Step 5: Write Draft 1

For draft 1, content is your most important concern. Do not worry about your essay’s opening lines or get distracted trying to choose the perfect word. Use the details you generated in Step 4, and just write. This draft should be too long. It should be a little bit messy. You are not trying to impress anyone yet. Instead, write until you have nothing left to say. You will have plenty of time to revise later.

To begin Step 5, watch the Video Intro. When you are done, continue reading to learn more about this step.  Then select Try It Now for instructions to write your first draft.

Note: the video tells you to “Click Read It.” There is no click! Just read the page.

Play Video

Writing Your First Draft

Now that you have some great details, look back at your prompt and theme. Read the prompt aloud, then revisit your theme. Do they match? Have you addressed what the prompt is trying to find out about you?

Make sure you know exactly what you are writing about and why you chose that topic. Then start writing. Your work does not need to be perfect. If you don’t know where to begin, start anywhere – beginning, middle or end. Great opening sentences are a topic for another day.

At this point, your most important task is to get your ideas on paper. You will revise later. Your theme does not need to appear in the essay word for word, but it should still be crystal clear.

What Should My Draft Look Like?

Remember that this is a content draft. You will focus on structure and polish later. Are you wondering what your reader is looking for? Concerned about format?

Don’t trouble yourself with that yet.

Remember, the key question is not “What do they want to hear?” or “What should I write about?” Instead, keep asking yourself, “What do I want readers to know about me that they couldn’t find out from reading the rest of my application?”

Keep your theme in mind. Then just write.

Try it: Write Draft 1

Estimated time to complete this writing task: 2 hours

Try It: Write Draft 1

You do not have permission to view this form.