Writing with style

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Stage 2: Drafting

Once you have planned out your ideas, the next step is to start drafting, or writing. As you write, keep referring back to your notes and the plan that you determined in stage 1, but don’t be afraid to change the plan when needed. During the drafting stage, you should concentrate on organizing your information logically, and developing your topic with enough detail for your audience and purpose. (see Organizing Writing for more on organizing and developing your ideas).

As you work, keep the following things in mind:
Drafts are for the writer:
Our brain processes information as we write things down. You will find yourself making connections and discovering new ideas as you are writing your first drafts. When this happens, you should go back to the planning stage (stage 1) to work in these new ideas. You may even need to change your thesis or the angle you are taking on the topic.
Drafts are not perfect:
Because you are really drafting for yourself, to understand your ideas and put them into words, you might be unhappy with your early results. Don’t agonize over every word and sentence because you’ll give yourself writer’s block! You will never send off a draft to your audience without at least SOME sort of revision or at least editing. Just get some words down on paper even if they sound silly or awkward. You can always go back and fix it later – that’s what revision is for.
Drafting takes time:

The more complicated your writing task is, the more time you should allow yourself for drafting. As you discover new ideas and connections, you need the time to incorporate them into your plan! Don’t procrastinate, and don’t feel that you have to finish your whole paper in one sitting.

Save your drafts
Writing early drafts on the computer makes revising and editing much easier.

Save all your drafts because you might come back to ideas you previously discarded.

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