Writing a Second Draft

second draftAfter you have written the first draft of your essay, you might think most of your work has been completed. You might take a break for several days and completely forget about your writing. Though this rest is necessary, do not rush into creating a final draft when you decide to come back to your essay. The writing process is more complicated than that, requiring a writer to make a second draft before making it final. The second draft may be thought of as an enhanced and more detailed copy of the first one, and its main purpose is to make sure you haven’t missed anything crucial.

Steps for Crafting a Second Draft of an Essay

  1. Reread your first draft slowly, caring about how each of your main points are expressed, how the thesis holds up to the rest of your essay, and the technical side of your writing such as grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
  2. Fill in the blank spaces you might have left while writing the first draft; include content you noted in the margin while writing your first draft. Stated succinctly, clean up the clutter: complete all sentences and expand a little on all ideas that weren’t fully elaborated on.
  3. Take a closer look at the order your arguments are organized in and see whether they hold together. This means the essay should flow from one point to another in a convincing manner. At this step, you might want to change certain key points, or even the structure of the whole essay.
  4. Analyze each argument you introduce and decide whether the evidence is sufficient, and whether the argument is appropriate to your topic. In other words, consider whether your arguments answer the question: “Does this argument match my thesis and develop its concept properly?” Mind including several alternative perspectives as well.
  5. Pay additional attention to the introduction and conclusion section. Think of several catching phrases for the introduction that would draw in reader’s attention and logically lead to the thesis statement. Also, think about the best way to summarize your arguments and thesis statement in the conclusion.

Key Points to Consider

  1. The second draft is usually easier to craft because you already have the material written down, so your task is more about trimming it than writing from scratch. However, you might want to experiment and write the second draft from scratch based on what you have written in the first copy.
  2. The second draft implies that you start filling in the blueprint of your essay you drafted so far with specific details. Therefore, at this point, it may turn out that you need to conduct additional research to verify your data, or create more convincing arguments. An insufficient supporting base can be noticed easily, so make sure all information you present in your future essay is credible.
  3. You can’t cram all your ideas into one piece of writing. If you have made notes about several ideas on the same issue or argument, you must choose only one of them. This way your arguments will be precise and pinpointed.
  4. In the second draft, you can start paying attention to punctuation, grammar, style of writing, and other technical issues you ignored in the first draft copy.

Do and Don’t

Do

  • Do be extra-attentive to the organization of your essay and to the arguments you have came up with. Your essay should flow logically and supporting evidence should be sufficient.
  • Do use transition words between paragraphs that indicate how each of them refers to your thesis statement.
  • Do start adding additional details; look for factual information that would make your writing more vivid.
  • Do rearrange your arguments and reorganize the structure of a whole draft in cases when you see it will foster the next versions of your essay.
  • Do feel free to exclude those arguments that don’t seem rather credible to you, and replace them with more efficient ones.
Don’t

  • Don’t forget to include alternative perspectives in your piece of writing; this way, you can show you are aware of possible objections to your opinions, and that you are prepared for them.
  • Don’t treat the introduction and conclusion as sections to leave out, or left for the final draft; write them thoroughly. Make sure to meet all fundamental writing criteria.
  • Don’t feel distressed about writing the second draft. Usually it is much easier to work on than the first copy, since you already have your main points on paper, and your main task is to organize them properly and trim them when needed.

Common Mistakes When Crafting a Second Draft of an Essay

- Proceeding to the second draft immediately after completing the first one. You may want to finish this process as soon as possible, but the truth is when your head is full, you can hardly think of anything worthwhile.

- Introducing multiple arguments per paragraph, thus trying to put all your ideas into one paper. This way you can’t enhance your writing, because for your arguments to sound convincing, it must be heavily supported by evidence; since essays usually have a word limit, you can hardly support all the arguments you want to come up with appropriately. Choose only the most significant arguments.

- Forgetting the importance of revising your initial thesis statement. Reformulate it, or even completely change it if you see that it doesn’t appear to correspond with your arguments.

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