Checklists for Nonfiction

ChecklistAfter you’ve written your article – after you’ve edited and revised it – before sending it along to an editor – or posting it on the Web – run it through these checklists:



Critical Questions

1. Does your lead promise the reader a specific benefit?

2. Does your lead offer a clear, specific focus?

3. Is your slant fresh and imaginative?

4. Does the body of your article flow smoothly from point to point?

5. Have you led your reader from point to point smoothly?

6. Have you supplied the right amount of information?

7. Have you supported every general statement?

8. Have you shown rather than told?

9. Have you provided a strong conclusion?



Very Important Questions

1. Have you written in active voice?

2. Have you built each sentence around a specific, active verb?

3. Have you provided each verb with a specific, tangible noun?

4. Have you used a minimum of modifiers?

5. Have you chosen the short, simple word over the long, obscure one?

6. Have you kept your sentences and paragraphs relatively short?

7. Have you cut out every unnecessary word, sentence and paragraph?

checklistonecheck200How many “yes” check marks do your recent articles earn?  Please do “speak your mind” below.


About Dana K Cassell

Hi, and welcome to our Network. I'm Dana Cassell and am the one writing most of the posts on this blog. I've been in this writing/editing business for way longer than I care to admit. My goal here is to provide you with useful insights from our professional members and from my own experience - to help you achieve your own success, grow your editorial business, and publish successful and worthy books,


  1. Dana, this is beautiful in its simplicity! Thank you very much-going out on Twitter, and then on my bulletin board.

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