Writing multiple essay drafts can improve the quality

It’s not uncommon for students to have some difficulties with time management that lead to them rushing the essay writing process. This can impact the quality of the essays produced (and as a result their grades) quite a bit. However, even when students have time, they frequently don’t put effort into making multiple drafts of their essays.

This is likely because it really didn’t help much in grade school—so long as one wrote a more or less competent essay, that was enough. However, in university, you’re expected to produce a much higher quality of work, and one of the essential steps to doing so is to write multiple drafts of your essay.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Rough Draft
  2. You should create an outline of your essay content first, focusing on the body paragraphs. Once you’ve done so, write a rough draft. However, for your first draft, don’t even think about trying to incorporate everything for a quality essay. You want to focus exclusively on getting ideas and content laid out, even if it sounds a little clumsy. Every piece of supporting evidence, every idea you want to include, should be in the essay and roughly organized at this stage.

  3. Edit #1: Flow
  4. For your first edit of the rough draft, you want to look at the flow of ideas through the paper. Did you transition well between paragraphs? Does everything tie into your thesis statement in a thorough manner? Did you leave any loose ends anywhere, or create any redundancies? For this edit, you’ll fix these aspects.

  5. Edit #2: Sentence structure and vocabulary
  6. Now that you’ve got the mechanics of the flow fixed, it’s time to work on the style of your wording. Are there trite turns of phrase you’ve over utilized? Could your use of vocabulary be more clear or more precise? For this stage of the editing, you’ll fix these things, as well as correct any awkward sentence structures.

  7. Introduction and Conclusion
  8. Now, check back through your intro and conclusion. Do they mesh well with the essay as whole? Make any corrections necessary so that they do.

  9. Proofread with a friend
  10. Now for the details: grammar, spelling, and punctuation. It’s best to have a friend help you here. You’ll find they are better at seeing your mistakes than you are. And you’re done!