Have you --------------?
1 spell checked the whole paper?
2 rewritten your paper at least three times?
3 stopped working on your paper for a day?
To see and hear your words better when you look at it again.
4 put your main point into your title?
5 put your most significant findings first? Your gold first?
6 made it easy for readers to tell from your title and your abstract what is new and important about your work?
7 made sure all your verbs and subjects match?
Plural verbs have plural subjects? Singular verbs have singular subjects?
8 spelled the same name exactly the same way throughout your paper?
NOT “Bragg. . . .Brag”
BUT BRAGG every time!
9 asked a friend or a native English speaker to read your paper and tell you what’s confusing or unclear?
10 changed nouns to adjectives when necessary?
NOT “three dimension ordered array”
BUT “three dimensional ordered array”
11 used active verbs rather than passive verbs as much as possible?
NOT “The effects were investigated. . .”
BUT “We investigated the effects”
12 found a way to break a sentence that’s much too long (over 4 lines) into two sentences?
13 broken up a paragraph that is way too long into two paragraphs?
14 tried to reduce your paper to its skeleton by making a one page outline of it?
Might help you see if your paper is organized in the best possible way.
15 Made all equivalent items look the same?
NOT “scheme 1 . . . .Scheme 2”
BUT “Scheme 1. . . Scheme 2”
16 removed all contractions, such as “can’t” or “couldn’t”? and changed them to “cannot” or “could not”?
17 checked the columns of numbers in your Tables and made all the decimal points in the same column line up vertically?
18 put a noun right after “this” or “these” every time you use one of those words?
19 moved “however” away from the beginning of sentences to a spot later in a sentence where it sounds better?
20 made all your abbreviations the same?
NOT 48 hrs 3 hours 2 h five h
BUT 48 h 3 h 2 h 5 h
21 used strong definite words?
NOT “We have been interested in”
BUT “We have focused on”
22 used parallel wording where you lead your readers to expect it?
NOT “not only for fabricating. .but also for reduction”
BUT “not only for fabricating. . .but also for reducing. . .”
OR “not only for the formation of. . .but also for the elimination of. . “
Don’t mix words ending in “ing” with “ion” words.
23 proofread your paper 3 times? At least!
24 read your paper aloud to yourself?
25 Did you use “later” when you meant “latter”?
26 looked for fruit in your figure captions?
A fig is a fruit you can eat, but “Fig.” is the correct abbreviation for “Figure.” Don’t forget the period in the abbreviation.
27 proofread your references? Made sure that a journal title, no matter how often it occurs, is always spelled the same way?
28 followed the reference format for the journal you are submitting to?