Drafts (Narrative, Complete, Final)
Ideally, a Narrative Outline
should provide a sufficient scaffold for you to proceed directly to a complete draft of your report, but sometimes the intermediate step of a narrative draft is needed.
To progress from a complete draft to the final report, all writers need to Revise
, especially in response to Sharing of Work
may be needed if a draft report does not GOSP
The drafts and final report should not be directed to the advisor or instructor, but to the relevant audience that you would like to influence or to peer readers. Ask yourself what would this audience needs to know to get interested in your project and understand what you have done.
A narrative draft expands on the Narrative Outline
, focusing first on the explanatory sentences that indicate the point of each section (and subsection) and interconnections among sections. Once that is clear, topic sentences for paragraphs become the next priority. Text can then be added into the paragraphs. At each stage, keep checking whether the paragraphs each have a distinct point, flow one to the next, and speak to the topic of the section that the paragraphs are in.
For a draft to be complete you have to get to the end, even if you only sketch some sections along the way. An incomplete draft usually leaves readers—and yourself—unsure if you are clear about the position you want to lead them to and can fill in all the steps needed to get them there (see GOSP
Whatever form your report on a project takes, it should GOSP
the readers, that is, grab
their attention, orient
them, move them along in steps
, so they appreciate the position
you have led them to. There are two aspects to orienting readers: foreshadow the expository steps ahead, and give readers a sense of your movement in undertaking the project to help them appreciate why you are someone they should be interested in listening to on the topic. On this second kind of orienting, you might convey why you have pursued this project, your process of development during the project, and your personal or professional development plans for the future. (This might be informed by Sense-Making Contextualization
Cite references consistently in the text and in a bibliography (which is sometimes labeled Works Cited or References). Only references that you have cited in the text should be in the bibliography, but, if this seems helpful to readers, you might include a supplementary bibliography of references used but not cited. It is not customary to include annotations of references cited in the report—the text of the report should indicate the relevance of the reference—but you might include annotations of references included in a supplementary bibliography. For a guide on technical matters of writing scholarly papers, see a writing manual such as Turabian (2007).
Turabian, K. L. (2007). A Manual For Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations
. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.