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Published byDwight Caldwell Modified over 7 years ago
Getting Started Relax. Your first draft doesn't have to be perfect. You will have time to revise later. Here are tips for overcoming first-draft jitters: Let your prewriting guide you. Focus on your ideas and how to organize them. Write rapidly and use your natural writing voice.
Understanding The Parts Your first draft will have three parts. Here are your goals for each part: Beginning: Capture your reader's attention and state your focus. Middle: Provide your main points and details. Ending: Bring the writing to a thoughtful close. Beginning Middle Ending
Writing Your Beginning Paragraph When you write your beginning, do the following things: Capture your reader's attention. State your focus.
Capturing the Reader's Attention Here are several strategies for capturing the reader's attention: Start with a question. Start with a surprising fact. Start with a quotation. Start with an anecdote (perhaps how you became interested in the subject).
Stating Your Focus Most writing has a focus statement, a sentence that tells what the writing is about. A narrative essay, an expository essay, or a research report has a thesis statement. A persuasive essay has an opinion statement. (Fictional narratives create a focus by establishing a setting, main characters, and a conflict.)
Writing Your Middle Paragraphs Each middle paragraph presents one main point (or reason). Here’s how to write each middle paragraph: Start with a topic sentence. Add supporting details. Use transitions to connect ideas. Provide an ending sentence. Let your outline guide you as you write your middle paragraphs.
Understanding Transitions Transitions are words or phrases that connect ideas. They can do the following: Show location Show time Compare ideas Contrast ideas Emphasize a point Conclude or summarize Add information Clarify
Using Transitions You can use transitions both within and between paragraphs. Within paragraphs, transitions connect supporting details. Between paragraphs, transitions connect main ideas.
Writing Your Ending Paragraph When you write your ending paragraph, do the following three things: Restate your focus. Summarize main points or reasons. Leave the reader with something to think about. If you are writing a persuasive essay, include a call to action.
Getting Unstuck If you're having trouble getting started, try some of these techniques. Start by writing about your topic nonstop for five minutes. This is called freewriting. Write as if you were talking about your topic to friends. Talk about your topic into a tape recorder and play it back, writing down what you like. After you finish your first draft, set it aside for a little while before beginning the next step in the process— revising.
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