English Composition


This week you will be working on the rough draft of your paper. A rough draft is a copy of your paper that you will continue to shape, edit and strengthen for the final draft. Your rough draft must consist of writing an introduction, supporting body paragraphs and a conclusion. At this point, you should already provide me with an almost final version of your paper.

I suggest you take the outline you have already done and use it to guide your writing for the rough draft. While following your outline is important, putting every little detail and piece of supporting information into your paper in the rough draft is not always necessary, but do what works for you. Your notes and outline together serve as guides for what you intend to include and where you intend to include it. Remember the rough draft is not the final paper, but a glimpse of what is to come.

The following are some tips provided from the writing research center, for writing your rough draft:

Writing the introduction of your rough draft
With your outline in sight, start writing the introduction of your rough draft. The ultimate goal of a strong introduction is to get the attention and interest of your readers. In addition, your introduction should do the following:

• Include some background information on your topic
• Make the perspective and point of view clear
• Contain your thesis statement
• Provide a roadmap of how your paper is organized (broadly defined)
• Focus on the main points you make within the body of your paper

Writing the body paragraphs of your rough draft
The body paragraphs of your rough draft are the backbone of your paper; they hold the supporting information that backs up your thesis. Keep the suggestions below in mind as you write each paragraph:

• Start each paragraph with a clear topic sentence that defines what the paragraph is about
• Write smooth transitions between paragraphs using transitional words and phrases
• Avoid writing paragraphs that are too short because they show a lack of development
• Stay in the active voice to keep your paper clear and effective
• Maintain your point of view or perspective to keep the paper focused
• Avoid summarizing information you have already written about –save it for the conclusion
• Support your perspective and interpretations with data in the form of indirect and direct quotations
• Replace your keywords with synonyms periodically to avoid repetitive language
• Cite all sourced material
• Make sure the sentences of each paragraph flow to form a cohesive point

Writing the conclusion of your rough draft
The conclusion of your rough draft is where you tie everything together. Some of the information is similar to that found in the introduction, but it should not be a word-for-word copy. In the conclusion, more emphasis is placed on the results of your research or on broader implications on the subject as a whole. To write the conclusion, follow the below steps:
• Re-read your introduction while paying particular attention to the development of it and supporting body paragraphs
• Set the introduction aside
• Summarize the argument made in your introduction
• Conclude your argument(s)

Ultimately, your conclusion is your last chance to help readers truly understand what your paper is about, so it needs to show the order and importance of your main points and show how you logically conclude the paper.

Remember as you write your rough draft that it is okay to omit the more detailed information to focus on the flow and transition of each paragraph. The details obtained through your research are easily added after the first draft is complete. In fact, through the process of finalizing your paper, you are likely to edit, proofread, make corrections and change things up quite a bit.

Once the basics of your paper are in place, though, applying those finishing touches to strengthen your paper is much easier. With a rough draft completed, you should take a day or two away from the paper to provide clarity and a fresh perspective when you come back to finalizing it.

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