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planning, drafting, revision, editing of Writing Skills

Depending on the genre or function of a written text, more or less careful thinking and planning go into it. Whether it’s a quick note to inform your flatmate you’ll be back in an hour, or an examination paper assessing your school work, you’re going to invest a different amount of time, energy and care. The more demanding a piece of writing is, the more you need to plan ahead.
A draft is a very useful tool for structuring, that is for placing the content units in logical sequence, and for highlighting the key points. The form of a draft is a very personal thing: it could be a rough outline of the main points to be dealt with, or it could look like a discursive piece of writing. However, a sketchy draft has a distinct advantage in that it allows the writer to check the coherence and salience of what s/he writes.
We can always improve our written texts to make them more effective; the revision process can, indeed, be endless. We should get used to reading our pieces of work slowly and carefully as if we were not the writers of our papers but casual readers who happen to see them for the first time.

Plan and draft writing
  • Make and take notes effectively, choosing formats for different purposes as well as to suit writer preferences, e.g. a flowchart to describe a process
  • Understand that planning and drafting include sub-stages: organising information and thinking in note or diagram form (e.g. spidergram); distinguishing what must go in from what might go in, and deciding the optimum length for the task; choosing the appropriate language and structure to get across their meaning
  • Understand that planning and drafting decisions relate to the subject matter, type of text, purpose and audience.

Editing your writing

Before you submit your assignments, check for the following:
1. Does the introduction clearly state the purpose—the topic and what
will be covered?
•  Do the paragraphs contain topic sentences that refer to the
purpose as stated in the introduction?
•  If you read only the topic sentence of each paragraph does the structure
of the whole piece become clear?
•  Are the links between paragraphs clear?
•  Does your conclusion answer the question and sum up the argument?
2. Have you answered the question?
•  Check your plan against the original question.
•  Compare the finished assignment with the plan. Does it follow the
•  Have you provided enough evidence and detail to support your ideas?
•  Is your content accurate, detailed and concise?
3.         Is your argument clearly stated in the introduction?
•  Is your argument thorough and logical?
•  Is your argument supported by appropriate evidence?  
4. Is the flow of ideas clear? Summarise each paragraph in one line. Is
there a logical flow?
•  Do you use appropriate link words? (eg. Firstly, needs to be
followed by secondly)
•  Are key terms clearly defined, consistent and clear? (too much
variety is confusing)
•  Are relationships between ideas clear?
•  Are headings clear?    
5. Are your references in alphabetical order? (Harvard, APA and Footnote
•  Are all the sources referenced in the text in your reference list/
•  Are all the bibliographic details provided? (author, date, titles, publisher,
•  Do you have enough/too many/appropriate citations?
•  Are your sources reliable?
•  Are your paraphrases different enough from the original?
•  Are your sources appropriately referenced and in the correct style?
6. Have you checked for errors in spelling, punctuation and
sentence structure?

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