A Rough Draft of Your Response

Perhaps you have now written several exploratory drafts, have collaborated and conversed with peers until you have a fairly good idea of what you want to do in the response paper. Now you can begin to plan your draft, thinking more concretely about your audience, about the work you'll need to do to convey your main idea, to enlarge and amplify the supporting points, to reduce and cut and less important information, to rearrange and sequence your points.

Now you are thinking less about focus because that is clear in your mind. You are beginning to think more about presentation. The goal now is to provide sufficient support of the right kind and to organize it in such a way that you achieve maximum effect.

At this point you will also want to think about your tone in the response, whether you are conveying the attitude you intend. Your collaborators may be better judges of the overall effect of your writing than you are. Ask your peers to read this draft for that issue only. Do I sound smug? Sarcastic? Unnecessarily hostile? Inappropriate humorous or flip? Does my tone fit my message and my subject?

You may also be ready at this point to start putting final touches on things so by all means do the very best job you can with proofreading and mechanics, and then do not hesitate to ask a peer reader to look at your response for these matters as well.

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