Writing a ruff Rough Draft


Karl Barth

One of the hardest things to do when it comes to writing is creating a pristine document on the first go. Time constraints, stress and procrastination all lead us to writing a paper at the last minute. Especially here at MSOE, these factors cause us to delay our assignments until the last moment possible. When crafted in the least amount of time, there is very little chance that your paper has a good flow or direction, let alone be free from errors. This article itself is a first draft. I put down everything that was going through my mind and let it fly onto the screen. I am aware that there may be errors in this post but that just proves that even good writers need to refine and polish their work in order to make it accurate and professional. This goes for all writers both the new and the experienced. In saying so, here are a list of tips that may help with writing a rough draft:


  • Although I wrote this solely on the computer, writing out chunks on paper really is the most effective method as we tend to not go back and re-edit our work as we go along.
  • It is important to just keep writing as when you stop, your train of thought stops as well.
  • You could have the next great American novel in your head but nothing on paper so start writing and edit later.
  • Take advantage of writing tutors on campus- the Raider Center for Academic Success is a great resource for papers at any level, from first thoughts to a closing statement. They have you covered.
  • Make lists. Lots of lists. Making lists helps you quickly and effectively get ideas down on paper and recall items you are missing.
  • Think of writing in a different way. Try something new and write it out. Some ideas click if tried in a different way.


If you write rough drafts, your writing will improve and you will add value to your professional self and be more desirable to potential employers. You will show them that you are willing to take the time and effort to produce work that exceeds their expectations as well as your own.


Here are some further tips from the Writing Tutors in RCAS to help you when you are in the final stages of your paper. They have a lot more tips than the ones that are listed here, but you will need to bring your writing assignments to them to find that out! Try some of these ideas:

  • If you’re having issues with being repetitive, try using Microsoft Word’s thesaurus feature. However, make sure the new word fits into the tone of your paper and don’t overuse the feature.
  • Try not to use words such as “very” or “really” too often or they will have less meaning as emphasis.
  • Read your essay out loud while editing, or make use of Word’s speech feature and just listen.
  • When proofreading, change the font to something your find annoying to read. It will force you to slow down when you’re reading and catch mistakes.