Writing A Draft

Once I know my focus in writing, have a plan in mind, and have done some research, it’s time to start the writing process. Even though I’m usually well prepared, I sometimes find it hard to get the “train moving.” Once that’s accomplished, however, I gain momentum fast and the process becomes easier.

Here are 12 of my special tips and strategies for starting and writing a draft:


  1. I set myself a time limit for writing periods, usually segments of two or three hours interspersed with frequent pauses.
  2. I create a skeletal document in Google Drive or Open Office based on the outline.
  3. I almost never start at the beginning of a document. That usually comes later, perhaps in the second draft.
  4. I copy some of my research notes and thoughts into the related sections of the outline.
  5. I get my ideas down as quickly as possible. If I’m not pleased with a word or the phrasing of sentence, I’ll return to it in the “revising” phase of writing.
  6. I aim to develop one idea per paragraph which usually begins with a topic or key sentence.
  7. I try to write three to five sentences per paragraph. The shorter the paragraphs the better, especially for e-documents that will be read on the computer or tablet.
  8. I use linking expressions to connect sentences and paragraphs together smoothly, such as “however” to show contrast and “moreover” to add information.
  9. I write notes to myself in brackets in the document reminding me what I need to develop.
  10. If I get stuck on a section, I leave it and return to it later.
  11. I try to keep my writing as simple as possible. I avoid having too many “complex” sentences that may either confuse or bore the reader.
  12. I re-read some of the articles I have written to remind myself of best practices.

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