Skip Nav

How to Use an Outline to Write a First Draft

Character Worksheets

❶When you finish the first draft, you will know which sections and paragraphs work and which might need to be changed. Why are you writing it?

Table of contents

Order of first draft priorities
Writer's Digest Magazine
Example of Formal Outline

It will present the material to convince your reader of the validity of your thesis. This is important because the body paragraphs are the core of the essay. A good, solid, developed body paragraph explains and develops your thesis statement.

Topic Sentence The topic sentence provides focus by presenting the point the body paragraph will deal with, and usuallly appears at the beginning of the paragraph. This point will be something to support the thesis. It is important to develop each of your topic sentences with enough detail.

Supporting Detail Supporting details involve all the information that explains the idea presented in the topic sentence. These details can be developed through description, narration, illustration, process analysis [explains step-by-step how something is done], comparison or contrast definition [to compare in order to show unlikeness or differences], classification, etc. Pitfalls to Avoid Avoid one or two sentence paragraphs.

These are seen in business writing; however in academic essays an average length body paragraph ranges from sentences, you want to have fully developed body paragraphs. Avoid ending a paragraph with a new idea.

Avoid repeating the same idea in different ways. Avoid including more than one idea in a body paragraph. Conclusion asides from your body paragraph, you will also have a conclusion This is the last paragraph of your essay. It leaves the reader with an overall reaction. It summarizes the main ideas of the essay.

Gives the reader something to think about. It looks back or looks ahead. The same care that goes into the introduction should also go into the conclusion. It is the last impression the reader has of your essay.

Pitfalls to Avoid Avoid a conclusion that is out of proportion to the rest of your essay. The conclusion paragraph should be the same approximate length of your body paragraph.

Avoid a conclusion that is not suited to your audience, purpose, or thesis. Outlining Outlining helps organize ideas before drafting.

Outlines can be detailed or sketchy, formal or scratch. Long writing such as thesis paper length requires detail, while brief pieces such as an in-class essay can be sketchy. Example of Formal Outline. Types of Outlines Formal Outline The formal outline is the most detailed and structured outline. It allows you to plot main points and major supporting details. Generally is written in full complete sentences.

Main ideas are designated with Roman numerals. Supporting details are designated by capital letters. Points to develop further are designated by Arabic numbers. Scratch Outline Theses are generally done not with complete sentences but with fragments. Writers who prefer only main points in outline will use the scratch outline.

Writers who prefer not to use much detail will use the scratch outline. Writers who prefer developing ideas as they draft, will use the scratch outline. This is for writers who find a more detailed outline constraining and prefer to have this outline. Outline Tree It begins with an idea in the center of the trunk of the tree, and the branches will be focused off the trunk so one can see the relationships between the main idea and the sub ideas. Add additional branches as sub points. The first draft of your essay is referred to as a rough draft.

It Forms a base that can be shaped into the final product. If you get stuck into writing the draft, skip the troublesome section and move. Guidelines for Drafting If trouble arises, skip the introduction and go back to it later. The important thing is to complete the draft of the essay.

Select an idea you are comfortable with and start with that topic. You may reshape your topic to something easier to write about. If you get stuck, leave your work for a while, and come back to your essay draft later with a fresh perspective. A good start for anyone with little experience. Glad you stopped by. That is great post That is nice article on how to write an essay. Hyphenbird, Thank you for your visit and comment. What a great tutorial. Very well done indeed Faithful Daughter.

MsDonna48, I am glad to hear that this has helped you. Thank you for your comment. Faithful Daughter, This is a very helpful hub. This website uses cookies As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. This is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.

This is used to prevent bots and spam. This is used to detect comment spam. This is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. Writing a first draft. Writing a first draft Date published November 25, by Shane Bryson.

Is this article helpful? Shane Bryson Shane finished his master's degree in English literature in and has been working as a writing tutor and editor since Your essay without language mistakes?

Get help from a professional Scribbr editor. Comment or ask a question. Provide background information about the topic, including controversy, and discuss why the issue is of concern or interest. Move from the general to the specific, ending with the thesis statement.

The thesis expresses one main idea and includes how you really feel about your topic. Writers who take a clear stand have a much easier time gathering supporting evidence and proving their points. Body Paragraphs Begin with a topic sentence that tells the reader what the paragraph is about, is directly related to your thesis and repeats your view toward your topic.

Discuss only one topic per paragraph. For example, music and clothing are one topic too many for one paragraph. Back up assertions with descriptive details and research if required. Devote one paragraph to each reason. If slower reflex ability is the first reason, include two or three supporting examples, such as facts, statistics or personal experiences that report how many extra feet or time it takes to stop. Conclusion Remind readers why your topic and your views are so important.

Restate each main point taken from topic sentences and at least one example of the most significant evidence. Clearly state what is at stake and encourage the audience to take action. Marie Brown is a Nashville-based writer who has been writing professionally since She began writing instructional articles online in , writing articles about writing, business, home organizing and childcare issues.

The database based on Word Net is a lexical database for the English Language. Preparing to Write Step 1 Highlight the due date on the assignment sheet. Introduction If not assigned, imagine a reader for your paper. Things You Will Need Calendar. Tips Tips and Warnings Avoid turning in a first draft. Instead, put the essay away for a few days, and then print it out to revise. This means rethink your entire paper. Check that the thesis is located at the end of the introductory paragraph.


Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Video: Writing the Rough Draft of an Essay The writing process begins with a topic and concludes with a polished essay. One of the crucial stages in the middle is the rough draft.

Privacy FAQs

Diagram: Place your main idea/thesis (essay topic and your view toward the topic) at the top of the page. From the top to bottom of the page, draw one square for each paragraph: the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.

About Our Ads

Steps for Writing a First Draft of an Essay. Take a closer look at your assignment and the topic if it was given to you by your instructor. Revise your outline as well. This is needed for your clearer understanding of the tasks you must accomplish within the draft, and to . In a reflective essay, you get to recall an event, object, or person that helped you become who you are today. This is a fun essay to write because all the material for it exists in your own head. You don’t have to research or argue. You simply offer the reader a meaningful glimpse into your life.

Cookie Info

Rejoice when it happens! Just make sure you adjust your full outline or manuscript accordingly to take new angles into account. Even if your first manuscript draft seems to be following your outline closely, periodically you’ll need to go over the rest of the outline to make adjustments and account for the growth of the plot or characters. Getting your ideas written down may be your primary goal, but crafting an outline will make your rough draft more useful as you move through the revision process.