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SPARK: Drafting

A resource for students wanting to improve their academic and research skills.


Keep in mind the notion that your essay is an exercise to “test” or “try” such things as:

  • an idea you are developing
  • a theory or understanding of a situation
  • a way of describing or analyzing an issue
  • a way of thinking or a point of view

Trying out alternative ways of expressing and connecting your ideas will help you understand them well enough to judge their strength, importance, complexity, and other characteristics that can help you find the best order for presenting them.

While building and exploring ideas, continue to apply strategies for generating ideas such as those described in the Choosing a Topic module, for example:

  • review the assignment instructions
  • brainstorm examples and ways to develop ideas
  • review the resources you have selected to see what else they have to offer – examples, evidence, alternative ideas
  • consider what your readers need in order to understand your ideas 

While you are writing, be willing to go back and forth between writing, researching and revising tasks. Writing is an act of creation, so be willing to change your work at any time, even right up to the deadline. Be wary of arriving at a definitive position on your topic too quickly. As you write, you will develop a more complete vision of your topic and the issues that surround it.