The preliminary plan & refining your plan

Once you have brainstormed your topic, it is time to create a preliminary plan. Look at your brainstorm and arrange your ideas into general topics areas. This will form the basis of your plan.

Now you have constructed your preliminary plan, you can now see where the ‘gaps’ are in your knowledge and where you have to do more reading and research. After you have completed this, you need to refine your plan to reflect this.

The drafting stages

The following processes make up the drafting stages:

  • first draft
  • additional reading
  • redraft
  • edit for meaning & coherence
  • proofreading.

This is the writing stage of your essay. This stage takes you through the process of producing a final piece of work. It is very important that you draft, redraft, edit and proof read your work. Many students hand in work that is more like a first draft than a final draft.

This section will take look at drafting, redrafting and editing your work.

The first draft

Your first draft is a chance for you to write something on the topic, to start to organise your thoughts and ideas. According to the essay structure, the introduction sets the current context, tells the reader what the essay will cover and states the position on the topic the writer is taking. Below is the first draft of an introduction to this essay topic


The first draft of the introduction has a number of problems. These are:

  • it is not clear and concise
  • there are too many disjointed ideas
  • it is repetitive
  • there are grammar and punctuation problems
  • there is no clear development of the arguments to support the thesis statement.

The first draft is an important part of the essay writing process. Now that you have created something to work on, it is time to re-read and re-draft your work.

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