Learning Support: Drafting your Paper

Resources for students in the Suzanne Dworak Peck School School of Social Work's MSW, MSN, and DSW programs.


Paragraph and paper organization are vital to you expressing your thoughts and ideas clearly and succinctly. The resources below will help to prepare you to write a strong thesis statement and organized paragraphs during your drafting process.

However, a first draft will not be (and does not need to be) perfect. You can and should always go back and revise later.

Thesis Statements and Topic Sentences

Thesis statements rule tell the reader the overarching purpose of a paper, while a topic sentence does the same for each paragraph. They will help you to stay organized when writing. 

Paragraph Structure

Paragraph structure is vital to flow and content of a paper. Use the resources below to help you maintain strong paragraph structure as you write your draft and to guide your revisions when you go back through your paper.

Introductions and Conclusions

Writing introductions and conclusions can be time consuming, but they're necessary for most APA-style papers you will write. For shorter papers, try for a paragraph each. For doctoral-length assignments, your intro might be a few paragraphs.

If you feel stuck when writing your intro, try to write down a preliminary thesis statement only and then come back to write the rest of the intro once you've finished your first draft. Intros and conclusions are much easier to write when you know exactly what you are introducing or concluding.