Writing Getting from Notes to Your Draft Every writer’s habits and ways of thinking differ. You may even go back to your prewriting idea-generating phase prewriting phase of essay writing generate more ideas or even read to get more information. You may experiment with different statements of your thesis, and you certainly may try more than one way to organize your ideas before you finish your first draft. As you weave the threads of your ideas and notes into the whole cloth of your first draft, you will be sorting through all you have gathered in search of patterns that will shape your writing.
As your writing flows from the thesis statement with its controlling idea, the subsequent paragraphs provide the information identified in your lists and notes. As you write, you may want to provide concrete examples and support for what you say. If you are writing an essay, the support may be from the course lectures, excerpts from a text you studied, or examples from your experience that substantiate the points you want to make. If you are writing a formal research paper, this support may be citations from other writers and experts. A first draft—your initial attempt to organize your thoughts in prose writing—is more complete than an outline and elaborates on your ideas in complete sentences and paragraphs. From your thesis statement and notes, you should write at least one draft.
For now, disregard spelling, punctuation, and grammar, which are writing mechanics. As you write, you will discover ways to improve your content and even your writing plan. You may decide to move, delete, or add sections. In other words, you will find that your first draft is another stage of thinking in writing. In the example provided below, you can see how this writer began putting words on paper by starting with a controlling idea and adding additional support. Managing technical staff in today’s work environment challenges managers to provide a structured workplace, where tools workers use and the methods they follow are clearly defined and available.