For decades, NASA has used checklists to make sure astronauts don’t leave out an essential step in the complicated process of launching a rocket or initiating a spacewalk.
Likewise, multiple studies have proven the effectiveness of the checklist in hospitals—even in processes as simple as inserting an intravenous line into a patient’s arm.
Yet I suspect few writers use checklists to strengthen the quality or accuracy of our work. I certainly have turned in my share of murky copy or made my share of reporting goofs. Is it time we start using checklists routinely to remind ourselves to do the things we think we all know?
A quick search of checklists for writers turned up mostly resources for the classroom. Elementary, one might be tempted to conclude. Helpful for high school kids, maybe, but not something a pro needs.