How to Spot a Final Draft

Print Lesson


SWBAT evaluate their writing to determine if they are ready to submit their final draft.

Big Idea

How do students know when they are finished with an essay? What constitutes a final draft?


11 of 11


This lesson is the last in series of lessons on writing an evaluative essay.  My objective in this lesson was to help students finalize revisions and use a checklist to complete their final edits. 

Making Edits

25 minutes

Today the students come in with the peer review comments their partner made the day before. They review the comments and begin making their final edits to their papers.  For most of the students, their rough drafts have are really a second or third draft as I've worked with them individually to establish and support their ideas.  At this point they need to read what each other has done to get a better understanding of their own work. It's important for students to have a clear understanding of what they are writing about before they read another students papers, and I think my students are at this point.

I encourage them to work as partners with their papers, and to solicit help from classmates as well as myself. I move around the room answering questions and reading snippets from the students papers. I will not look at their paper until they make a specific request as to what they want me to look at. Sometimes I have them go back to their peer-review remarks. 

Final Checklist

30 minutes

Before students can truly "hand in" their final draft I have them complete this editing and proofreading checklist.  I use it to slow students down a little and make them go back and look one last time at their work.  Often it will help them catch mistakes they would otherwise overlook. 

Examples of Student Work

Here are some examples of student work


Student #1 - Student has an adequate introduction and a thesis that clearly states a position; criteria are clear and universal and evidence is provided to support ideas.


Student #2  - Student has strong introduction and conclusion but criteria are biased and very little evidence supports ideas.  


Student # 3 - provides almost no introduction, lacks a thesis statement and does not specifically reference the play, but rather addresses the criteria generally. Grammar and spelling detract from the ideas which have no specific evidence to support them.