Here is a list of tips I check for each paragraph whenever I write anything:
- Each paragraph is about a single concrete and coherent idea
- Does the first sentence of the paragraph introduce this idea?
- Do all subsequent sentences in the paragraph further clarify the first sentence?
- Did I use transitional words to establish logical relationships between sentences?
- Did I write anything like, “Next, we …”? If so, remove. The structure of the paragraphs should flow into one another.
- Did I sequence light to heavy: so the earlier sentences that start light/succinct, follow-up with “heavy” details?
- Does the last sentence of every paragraph link it to next paragraph?
- Is the tense consistent within each paragraph (results are past tense)?
- Is it past tense only for things that you or other people did previously?
- Are there any passive tense phrases (e.g., “it can be shown”)? If so, revise to active tense.
- Any time you introduce a new concept
- Have other people discussed this concept? If so, did you use familiar notation/naming conventions? If not, have you clarifed/justified the difference?
- If you’ve introduced 1 new concept, have you used the name of that topic consistently? And did you never use any other term (to bury the concept in their mind)?
- When introducing a novel concept/word/equation/notation/etc., did you explain it before usage, rather than after (else the reader will not understand when reading it, and we don’t want that)?
See this youtube video for details.
I realize this is actually 12 things to check. I’m ok with that.