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What is a Discovery Draft Writing 

Development of writing skills is an essential part of the educational process. It is extremely important to incorporate this activity in all units to motivate students improve their abilities and help them learn what easy writing is. Discovery writing is one of the activities that can assist in writing skills development. Our article will define discovery and help you understand how to do discovery writing and outlining on the example of preparation unit for The Crucible. We will try to combine this activity with analysis of the reading using the topic of losing childhood innocence.

When students are just introduced to the assignments of academic writing, they wonder, “What is a discovery draft?” Afterwards, when they get the basics of it, they consider discovery drafts as an utter waste of time and efforts. However, with the help of discovery draft writing, one could explore the topic and write what he/ she considers being right and deserving attention. With the help of a discovery draft, a student can explore the work intuitively. As such, by getting deeper understanding of the topic, a student will provide a better version of a final essay. 


When asking, “What is a discovery draft?” students frequently get an answer that it is a kind of outline writing. Partially, this is a correct comparison but there is a difference – outlines are thoroughly planned and composed while a discovery draft simply gathers all ideas and thoughts you have on a specific topic.

What is a discovery draft writing? The term is connected to a statement that self-directed writing results in presenting personal truth. It can have both positive and negative effect depending on how this truth is used. In case of discovery writing, presenting personal truth is a positive feature, as it helps students reveal their own feelings regarding a specific topic. Personal approach to a theme of childhood innocence will help a teacher understand what it means to each student. As a result, personal truth is more applicable to the unit compared to the capital Truth in its broad meaning.

The main peculiarity of a discovery draft is that it is written really quickly and without pauses for thinking. It represents a kind of flow writing. You do not pay attention to reasoning, supporting evidence as well as to grammar, spelling or punctuation. You simply write down ideas that come to your mind concerning the topic. The main aim of discovery draft writing is to provide a backbone for the academic paper, which you will later elaborate during the process of molding your thoughts. With the help of discovery draft, you will see how the argument will be developed and what directions you should take to present the paper in the best way. If some writing ideas seem irrelevant in the process of discovery draft writing, you can simply refuse from them and switch your attention to some new ones.

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Stages of Writing a Discovery Draft

Preparation Stage

  1. The first stage of preparation is to provide students with a huge number of materials related to the topic. In this case, the more means the better. Considering that we are going to implement a discovery writing method, the student will have to be able to choose the information they find most appropriate in relation to the topic under discussion on their own.
  2. In order to reach the desired aim, the students must clearly understand what truth they are required to find. The concepts of these two notions of truth have to be explained to them by the teacher. Moreover, they have to be encouraged to think and express their ideas freely. The questions to answer on this stage are: What is discovery writing? What is a discovery writer? What is the difference between personal and general truth? What is a discovery draft?


In order to master discovery writing, the students will have to understand that its core component is authenticity. Their task as writers is to learn not only the general picture of the problem but their own attitude to it. In other word, they have to understand what happens not only around them but also inside their minds. It may be challenging for many of them. However, it is a necessary element of discovery writing.


To complete the assignment, the students will have to use their creativity and fantasy. For example, it can be presented as the diary of Abigail Williams, the main character. It may consist of 17 entries, which stand for 17 years of main character’s life. The diary can give information on Abigail’s path of losing innocence.

The assignment can be completed from the point of view of Innocence itself as an impersonate object, who was lost. The assignment may describe the situation, which led to such outcome. One more option is to use different rhetorical devices to explain the notion in its essence, as well as to present personal thoughts regarding the issue.


Considering the freedom of action, the discovery writing is supposed to be an interesting experience for both teacher and the students. They will be able to cross the limits and use imagination to present their personal truth in relation to the question of losing childhood innocence. 

Main Tips for Discovery Draft Writing

discovery draft writing

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