Writing a Draft

Easter is just around the corner and you are probably looking forward to the final write-up of your dissertation. Have you got a complete draft yet? How does it transform from this to a final, polished essay? Read on to find out!

What To Do With Your Draft

First things first, get the thing written! Don’t procrastinate for ages, just get on and start writing. Remember that you can always improve it and that your first draft is only ever going to be a rough sketch of the final essay. If you think that your first draft is all you are going to need- think again! The whole point of having plenty of time to complete your work is that you come back to your ideas, revising and refining them as you go along!

Process

Step One- Delete

Once you have a complete draft, go back over what you have written. First of all, look for any sentences that waffle or repeat something you have said before. Literally cross them out with a red pen. It’s honestly worth printing out your work as it can be hard to visualise the whole structure of a large piece of work on a computer.

Step Two- Rewrite

Look for ways in which things could be said more precisely. Try to be as concise as possible and make sure that each step of your argument flows on logically to the next. It can help to take notes on the structure of your argument as you go along.

Step Three- Check

Go through and make sure all your references are correctly formatted (see your University guidelines for this) and that everything you have mentioned in your essay is also featured in your reference list. It may be dull, but it’s a great way to pick up extra marks!

Step Four- Check Again!

Read your essay through several times on paper. Make notes and corrections as you go along. Try starting from the end and reading it backwards, a sentence at a time. The biggest cause of errors being missed is the writer being too familiar with the content. Reading your essay backwards can make it seem new again. This helps you to spot mistakes more easily.

Step Five- Check for the Final Time

Before submitting, make sure you get someone else to read it through. If you can’t rope in a friend, then why not submit it to a professional proofreader, who can give you the benefit of their experience?

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