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Writing Your First Draft


How to Prepare a Draft (Worksheet for Drafting)

Answering questions about invention and planning will also lead you to the next stage in the writing process - drafting. Drafting involves more than just writing an outline. Using the answers or plans generated from the invention stage, writers can begin to write a rough draft of the paper. A rough draft is an attempt to write the paper in final form. Rarely is this first draft suitable for a final product; writers often go through multiple drafts before finishing a paper. Answering the questions below can help define a writer's plans for drafting a paper.

Questions and Sample Answers about Drafting

Answering these questions may help writers write a rough or working draft. Because the draft is not necessarily the final step in the writing process, writers need not worry about getting everything perfect in the first draft. While these questions help keep important elements in mind, changes and corrections are easier to make in the revision stage.

Organization
Q. How can the paragraphs and sections of information be ordered so that the paper is easy to understand?
A. I will divide the paper into the following sections: history, current methods, new methods, best method. A tree diagram may help me organize this visually[1].

Support
Q. What examples/data do you need to include in the paper?
A. See Tree Diagram. History from 1970-1995, current methods include lawn pro chemical treatments. New methods include manicuring techniques.

Q. What form of documentation do you need to use[4]?
A. MLA, APA, Chicago Style?

Q. Are you using the correct form of documentation?
A. I know how to complete the bibliography, but I don't know how to use in-text citations. Help!

Design
Q. What overall visual design would be most effective for the paper? (headings, font/size, sections of text) How can you visually display examples and data? (graphs, tables, charts)
A. I will use headings for each of the larger sections. I have a couple of tables to include in the text. I may insert them in a wrap-around style. I haven't decided yet.

[1] See "Tree Diagram Showing the Hierarchical Organization of a Report" in Paul Anderson's text Technical Writing: A Reader-Centered Approach 3rd ed. New York: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1995.

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