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Academic Writing

Writing a Draft


Writing is often challenging for many students because they are trying to do two things at once: putting ideas down on paper and writing in a more formal manner that they may not be familiar with (Grunwald, n.d.).

If you already created an outline for your essay, it would be easier for you to further develop your ideas and include supporting information found from your research. In your first draft:

  • Print out a copy of your outline or have it opened on another screen, if it's helpful.
  • Focus on expressing the ideas roughly into the paper.
  • Don't worry too much about wording, grammar, and spelling. You can revise and edit your essay once you have a rough draft.
  • Move on to another section or paragraph—or even take a break—if you get stuck. Return to it later.
  • Review the thesis statement or purpose of your essay from time to time to help you stay focused in your writing.
  • Leave the re-organization of ideas after you complete the draft. It's be easier for you to see their logical sequence and relationships when you can review them from start to finish.
  • Add or remove an idea from your outline if needed. Remember that an outline is made to provide guidance, not to restrict your thought processes and writing.
  • Include summaries, paraphrases and/or quotations from your research to support your arguments. Include an in-text citation for each information piece to help you keep track of the sources and create your reference list at the end.

In the next section on the Anatomy of a paper, you will learn more about how to write a thesis statement, create a strong introduction and conclusion, and develop supporting paragraphs.

*Photo source: Hannah Grace on Unsplash

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