In this small assignment, you will review your instructor’s feedback on your draft (after it has been graded, of course) and reflect on the improvements you want to make. Since every essay could always be better, please review your draft critically and consider your priorities to revise and improve.

Afterward, submit a paragraph or more explaining your plans to incorporate your instructor’s suggestions and revise the paper for the final draft.

Optional: If necessary, message your instructor with any questions you have about their feedback on the draft or any additional questions you have about the assignment.

Remember: If you submit the same draft unchanged for the final draft, you won’t receive any credit. The course requires that you revise and improve your essay. The final version is scored more critically than the draft. So, keep in mind that 100% on the draft doesn’t mean 100% on the final version!

Review the following as you consider how to revise your Synthesis Essay:

MLA Citations

The proper order for MLA citations may vary depending on the source type (e.g., book, journal article, website). However, here is a general order for the elements you mentioned:

  1. Author names
  2. Article title (in quotation marks for journal articles, italicized for books)
  3. Publication title (in italics for journal articles, books, or websites)
  4. Volume number (for journal articles)
  5. Issue number (if applicable, for journal articles)
  6. Year of publication
  7. Page numbers (for journal articles or specific sections in books)
  8. Database name (for online sources accessed through a database, such as academic journals)
  9. URL or DOI (preferred for online sources)


28 Proofreading Tips

  1. Read the instructions. Follow them!
  2. Be certain that you understand the topic.
  3. Be certain your research directly applies to your topic.
  4. Make sure you haven’t missed important research by failing to search for related terms.
  5. Focus on the topic rather than all the surrounding issues.
  6. Edit out extraneous summaries, especially in the first paragraph. Dive right in!
  7. Brief, focused paragraphs.
  8. Add appropriate transitions between topics.
  9. Organize topics carefully.  Please note that you may further adjust the order to fit your specific needs or preferences.
  10. Add subheadings.
  11. Review essay organization; consider each topic once, and try to avoid being redundant.
  12. Offer specific details, such as statistics from official government sources.
  13. Explain abbreviations and technical terms from studies.
  14. Fill out the conclusion, including what you learned from your research.
  15. Soften overstatements, exaggerations, and hyperbole.
  16. Avoid grandstanding or sermonizing; just summarize experts’ research as published in academic journals.
  17. Attribute all claims to an expert, scholarly source.
  18. Try to use active verbs, instead of needless “Forms of Be” (“affects,” not “does affect”).
  19. Try to use the rhetorical principles of logos (specific details), which creates ethos (credibility), leading to pathos — an emotional impact for your readers.
  20. Review for clarity.
  21. Read aloud to polish phrasing.
  22. Review for grammar, punctuation, capitalization, and other typos.
  23. Review the title. Is it engaging? Any typos?
  24. Vary common terms throughout (e.g., workers, laborers, patients, consumers, etc. instead of only “people”).
  25. Rephrase the thesis in the form of a question(s), if helpful. Answer the question(s) in your essay to follow!
  26. Underline your thesis statement!
  27. Always triple-check your first few lines for spelling or other errors.
  28. End with a bit of pathos and a zinger!