All Together Now:
Writing academic papers is scary, but you can get the hang of it if you’re going one step at a time. Before you know it, this will be second nature to you.
Your first draft is called the “rough draft" and it has that name for a reason: It isn’t pretty yet.
To write the rough draft you want one key point (your thesis) and a few supports (body paragraphs) along with a few notes from your text, some things you learned in class, and your own reaction to the text to build up each body paragraph.
Each support is its own paragraph. The first and last paragraphs are called the introduction and conclusion, which are very similar, working like maps. The introduction tells the reader where they are going, and the conclusion that tells the reader where they have been.
And remember, dear reader, no one ever said you had to start at the beginning. The point is to get the greatness out of your head and onto paper. Start where you can.
To finish up your rough draft, have this sketch in mind for how your paper should look:
I: Introduction, Thesis, list of supporting points.
II – IV: Body Paragraphs that expand on the supporting points.
V: Conclusion – Re-list the supporting points, the thesis, and put in an ending sentence or two.