How to Write a Rough Draft
When organizing your paper, you know to set it up in the standard order of intro, body, and then conclusion. This is the standard form for most papers; however, is this the order in which you should write your paper? Not necessarily. It is best to start with the body and develop your thesis based on what you have written. This idea is somewhat flexible. If you do have an idea for a thesis ready to go, it is okay to start with that. It is mainly important to start where the work seems easiest. This is usually with the body paragraphs. By doing this, you are able to quickly make progress on your paper, and you have a boost in morale that encourages more writing.
When you’re writing, you may think everything needs to be perfectly organized whenever you first start. The thesis needs to be at the beginning, all the body paragraphs need to be in order, and you need to have a conclusion at the end. But that’s not true.
Whenever you’re drafting, whenever you’re working on a first or one of your drafts in progress, you have flexibility. You want to be working on any part that you feel comfortable and confident with. You want at least get that work out of the way. You can rearrange the body paragraphs later. You may not even know what your thesis statement is right away.
You may still be formulating it, but you can get the body paragraphs ready, knowing somewhat of what your thesis is going to be, and then come up with it later. Don’t get so stressed about the organization of writing. The main thing is to start writing. Keep in mind the body paragraphs don’t have to be in their final order while drafting.
You can write whichever one you want to write first and then come back to the ones that are more challenging later. Begin drafting where the work seems easiest. If there is one topic out of all of your main topics under your thesis that you’ve been dying to write about, write about that one first. Get your brain juices flowing.
If you write about that one, you may think of something else you want to add to the next topic and that may get you going. Just start writing. Write where it seems easiest. This helps you make immediate progress. You may not have the whole paper done. You may not have it organized just the way you want it.
You may not know what your thesis statement is, but you’ve made some progress. You’ve written a whole paragraph. One of your body paragraphs is at least written in its first draft. This is a great boost to your morale. Where you may have been feeling like “Oh, I’m never going to get this done,” now you at least have one of your paragraphs done.
You may even have two if writing the first one got you thinking about what you wanted to say in the second one. Information can just kind of flow like that. You start with one and it just trickles down. You keep thinking about what you’re writing and more ideas come to you as you’re writing. You can keep adding it to those body paragraphs.
Then, eventually, if you haven’t done it from the beginning, formulate your thesis statement. It isn’t important to have everything in the right order while you’re writing, but at the end, usually, you’re going to have a certain order that you want your drafts to be in. First, you want your thesis, which is your main idea or this summary of your main idea.
Then, the rest of that paragraph can expand on your thesis a little bit. Then, you want body paragraphs in an order that makes sense. You may not have had them in this order the whenever you first started, but now that you see how your paper has been organized, how it was flowing, you have your body paragraphs in an order that makes sense to what you’re writing.
Then, at the end, you’re going to have a conclusion. Now, your draft does not have to be in this order. This is what you’re striving for at the very end.
In the pre-drafting period, where you’re just working on what you’re getting on paper, you’re working on each of those body paragraphs individually, not necessarily getting them into the right order, don’t worry about what order they’re in. Worry about getting something written down. Work on what seems easiest. Help yourself make some immediate progress.