Tuesday, March 08, 2005

How to write a paper in one draft

Brad DeLong's Website: Advice on Paper Writing

In way too many years of writing papers, I'm ashamed to admit this trick has never occurred to me. As someone who wrote too many one draft papers, I would have benefitted greatly from Professor DeLong's advice:
Nobody ever told them that if you are going to hand in a first draft, an easy way to significantly improve it is to, when you are finished, cut the last paragraph from the paper and paste it at the beginning. Your final sum-up paragraph--written at the end, as you have by trying to write down what you think discovered what you really do think--is almost always going to make a better first paragraph than the first paragraph that you wrote.

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