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A stage of the writing process during which a writer organizes information and ideas into sentences and paragraphs.

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From Old English, "drawing"


  • Just get it down on paper, and then we'll see what to do about it."
    (Maxwell Perkins)

  • "Convince yourself that you are working in clay not marble, on paper not eternal bronze: let that first sentence be as stupid as it wishes. No one will rush out and print it as it stands. Just put it down; then another. Your whole first paragraph or first page may have to be guillotined in any case after your piece is finished: it is a kind of forebirth."
    (Jacques Barzun, On Writing, Editing, and Publishing, 2nd ed. University of Chicago Press, 1986)

  • "Though some sort of plan is almost always useful when drafting, resist any temptation at this stage to pin down every detail in its proper place. A huge investment in planning can hamper you during drafting, making it difficult to respond to new ideas and even new directions that may prove fruitful."
    (Jane E. Aaron, The Compact Reader. Macmillan, 2007)

  • "[T]ry to make your early drafts as complete as possible at the time--that is, give each draft your best shot. Compose in complete sentences, break into paragraphs where necessary, and aim at a satisfying form. At the same time, allow time for second and third drafts and maybe more."
    (Toby Fulwiler, The Working Writer. Prentice Hall, 1999)

  • "Instead of finding errors or showing students how to patch up parts of their texts, we need to sabotage our students' conviction that the drafts they have written are complete and coherent. Our comments need to offer students revision tasks of a different order of complexity and sophistication from the ones they themselves identify, by forcing students back into the chaos, back to the point where they are shaping and reshaping their meaning.

    "For if the content of a student text is lacking in substance and meaning, if the order of the parts must be rearranged significantly in the next draft, if paragraphs must be restructured for logic and clarity, then many sentences are likely to be changed or deleted anyway."
    (Nancy Sommers, "Responding to Student Writing," in Concepts in Composition, ed. by Irene L. Clark. Erlbaum, 2003)
Pronunciation: DRAFT-ing

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