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20 Minutes to Polish Your Academic Paper: Checklist for a Final Countdown



Academic writing is a domain where none of mistakes is for free. Every technical omission costs extra time, money, nerves and even a client.


However, with all those late night revisions, simultaneous urgent orders or just those days when everything tends to go wrong, it’s easy to lose a grip for a moment and leave a few aspects unnoticed. A well-known scenario, right?


What if we told you that with a special checklist from EssayLancers and just 20 minutes of pre-submission time you can eliminate all those setbacks and deliver a perfect paper sample?


Devote the last 20 minutes before the submission to the points in this checklist and save tons of nerves, hours of revision debates and good relationship with a client. Consider this checklist as a final countdown which leads you to a smooth submission with a predestined success.

Target: Cited Authors and Reference List Match

Time to submission: 20 minutes

Time required: 5 minutes


Every cited author should be mentioned in the reference list, and every reference should find its place within the paper’s body. If - in the turmoil of adding last adjustments - you violate this rule, you might be accused of plagiarism, which is not a scenario you would like to live through.


To make this check fast, go from top to bottom and Ctrl+F each cited author you see, press “Find further” till it hits the end of your paper and you see it in references. Mark the entry bold, and start all over again, with the next cited author. If you did everything right, in 5 minutes, all referenced entries will be bold. If something is not, you didn’t cite an author inside the document.

Target:  Double Spell and Grammar Check

Time to submission: 15 minutes

Time required: 5 Minutes


Even if you know significantly all the rules, you can miss mistakes in a rush.  To stay on the safe side, spend 5 minutes for the final editing. We suggest you use  SpellCheckPlus, a winner in our spell and grammar checking battle, or 1Checker, which impressed us the most in our “Proofreading Tools Contest.” Even if you have checked for mistakes during writing, final check-up will allow spotting mistakes snuck with the last minute adjustments. If you have more than 5 minutes for this, make a use of this guide on the trickiest grammar traps.

Target: Cited Digital Resources

Time to submission: 10 minutes

Time required: 4 minutes


Pay attention to the up-to-date resources (social media, youtube) as well. It became legit to use them in academic papers, especially when it comes to essays on Social or Media Studies. Check citations and references with the updates from MLA and APA Formatting and Style Guide.

Target: UK and US Academic English

Time to submission: 6 minutes

Time required: 3 minutes


If writing, write classy. Only junior writers use American English instead of British. Sometimes, advanced authors get trapped by the wrong settings in Word. Apply the US or UK English to provide your client with a professional result. Adjust Word settings accordingly to your client’s demands and check the text. When the deadline allows you, make a deeper analysis based on the advanced rules we have covered in our webinar “The Differences between UK and U.S. English”.

Target: Authorship and Other Personal Details:

Time to submission: 3 minutes

Time required: 1 minute


Experienced teachers try to catch students on cheating, checking such a hidden Word’s feature as authorship. Pay attention to this issue and delete all personal details from the document the following way: File>Options> Personalize your copy of Microsoft Office.

Target: History of Changes and Comments

Time to submission: 2 minutes

Time required: 1 minute


Your comments need to be gone before you submit a final draft, especially if you are an ESL author and make notes in your native language. Delete all the comments and additional stuff. If you fail to do so, the assignment might be declined, which makes your work not only effortless but pernicious as well. Spend a minute for the following procedure:

Review>Delete>Delete or Delete All Comments.  

Target: File’s Name and Order Number

Time to submission: 1 minute

Time required: 1 minute


It might seem a small technical issue, but if you pay attention to the Terms and Conditions of the academic writing website, you will find out that mistakes made in the order’s name and number might cause a fine starting from 10% of the assignment’s cost.  As it is a common practice to use a previous order as a template not to rack your brain over the formatting, pay the utmost attention to the file’s name and number before submission.


Ready! Steady! Submit!


Good luck!



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