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Skidmore College Department of Classics

Purpose of Essays
Questions and Topics
Planning the Essay
Writing The Essay
Sample Essay


Study Skills /
Writing In Classics / Essays

After drawing up a detailed outline, many students now write the final version of the essay or paper straight away. You should, however, consider writing a first draft to use as a bridge to an improved final draft. (Admittedly, during an examination you may have to settle for an outline.)

Your first draft will test whether your outline, which is more a theoretical construct, works in practice. Do not rush the first draft or allow it to become sloppy - you will make more work for yourself later. As you add each main idea, try to follow the model of "Statement, followed by reasons." Feel free to leave something out if it does not fit.

Once you have written the first draft, read it through ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have I answered the question / topic?
  • Have I done what I said I would do in the introduction?
  • Does argument progress logically and clearly?
  • Is there a healthy balance between discussion and detail?
  • Are my arguments supported by evidence?
  • Is anything missing?
  • Have I left out anything important?
  • Does the conclusion show how I have answered the question?
  • Are there any errors of grammar or spelling?
  • Could the style be improved?

Your answers to these questions will define the work to be done in your final draft

ŠAugust 2000 Skidmore College Department of Classics
 Created and Maintained by Alexander Carballo '01
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