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Writing Center

Drafting

Drafting is the step when you actually begin “writing” the words of your paper. The more time you put into the prewriting and organizing steps, the easier this third step is. Drafting is difficult, but it is much easier to be clear about your ideas if you’ve already thought them through.

If you get stuck, you might try telling a friend what you’re writing about, or record yourself explaining your argument point by point. Sometimes the words come easier when you speak than when you try to commit to words to a page or computer screen.

As you write, keep in mind you will be revising. So in your first time through, try not to go back and reread, keep moving forward. Most important, don’t worry about grammar, spelling, or punctuation. Stay focused on articulating your ideas; just write them out following your organizational plan. There will be time to tidy up later.

For most writers, the challenge of the drafting step is simplifying what you do and think about, and allowing more of the tasks of writing a paper to occur during the other phases of the process.

The following suggestions will help you stay focused on just a few things at a time during the drafting step. Each step has more links for deeper investigation.