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Online Guide to Writing and Research

Assessing Your Writing

The Draft Stage

The First Draft

Your first draft is where you bring all your work together—your research, your notes, your brainstorming—in your initial attempt to introduce, state, and develop your thesis. Below are some questions to help you answer the main question: does it work?

 Checklist for Your First Draft
  Does my introduction provide context for my topic and research question? Have I answered the question, “so what?” 
  Does my introduction clearly define my target audience? 
  Have I indicated the scope of my project in my introduction, and is the scope focused enough that my thesis can address it? 
  Is my thesis statement clear and focused on one major idea? 
  Does thesis clearly announce my controlling idea? 
  Do my body sections and paragraphs clearly reflect my controlling idea? 
  Are my body sections and paragraphs logically sequenced to support my thesis? 
  Does my paper consider other perspectives? 
  Are supporting facts, interpretations, and opinions explained in convincing detail? 
  Do the minor, supporting ideas clearly support my major statements? 
  Does my conclusion return to the controlling idea and review the major parts? 

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Table of Contents: Online Guide to Writing