The Final Draft
In truth there are no final drafts, only final deadlines, so as you complete the last draft you will be able to do before your deadline, return to your original assignment and goals for the response assignment. Think one last time about your audience. Have you responded to the assignment and its implicit audience?
Review your thesis. Is it clearly stated? Do all of your supporting points really support your thesis? What method of response did you select-agree/disagree, interpret/analyze, critique/review? What forms of evidence or support did you choose to use in addition to the text itself-personal experience, additional sources?
Take a final look at your level of amplification. Did you say enough? Is there proper balance among the parts, or are the proportions right for the points you are making? Did you sequence these points to maximum effect?
How about sentences and paragraphs? Are your paragraphs unified and coherent? Do they all contribute to your points? Are your sentences varied and emphatic? Does each contribute to the paragraph to which it belongs? What about proofreading? Did you use the spell check function on your word processing software and then follow up with a rereading to catch words spell check misses? How about punctuation? Have you gone back over your draft and considered the patterns of mechanical error you typically have problems with and attempted to correct them? If you have printed out your final draft and it's due in ten minutes, pencil in changes rather than turn in a paper that has errors. Most of your professors would rather see that you've attempted to make corrections than see a pristinely typed, though uncorrected manuscript.