Rough Draft? You Mean Final Draft

I haven’t had to hand in a rough draft since elementary school.  We called it “brainstorming,” as many do, and we often worked in groups and bounced our ideas off one another, or talked as a class.  Somewhere between there and now, the drafting process was stigmatized.  In fact in high school, my sophomore year composition teacher, someone who was considered the single most reputable teacher in all of the land, went as far to say as, “Rough drafts are awful, and you should never write them.”  Now, I’m only paraphrasing because I could never recapitulate verbatim the sophic words of the wizard-lady, but the point was we were to write our papers in one shot; no ifs, ands, or buts.  Junior year was no different for me.  In my senior year, my English teacher was asked kindly to “retire” from his position when it was discovered he was grading our papers without ever having read them.  It was greatly disrespectful to me that he had us write papers for him, only to have them cast aside as a chore (a chore which he actually never did).  To the germinating academic in me, the lack of a drafting process in high school did not make sense, but to the kid in me that did not want to spend more than an hour on 1000 word essay, that was just fine.  Now that I’m older and in a more academically-challenging environment, I see the great value of the drafting process.  If you do not like something in your essay, you are free to throw it out completely, and you’re able more-deeply explore your ideas by ruminating on them.  It’s quite amazing knowing what your paper is going to be about before you write it.


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