Types of Face-to-Face Paper Readings

Click on the types of paper readings below to learn more about them.

What is a final draft paper reading?

This type focuses on the manuscript format, content, correctness of expression, and documentation style of ungraded papers.

This reading is the most common type of paper reading requested by both students and their professors.

What is a grammar check?

This type focuses only on the ungraded paper's correctness of expression (language/grammar, word choice, punctuation, capitalization, spelling, sentence construction, etc.).

What is a group paper reading?

This type is just like a Final Draft Paper Reading, except this type is for group papers.  Group papers are those to which multiple students contribute.

All group members must be present so that the paper reader can ask any or all of you about the content of the paper.

What is a paper tutoring?

This type is for graded papers only.  It focuses on understanding and/or revising the features of a graded paper that have been identified by the instructor.


What is a paper revision?

This type focuses on revising and/or rewriting an ungraded or graded paper, particularly papers to which instructors have responded, "Take this paper to the Writing Lab."

Be sure to bring your graded paper if you have one.

What is a documentation check?

This type focuses on helping you with MLA, APA, Turabian, or other documentation formats.  This type also focuses on your title page; parenthetical documentation or footnotes; and the Works Cited page, Bibliography, or References list.

What is a paper-in-progress reading?

This type is essentially a brainstorming session that focuses on helping you organize a paper, incorporate cited research material, and/or format the Works Cited or References page.

Bringing all of your sources and your professor's instructions is crucial for this type of paper reading.

Bring a printed, double-spaced copy of what you have written so far.

This type of reading might not fulfill a professor's paper reading requirement. Check your syllabus or ask your professor.

What is a paper-in-progress brainstorming?

This type focuses on brainstorming, or taking the writer from the invention stage of writing the paper to drafting a skeletal outline or first draft.

Bringing all of your sources and your professor's instructions is crucial for this type of paper reading.

You do not have to bring a copy of your paper to this type of paper reading; you might not have a paper at all.

Neither you nor the paper reader will type the paper during this appointment; the outline will be hand-written as you go along. 

This type might not fulfill a professor's paper reading requirement, so check your syllabus or ask your professor.

What do paper readers check?

Generally speaking, paper readers check for


  • fulfillment of the professor's assignment 
  • a clear focus
  • a logically stated and developed thesis with sufficient supporting detail
  • consistent topic sentences for body paragraphs
  • economic, effective transitions 
  • an introduction, a body, and a conclusion

Correctness of Expression

  • correct, effective, and appropriate language 
  • well-formed sentences
  • standard practices of formal written English:  spelling, grammar and usage, word choice, capitalization, punctuation, and sentence construction

Documentation Style

  • correct, consistent use of a standard documentation format (MLA, APA, AP, Chicago/Turabian, etc.)
  • correct spacing, margins, and fonts