Question: What's the best way to write a draft?
Answer: I have already explained steps 1. Model; 2. brainstorm; 3. main idea and topic sentences. Today I will explain about 4. writing the draft.
4. Draft. Based on your main idea and your supporting topics, write a draft, including the final summary paragraph and your introductory material.
Begin with the main idea and supporting topics. Fill out the topics with paragraphs and conclude with a final summary paragraph. Be sure to do this step quickly. Don’t spend a lot of time on correctness. You will have time to go back over the draft later. Just complete the draft, as rough as it is, as quickly as you can. Your purpose is to finish your draft. Don’t forget to complete the final summary paragraph. You will now have the main idea, the supporting paragraphs with their topic sentences and the final summary paragraph.
Last step in the draft: complete your introductory material.
Review: Main idea or thesis sentence + Supporting paragraph with topic sentence + Supporting paragraph with topic sentence + Supporting paragraph with topic sentence + Final summary paragraph.
Introductory Material. The purpose of introductory material is to catch your readers’ attention. The best model for interesting introductory material is The Reader’s Digest. Here are some examples of introductory material from The Reader’s Digest:
Incident. Janette and Greg Fennel had just returned to their San Francisco home one night in 1995 when two gunmen suddenly slipped under the garage door as it was closing. The men locked the couple in the car trunk, placed their nine-month-old-son—still strapped in his car seat—on the garage floor, and sped off with their captives. An hour later the thieves opened the trunk, robbed Janette, 45, and Greg, 50, of their money and jewelry, shut the trunk and fled. This introductory material will be followed by the thesis sentence.
Description. April 1999: Don Massey sits at a plank table in a hundred-year-old log cabin on a remote cow camp in the Book Cliffs, a rocky escarpment in eastern Utah. A window so thick with smoke that it looks like greased paper filters cold light, framing Don’s face and hat. It’s only midmorning, but he has been up since five. His face is drawn and hardened from the frigid temperature. Outside a deer comes down to a frozen stock pond, tapping at the ice with its hoof. This introductory material will be followed by the thesis sentence.
Quotation: Carman Moloney was desperate to save her mother’s life. That’s why the 31-year-old woman kept a card pinned to the sun visor of her car. Addressed to emergency medical personnel, it read: “My mother is on the third floor of the University of Maryland Medical Center. If I am in an accident, please make sure my organs are sent directly to her.” This introductory material will be followed by the thesis sentence.
Startling Statement. Bud Shuster. Name mean anything? Probably not. But it should. E.G. “Bud” Shuster (R., Pa.) is the most powerful Congressman you’ve never heard of. This introductory material will be followed by the thesis sentence.
Statistics and a Quote. Randall Wolf could not believe it. His wife’s credit-card statement showed that she was being charged an interest rate of 26.9 percent—up from 15.9 percent—on a credit card from First USA Bank. “I almost fell over,” says the Raleigh, NC., man. This introductory material will be followed by the thesis sentence.
Reader’s Digest’s articles give many other possibilities of techniques for introductory material.
The structure of your final draft should look something like this:
1. Introductory material.
2. Main idea or thesis sentence (usually attached to the end of the introductory material).
3. Supporting paragraph with topic sentence.
4. Supporting paragraph with topic sentence.
5. Supporting paragraph with topic sentence.
6. Final summary paragraph.
Tomorrow: 5. Revising and editing.