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Paper Writing Tricks: How to Create the First Draft


The most difficult part about writing an essay is completing a first draft. Although editing and research may be annoying to complete, the first draft is the part that generally takes the longest. In order to get this portion of the essay finished, students should use some of the following paper writing tricks.

  • Keep Organized Notes
  • One of the best ways to make draft writing easier is to keep extremely organized notes. If resource materials, quotes and statistics are easy to reach, students do not have to break their train of thought while they are writing. This makes it easier to get in the zone and complete large amounts of the document at a single time.

  • Consider Skipping the Introduction
  • Often, people get stuck on writing the introduction before they have ever started writing the remainder of the essay. If the introduction is too daunting to create at first, students can skip it. They can always return and write the introduction afterward. This same technique works for any paragraphs throughout the essay that the student cannot phrase immediately. Students should just make a note that reminds them to return to the essay later on.

  • Wait to Fix Anything
  • The first draft is supposed to have errors or structure problems in it. Instead of agonizing over each word choice, students should just move on. If they feel like they will forget about the error during editing, the spot can always be circled with a red pen. The important thing to remember is to avoid focusing on the small details. Later on, everything will be fixed during editing and proofreading.

  • Set Goals
  • For longer essays or thesis papers, students should always set a goal for the amount that they want to write each day. The goal does not have to be particularly large and actually works better if it is smaller. A small goal is easier to manage and prevents the student from becoming daunted. Each day, the student should write at least 500 words on their first draft. They must keep in mind that they will still need several days at the end to devote to proofreading and final changes.

  • Make an Outline
  • Especially for longer papers, an outline can really speed up the writing process. By creating an outline, students know exactly which paragraph will come next. This helps to eliminate some problems associated with writer's block and also ensures that the paper has a logical order. Although it may initially take a little more time, it is well-worth the effort.

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