PlanningWithKids.com suggests some basic proofreading and editing items on its checklist, such as making sure there is a beginning, middle and an end, double checking that subjects and verbs match tenses, and that there is not too much repetition of words or phrases. Other basic proofreading items include making sure the writing flows and that there are paragraphs.
Ashford University divides it checklist into five areas. The editing area pertaining to the overall paper includes making sure the assignment is followed correctly, that the hook is interesting and there is a strong thesis statement in the opening paragraph. Body paragraphs, according to this checklist, need to be focused on a single topic and transition from one topic to the next smoothly. The conclusion paragraph needs to sum it all up.
Citations asks for correct use of in-text citations and quotations. Voice and style, also on the checklist, asks if the writing is appropriate for the audience and about the flow of the paper. Format needs to be correct depending on the style of the paper. The writer needs to make sure there is a cover page, correct indentations and a reference list of some sort, such as a Works Cited page.
Finally, the checklist asks about proofreading grammar and spelling errors, which are not always caught with spell check.