The Importance of Going Second Draft in Your Paper
by Nayab Imran
Importance Of Second Draft In Your Paper
So now that you have finished writing your first draft, it is time to begin with the dreaded second draft. Not that I have anything against second drafts, but I find them frustrating, annoying and completely unjustified. I mean why can’t the first draft I write be the only draft I write? Why should I have to put down the child of my labors (figuratively speaking) and dissect it until it bleeds? If you’re asking yourself these questions, I’ve got the answers for you. Bear with me, this article may get out of hand. So here I go.
Second drafts can generally be the most complicated stage for any writer – if you let them. The first step towards completing the second draft is to:
Give yourself enough time between writing the first and second draft. By ‘enough time’, I mean a couple of days or weeks and certainly not a couple of years. This time apart will help you see the draft with a fresh outlook and fresher eyes.
The Importance of Second Draft in Your Paper
Read the draft carefully and slowly at first. You might notice some scenes or paragraphs that don’t gel together as smoothly as you thought before.
Do not, under any circumstance talk about your work in progress at this particular stage. You, yourself have no idea how and where exactly your rough draft is going to end up. So it is always better to critique yourself alone rather than facing the firing squad with an unfinished manuscript.
I personally prefer to print my drafts out on paper as it helps me in editing my work in the old school way. But if you prefer to edit your work electronically, then good for you. Always do what feels right to you.
Why We Should Proofread
Remember to not make any major changes while reading the first draft. Fix any typing and grammatical mistakes if there are any. Sometimes while we are completely absorbed in our writing we tend to make mistakes.
Place a question mark or make a small note next to any sentence or paragraph that you feel requires further editing. It is never a good idea to completely change the draft, while you are reading it in one go.
Importance Of Editing
Make sure you haven’t used many adverbs and adjectives in your paper as unnecessary words demerit your worth as a writer. Try to keep your work concise and to the point. That also does not mean that addition of necessary data is prohibited. Add sentences and paragraphs where you deem compulsory.
Pay attention to each and every sentence. Read them out loud so that you can place yourself in the shoes of your readers. If your writing does not please you, it will never please another reader.
Now you can present your work to a few friends or family members for proofreading who are well versed in the language you have chosen to write in. But remember, show it to as few people as possible since the more critics you have, the less likely it is that your writing will improve.
You can only move forward to writing the second draft after you have cleared up the clutter residing in the first draft.
Writing the Second Draft And it’s Importance
Now that you have collected the edited version of your work, it is time to start writing the second draft. With the notes that you and your proofreaders have made of the changes required in the first draft, simply rewrite the second one. That is it. That is all it takes to write the second draft. Well, maybe not all, since sometimes we can be required to write a third draft as well. Or a fourth. Or a fifth. I think you get my drift.
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Now that you look back upon it, the only worst thing about writing the second draft was looking at your writing through a stranger’s eyes and editing it.
Put on that dreaded editor’s hat and get down to it. I know, I know. I know you’re a writer and not an editor. But you need to be critical of your own work first before presenting it to another human being. The whole idea of the second draft is to put final touches to your story. It helps your characters and story-line to develop. It is all about you and what you feel is necessary for the story. Therefore, there is absolutely no need to be intimidated.
Have A Little Belief
Do not think that you are a bad writer if your first draft turns out to be completely disastrous. Believe in yourself and your story. No writer has ever written a rough draft that was immediately worthy of being published.
The process of writing is complicated and always need a writer to make a second draft before completing it. Sometimes, in second draft, some more enhanced thoughts are added and some more detailed ideas are included of the first coy. The main purpose of this second draft is to ensure that nothing important is missed.
Difference Between First And Second Draft
The first draft is something where you put everything in the place on the basis of the outlines. You write the facts, anecdotes, connecting the interview notes to the ideal quotes etc and in the end connecting all the pieces together. The first draft is generally written to get everything written on a paper or screen.
While in case of second draft, you do the delicate surgery of the first draft. In the second draft, you are supposed to keep an eye on the statistical as well as mechanical concerns. The sentence structure and length along with word choice and paragraphs, the use of active or passive voice and tone etc are checked thoroughly in the second draft. This is to make sure that you have not missed anything and your writing is a complete portrays of your ideas and it is highly effective for your readers.
Key Points To Focus In The Second Draft
Here are some key points which you need to focus in the second draft:
When you are writing on a subject that is causing the action, you need to use active voice in it. On the other hand, when it is being acted upon you need to use the passive voice in it. Try to use passive voice only when it is needed, try to use it in a situation where action is more important than the performer or in case when actor is not specific. In most of the cases you will be looking to make use of active voice.
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Accurate word for the job is needed. In any kind of writing choice of word or diction is always important. As a writer, you need to know that your choice of word affects understanding and readability. If you are not sure about the precise definition of a word, you need to have a dictionary with you so that you can find a suitable term. Try not to comprise on the choice of words, if you add a word with almost similar meaning, it might not attract and influence your reader and it also gives a wrong interpretation of your writing.
Main Points To Consider While Writing A Draft
It is easier to write a second draft since almost all the material is mentioned in the paper. Hence, this draft writing is a form of trimming the initial content. Second drafts are actually the time when you start to add some particular information in depth. Therefore, undertaking the further investigative research at this stage is needed to ensure that the arguments mentioned in your writing are more convincing.
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The readers of this time are sharp and they can clearly spot the arguments which are poorly supported and in this way it is compulsory for the writers to add reliable and credible information. You cannot cram each and everything in one writing round. You need to select one of the many good ideas on the same arguments in your piece of writing. This is to make it sure that the arguments mentioned in your writing are precise and pinpointed accurately. In your second draft you can start attending the style of your writing, grammar, technical aspects and punctuation etc.
Importance Of Proofreading
Remember, if you are your own worst critic, no one else will have to. Be it a book, novella, essay or a research paper, you need to be serious about finishing it to the end. That is the importance of the second draft in your life. Without it your work is and will always remain incomplete and lacking.
Keep in mind that editing and writing the second draft are two separate tasks. Editing is cold, insensitive work while writing is creative and full of life. They can and should never be attempted at the same time. Writing the second draft can be easier in the sense that you no longer have to invent scenarios in your mind for your characters or give arguments to support your ideas. You just have to make them neat and tie a ribbon on them so they can be presented beautifully to the public.
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