Writing the First Draft of your Essay

The first draft of your essay is sometimes the hardest part. It is the stage of the essay where you are combining all of the information at once, and you will want to do it as good as you can the first time.

Writing your first draft is the most time consuming part of writing a great essay. There are many times you will be stuck and not sure how to continue, but persevere and keep these following things in mind:

  • Your first draft will not be perfect. Take some pressure off of yourself and allow yourself to write freely to get topics off of the top of your mind. By putting pressure on yourself to get things right the first time, you are limiting your progress. You need to trust yourself that you will go back and add/ eliminate/ edit things that do not belong. For the first draft just focus on getting a general sense of the way you want to present information in the essay, and focus on the gritty details later.
  • Assuming you created notes and brainstormed before writing the first draft, do not limit yourself to notes. Notes are definitely helpful when constructing the first draft, but do not feel confined to the notes. By doing so, you may be able to expound upon a topic you had not considered in the brainstorming stage. This organic revelation will also help with the flow of the essay.
  • While not being confined to your notes, also do not forget about your previous notes altogether. You created a plan for a reason, and you should trust your first instinct of how the essay should look. Of course, this is only the first draft, so many amendments will be made later. Use the notes like building blocks to a solid essay- you do not want to have too much flexibility to the first draft or you will lose focus and structure.
  • The first draft is basically in its infancy. It should not read like the final draft. Some people make the mistake thinking that the final draft will strongly resemble the first draft- if it does you should reconsider and get it proofread because that is rarely the case. When you realize the first draft is there in order to make mistakes, hopefully it will give you liberty to explore new options with your essay and give your essay the freedom to grow.