Writing

The “writing” stage is often called drafting. When you draft, you should be focused mainly on ideas, rather than worrying too much about your grammar. Use your outline as you draft to make sure you don’t lose your focus. 

Tip: Get it on Paper

One of the challenges we often have as writers is overcoming the belief that what we write needs to be good. The first draft is exactly that. It's a first version. Every time you come back to the essay to work on it, it will improve. 

Watch this video clip of artists creating marble sculptures. Writing is a similar creative process. You need an outline, a clear idea of what you want it to be at the end. However, the first steps of the creation are very general. It isn't until later in the process when details come in.

So, when you are writing, think of the early drafts as the big cuts of marble. You don't need to worry as much about specific word choice or getting the grammar just right. Your focus should be getting the shape of the essay, the general ideas and organization.

You should not simply paste several quotes together into one body paragraph. Consider which pieces of your quotes are necessary to support and develop the topic sentence. This means that some pieces of quotes may be unnecessary because they don’t support the topic sentence. It’s also okay to divide large quotes into smaller quotes that focus on smaller ideas. 

You will also need use your own words to connect quotes together. You will use your commentary to introduce some of your research, explain how a quote supports your topic sentence, explain what a quote means, or show how quotes are connected together. 

After you use a quote, don’t simply summarize it; remember to justify or clarify the reason for using the quote.