Writing the first draft on your essay, article or research paper is definitely one of the hardest parts of the writing process. Imagine you’re taking the essay part of your final exam. You write one or two lines (or almost a whole paragraph) and then suddenly you want to delete it feeling like it doesn’t express the idea that you want to deliver. Before you know it, you almost wasted a big chunk of your time. Only able to write just the opening of your article and the time is up. If you’ve ever been in this situation, here are some tips on writing your first draft:
1. Set your goals.
Do you need to write a 1,000-word journal? Or submit your creative writing paper tomorrow? Whatever it is that you have to accomplish, setting and writing down your goals will help you track how you’re doing. It keeps you focused and systematic. Just set a time frame for your writing, determine how you want to treat the article, and identify who your target audiences are.
2. Create your outline.
Some writing formats like theses, research papers, and scientific journals already have structured outlines or headings that you need to follow. However, essays and other formats also require careful planning to keep paragraphs after paragraphs coherent.
3. Gather your resources.
The more you know about the subject you’re writing about, the more you will be able to provide facts, use the correct terms of reference and write well about it. So once you have written your outline, gather all your resources. Online articles, printed material, audio-visual files, or even your own personal experiences can be a great source for your writing project.
4. Just write it down.
One important tip on how to write your first draft is to just focus on writing it. Trying to keep every line perfect will just consume too much of your time. Remember, that is just your first rough draft. Just let your ideas flow. Don’t worry about putting intricate details as you can do it later when you edit it.
5. Take a break.
When you finish your first draft, take a break. Sitting in front of your computer for hours can make your eyes and mind tired so you need to refresh. Before you start editing, you can have a quick walk, stretch or a nap to clear your mind. This will give you also some time to think over the topic. And be able to see other perspectives that can help improve your article.
See? Writing your first draft doesn’t have to be hard. With these tips, you can conquer any writing tasks smoothly. Want more tips on how to navigate college? Check out our Study Hacks section. What advice do you have to give to your fellow students about writing? Think you’re down to give blogging a go? Get a word out there! Sign up to be a student contributor to the Edukasyon.ph blog!