Drafting is the second step of the writing process, during which the writer puts their ideas and thoughts into complete sentences and paragraphs. With prewriting and planning already done, at this stage you need to expand your notes into a cohesive text, develop your ideas, and support them with arguments and examples (Johnson 160). Start with analyzing your prewriting notes, focus on structure rather than quality, and try to develop your ideas in the most logical way to make your first draft process smoother and more efficient.
The first step in starting a draft is the analysis of your prewriting notes. It helps to determine the focus of your paper, identify its purpose, and establish the main idea. Look through your notes and try to organize them in a sequence that will make sense to the reader and help you communicate your arguments in the most convincing way. In the course of writing, the structure that you set up for your paper will lead you through the process and prevent you from drifting away.
After the general outline of the paper is established, you can move on to the actual writing. Remember that your draft does not need to be perfect. At this stage, you are writing to get your ideas down and structure your thoughts, not for precise language and sentence structure. Do not worry about spelling, grammar, and punctuation, and do not edit your draft as you write it; you will be able to do it in the revision stage. If you start editing your draft as you write it, it will slow you down and make you lose your train of thought.
As you write your draft, try to focus mainly on organization. Write in paragraphs and make logical connections between topics and ideas. Smooth transition between paragraphs is important in creating a cohesive text regardless of the topic. Use your prewriting notes, but remember that you do not need to follow them too closely. As you write, your initial ideas will become clearer and more concise as you start to organize and develop your thoughts. Your prewriting notes will guide you throughout the process, but you should not be afraid to make additions and adjustments when needed.
Development is another important part of the drafting process. In your draft, you need to expand the ideas and examples that you wrote down at the prewriting stage and turn them into complete sentences and paragraphs. The easiest way to organize this process is to start each paragraph with a topic sentence for your idea and then use the examples to build the body of the paragraph. In this way, your paper will follow a logical structure, with each argument supported by evidence.
Essentially, drafting is the process of organized writing that is based on your prewriting outline. The draft should establish the paper’s structure and direction but be loose enough to not confine new thinking. Focus on your arguments and line of thought as you write, do not pay attention to mistakes, and try to follow the outline while allowing room for new ideas. Remember that you can make more than one draft, with each next draft improving and expanding the previous. After your draft is finished, you can move on to the process of editing to correct the mistakes and prepare the final version of your paper.
Johnson, Andrew. Academic Writing: Process and Product. Rowman & Littlefield, 2016.