Before you begin to draft, it can be helpful to create an outline to help you organize your thoughts. You can refer to the prewriting if you have organized thoughts already using a prewriting strategy, such as mapping. The important thing is to list out your main ideas, including your thesis, to help you visualize where you are going with your essay. An outline will also help you see before you begin drafting if your ideas will support your thesis.
The actual writing occurs after you have a focus and enough information to support that focus. Drafting involves making choices about how much information to offer and what information to put where. Your outline will be a guide, but you may find that you need to revise the order once you begin drafting.
Consider the following points as you draft:
- Is there enough information to provide evidence for your assertions? If not, circle back to gathering information.
- Is there a basic idea that needs to be offered first so that readers understand subsequent ideas?
- Are there related ideas that logically should be grouped together?
- Are there some ideas that are more important than others and, if so, what is the best place in the writing to emphasize those ideas?
- Are there logical linkages between ideas, so readers don’t get lost moving from one idea to the next?
Drafting consists of building the paragraphs of your writing and linking them together. And, remember, your draft you create at this point is not your final draft. There are additional steps of the writing process to consider before you are ready to submit your work.