Upper School Writing Standards
Use the following check list as a guide for every paper that you write at Sayre, for every class, from math to French to biology to history to English. Individual teachers may alter these expectations on individual assignments:
___1. Do you have a point? (a thesis, a hypothesis?)
Virtually always this point should be stated in the first paragraph, and referred to
regularly throughout your paper.
___ 2. Is your paper organized?
Some arrangements of arguments are from strongest to weakest, weakest to
strongest, chronological, sequential ... and many more.
Standard organizational form is the following:
___ a. Introduction
___ b. Supporting Arguments (several paragraphs)
___ c. Conclusion
___ 3. Do you have lots of evidence?
___ 4. Is each item of your evidence discussed, evaluated, and tied into your point?
____5. Is all of your evidence cited?
"Cited" means "referred to." Do you say where you have gotten each of your
pieces of evidence?
Two standard forms of citation are the following:
___ a. In-text citation (mentioned in the text of your paper, in
parentheses, footnotes, or end notes)
___ b. End citation (presented at the end of your paper, in a "Works Cited" list,
also referred to as a bibliography)
___ 6. Did you revise?
___ a. Read aloud. Does the paper flow smoothly?
___ b. All evidence cited?
___ c. Sentences complete?
___ d. Paragraphing in order?
___ e. Spell-checked?
___7. Did you include transitions?
Does one idea connect to the next? Did you include transitional words like also,
therefore, too, but, however, nevertheless, still?
Every paper you hand in at Sayre Upper School involving research, from an analysis of a novel to a researched lab report to a full-blown research paper should, at a minimum, include the following items. Individual teachers may add, subtract, or revise this list as necessary.
___ 1. Name and Date
___ 2. Check List (this form, checked off)
___ 3. Title
___ 4. Citations ( specific information about where ideas have come from)
Citations may take the form of parentheses, footnotes, or end notes.
See "How to Cite" in the Research and Writing section of this website.
___ 5. Works Cited List (Bibliography)
See "How to Cite" examples in the Research and Writing section of this website.
___ 6. Proofreading
___ a. Revision as necessary (try reading paper aloud)
___ b. Complete sentences
___ c. Paragraphing
___ d. Spell-checking
___ 7. Honor Pledge and signature.