Suggest that your teen use these tips to make her first draft better:
Start early. This is where teens often get into trouble. An extra day gives you a chance to revise what you’ve written.
Gather your supplies. You should have pens, pencils and paper. A dictionary or a thesaurus should be handy.
Set aside some time. Writing a first draft is hard. Take the phone off the hook. Set the VCR to tape your favorite show. Don’t start chatting with your friends on the Internet.
Have a plan. Some teens use a formal outline. Others jot down sentences and then draw arrows to connect their thoughts. Follow your teacher’s directions.
Think of the first draft as the “down draft.” The goal is to get the ideas down on paper. Write as quickly as possible. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar at this point. Include all ideas—even if they don’t seem to fit.
Put the draft away for a day after you have finished it.
Reread the draft and think about organization. Do the ideas still flow logically? Cut and paste sections of the paper so your writing moves smoothly from one idea to the next.
Look at writing style. Are your sentences too short or too long? Do you have unnecessary words? Do you repeat words?
Carefully proofread the draft. Check spelling, grammar and punctuation.
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