Some of you have begun to work on your second (final) draft of your argumentative essay. Here are some things you need to make sure you do before you submit it.

When to Write Your Final Draft

You may start typing your final draft after you and I have had a conference about your first draft. In this meeting, I will evaluate your thesis, the evidence you have to support it, and your conclusions. I will make some suggestions for improvement in the areas of ideas and organization, but I will leave conventions (grammar, punctuation, spelling, and usage) for you to check.

How to Format Your Draft

  • Set the font style to Times New Roman, and set the size to 12 point. Spacing should be set at 1.5.
  • Type your name, period, date, and the words Final Draft in the top left corner, with each bit of information on its own line (you’ll have 4 lines).
  • Press Enter twice. Type and center your title. Press Enter two more times, then click left-justify. Use this setting for the rest of the text.

Please note:

  1. You should not use any other style or font size on your paper.
  2. Do not bold anything.

You can print or email your essay. If you want to email it, please send it to

Evidence and MLA Inline Citations

Remember that paragraphs supporting your thesis need to follow the claim-evidence-reasoning pattern. The claim is what you believe to be true (Students should wear uniforms to school), and the evidence supports that claim (studies show that female students do better in science if they attend a school that requires uniforms).

Evidence must be referenced by parenthetical (inline) citations. Click here to see an example.

You must also have a works cited section that follows your essay. It does not need to be a separate page, but it needs to be at least four spaces from the end of your text. Click here to see an example.

Final Draft Checklist

  1. An introductory paragraph
    1. Sufficient background information
    2. A thesis formatted according to the concession-thesis-reasons model
  2.  At least 3 body paragraphs in which you further explain your reasons for believing in your thesis. For each reason you must
    1. Use outside sources, such as those found on the Internet
    2. Cite those source per MLA guidelines (see above)
  3. For an argumentative essay, write a conclusion that suggests action.
  4. For an expository essay, write a conclusion that neatly sums up your most important point (or answers the question posed by the thesis). Try to end with a point that encourages further thinking about the topic.
  5. A Works Cited page (see above)
  6. The essay is at least 300 words long (unless otherwise specified).
  7. The essay is prepared according to the formatting guidelines shown above.
  8. The essay exhibits good use of grammar and spelling.

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