There is no one right way to get started on a paper, and how you get started on a first draft will impact the revision process. Some writers are okay with having a messy first draft, handwritten notes everywhere, and ideas that aren’t organized yet. Other writers need to sit down and work meticulously on a first draft, even when they plan to do extensive revision later. We divided the approaches of our students into two categories: what we’re calling the “Just Write” approach and the “Revise as I Go” approach. Listen to these students talk about each approach, and then respond to the questions for reflection at the end.
Mike and Melissa: “Just Write!”
Reflecting on the “Just Write” approach:
- Does anything Mike or Melissa say resonate with the way you usually approach getting started on a paper?
- What might be some of the drawbacks of the “Just Write” approach? Benefits?
Meaghan and Josh: “Revise as You Go!”
Reflecting on the “Revise as You Go” Approach:
- How is this approach different from the “Just Write” approach? What do these different approaches to getting started mean for later parts of the process?
- What might be the potential drawbacks of the “Revise as You Go” approach? Benefits?
Have a draft ready to revise? Check out these tips for how to evaluate it to figure out what you need to do next.