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Writing Projects » Stages of Writing » Drafting

If you haven't written a draft, you may want to try writing one here, using the steps in this section.

All writers work differently and you may find that you prefer a different sequence than the one we suggest (some people, for example, write topic sentences at the start). But basically, taking the following steps, in more or less the order we have them, should get you through a full draft.

Steps in Drafting.

Step 1 Develop your main idea
Step 2 Consider your audience
Step 3 Discover your strategy using key words
Step 4 Generate ideas by asking questions
Step 5 Generate ideas by answering your questions
Step 6 Write a draft
Step 7 Break your draft into parts
Step 8 Write your topic sentences
Step 9 Organize: connect and arrange your sections
Step 10 Support your ideas: facts, examples, details, and more
Step 11 Work on your paragraph structure
Step 12 Write or rewrite your thesis
Step 13 Write your introduction
Step 14 Write your conclusion
Step 15 Revise your full draft

If you have already written a first draft, move on to revising.

Note: If you'd like, you can begin by printing out one of your responses from getting started. You may have written an outline or started with freewriting or just jotted down some notes. Keep the outline, freewriting, or any notes next to you and refer to them as you work.

Step 1: Develop Your Main Idea

Some people like to write the thesis statement for their papers before they begin writing. Others wait until they've finished the body of the paper. Either way, it's a good idea to have a rough idea of your main idea before you begin.

Forgot what a thesis is? If so, click here.
Want more help writing a thesis statement? If so, click here.

We have an example of a draft written by Andrea, a CUNY student. You can check out her work as you work through each step. Click the image at right to see how Andrea explained her main idea.

Write one or two sentences that explain the the main idea, or if you want, write a complete thesis statement in the box below:

See how Andrea did it
See how Andrea explained her main idea.

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