sources: Did I Give Credit? 

Using information from someone else? You’ll want to source that. Before you hand anything in, double check that you’ve given credit everywhere credit is due via a works cited page, an internal citation, or a simple in-text attribution (“according to….”).

Formatting: Does it Look Good? 

Did your instructor have any formatting instructions? 1 inch margins? Cover page? Font preferences? Double check before you turn in something double-spaced (that definitely shouldn’t be.)

If you have the freedom to turn in something of your own design, know that the devil is in the details. Stick to font classics like Arial, Baskerville, Helvetica, or Garamond. Get a consistent margin going and consider 1.5 spacing instead of doubling. You can add some major professional flair by crafting a clean-looking final product.

Word Choice: Does it Sound Good? 

The cherry on top is double-checking that you sound your very best. I mean, there are 200 ways to say “went.”  Maybe there are a few words in your paper that could be replaced with something more thoughtful.

Does this mean you should sit in front of a thesaurus to find fancier synonyms for all of your adjectives? Absolutely not. But you can jumpstart your creative juices with a list of powerful words to use and see if something naturally fits with the prose you’ve already crafted.


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Topics: Student Engagement, Chalkup