Questions you can use to focus your consultation

Use the questions below to get a better understanding of what is and is not working in your paper before your consultation. If you consider what is not working, you can give the consultant specific instructions and receive better feedback. Also, using these questions will give you a sense of what language to use when talking to a writing consultant about your paper.

Ideas, Analysis, and Critical Thinking

  • Do your ideas follow logically and build on each other?
  • How do you show the connection between the various pieces of evidence that you provide?
  • Is the difference between opinion and evidence clear?
  • Do you demonstrate effective comprehension, application, synthesis, analysis, and evaluation as needed?

Presentation of Evidence and Support

  • Are key elements of the thesis supported with sufficient evidence?
  • Are ideas explained and supported with specific evidence such as examples, facts, statistics, descriptions, and/or anecdotes?
  • Do some points remain vague?

Organization (Structure, Coherence)

  • Does your essay have an introduction, a body of well-planned paragraphs, and a conclusion?
  • How do the body paragraphs address the main points and divisions or implications of the thesis?
  • Are transitions between paragraphs and topics clear?
  • Do you devote the same amount of time, space, and weight to each section?

Citation and Quotation Use

  • Do you dialogue with the ideas and assumptions expressed or implied in other texts?
  • Are sources presented fairly and completely through summary, paraphrase, or direct quotation?
  • Are your words and ideas distinguishable from those of other sources?
  • Are your sources documented properly?

Sentence Structure

  • Do you use a variety of simple, compound, and complex sentences, both short and long?

Word Choice and Economy

  • Do you use a variety of words, or are some repeated frequently?
  • Do you use words that accurately express your meaning?
  • Have you eliminated colloquial expressions and cliches?
  • Have you avoided the ambiguity of simple pronouns, such as "this," "that," and "those" when they refer to a previous sentence?

Conclusion

  • Does your conclusion summarize the key pieces of evidence you have used to support your thesis?
  • Have you restated your thesis with varied wording?
  • Do you end the paper with an answer to the question "So what?"