What is Drafting?

Drafting is the actual writing of your document. In most cases, the drafting stage begins before you sit down to write your paper. When you engage in prewriting activities and sketch out a thesis, you are well on your way to creating a draft. If you are conducting research for your paper, you are contributing to your rough draft as you take notes.

In order to move most effectively from your thesis to your draft, you’ll want to keep your topic, purpose, and audience, in mind. Try completing the sentence: “In this paper, my primary purpose is to show that... .” In many cases, everything that comes after the word “that” can serve as your thesis statement. You can later revise this sentence to be less formulaic.

You’ll also want to think about the general arrangement of your ideas in order to create an effective draft. Most essays are organized into three distinct parts:

  1. The introduction announces the subject, draws readers’ attention and interest, and indicates the essay’s specific purpose and main point. The thesis statement is usually included in the introduction.
  2. The body consists of a series of paragraphs with topic sentences and details that support the essay’s overall thesis.
  3. The conclusion provides readers with a sense of completion by wrapping up the essay and restating the thesis. The conclusion may summarize the essay’s main points, elaborate on the significance of the thesis, and give writers something to think about.

One of the keys to successful drafting is flexibility. You may want to focus on your introduction first or start by sketching out the body paragraphs. Either way, be sure to pay most attention to presenting the point of your paper (your purpose), to developing your ideas (your support), and to connecting these ideas to each other (your organization). While drafting, pay less attention to stylistic and mechanical matters -- you can address these matters in the revision stage.