Writing the first draft of your article

There are several important stages to writing a quality article:

  • Topic choice
  • Research
  • Outlining
  • Draft writing
  • Editing
  • Proofreading

This guide will focus on the draft writing part of the process, and give you some helpful tips to get the most from your rough drafts.

Before Beginning Your First Draft

Prior to beginning to put your first draft down in writing, you should have chosen your topic, completed your research, and created a detailed outline. The outline should cover the introduction, body, and conclusion of the article, paragraph by paragraph. Writing your first draft will be far simpler, faster, and easier if you’ve taken the time to make this type of outline.

Writing the Body of the Article

It’s best to begin your draft by writing the body of the article, although you’ll of course include an introduction which readers will read first. That’s because both the introduction and conclusion should reference the body of the article in detail. Their flow and transitions depend heavily upon the body of the article, which is likely to develop in a slightly different manner than the outline. Writing the body of the article first will prevent the need for excessive editing of the introduction and conclusion after the fact.

Focus on Content

For your first draft, focus on including all of the content of your research and sticking to the structure of your outline. It can be difficult to manage both content and style in a single draft, and focusing on content first ensures you don’t leave out important information.

Write the Introduction and Conclusion

Once you’ve got a rough draft of your article’s body finished, write the initial drafts of the introduction and conclusion, making whatever changes from the outline you deem necessary depending on the body.

Review the First Draft

After writing the first draft, you’ll want to prepare for the second, which will focus on style and flow. To do so, read over your first draft carefully. Note any changes you might wish to make to the structure of the article. Also note any awkward sentence structure, poor organization, or lack of flow. You’ll want to underline any material that should be changed.

Refine the First Draft

Once you’ve taken note of all of the changes that need to be made, rewrite this draft to include the changes. This is your true “rough draft,” which incorporates all of the elements of your final article.