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Why do you need a rough draft of the dissertation?

Even accomplished writers will sing the praises of the rough draft. They know that you can’t go from idea to finished copy in one step. In fact it can take many steps, and one of those steps that are essential is the rough draft. There can actually be a fair amount of writing to be done even before the rough draft. You’ve taken lots of notes, tried to formulate an outline, and putting all that together in one piece becomes the rough draft.

Here are some hints for crafting your rough draft:

  • Gather all the materials you will need. That includes all the notes you’ve written, your books, partial drafts and any other written work. Set out your pens and paper or computer, whichever you’re most comfortable using to make your rough draft. It’s also helpful to have a dictionary, thesaurus and whatever format style rules you’ve been asked to follow.
  • Make sure you have a good chunk of time to work on this; at least 2-3 hours just to get started. Turn off your phone and get rid of any other distractions.
  • If you haven’t already formed your main statement, now is the time to do it. You must explain the purpose of your paper, the essential message, the methodology and a discussion of the research data you’ve collected.
  • Use an outline as a guide to write your rough draft. If you haven’t already put together an outline while doing your literature search, then you can make it now. It will really speed up the writing process to have an outline to follow.
  • Visualize your reader while writing. It will help you know how to construct your sentences and on what level to write. Most dissertations should be written at the doctorate level and assume the reader has at least a University level background.
  • Once the rough draft has been written, you can go over it and establish that you haven’t forgotten anything important. Compare it to the outline. Check that all your data has been included.
  • Your rough draft should have all kinds of little notes added onto the margins by the time you’re finished going over it. The next step is to incorporate all those little notes and write the first good draft.
  • The first good draft should read smoother than the rough draft and be easier to go through now and clean up all the spelling mistakes and grammar errors.

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