''Write out'' + ''rough draft'' in American English

Xavier da Silva

Senior Member
Hello everyone,

When you're writing something fast for the first time, you usually make some mistakes and the writing needs to be reviewed. This first writing - usually with mistakes, imperfections, etc. - we call "rough draft". I saw a verb, "write out neatly", which seems to be used when you want to say "make a clean copy of...", "make a copy without mistakes, imperfections, etc.'' My question: is "write out neatly" + "rough draft" idiomatic in American English in my examples below?

a. I write out the rought draft neatly after I've put all my ideas on paper.
b. I need to write out this rough draft of my resume neatly.

Meaning intended: make a clean copy of the rough draft; make a clean copy of this rough draft.

Thank you in advance!
  • Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    In my experience, to write something out "neatly" means to do so with good handwriting so that it is easy to read, not to correct mistakes. That doesn't quite match the meaning you seem to have in mind, which I might call "rewriting" or "cleaning up" a draft.


    Senior Member
    I agree with Glenfarclas that write out neatly and make a clean copy don't mean what (I think) you hope they mean, Xavier. Both phrases refer to making a nice, tidy copy without cross-outs, insertions or sloppy handwriting. As a person writes something out neatly (or makes a clean copy), he might make very minor revisions, but appearance is the main focus of these two actions. They don't really refer to correcting mistakes, and they definitely don't refer to revising sentences and making more substantial changes.

    Cleaning up a draft (as Glenfarclas suggested) is very good, or you could just say "I revised my rough draft" or "I made a second draft." The latter implies that it might not be your final draft, however.
    Last edited:


    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I don't see how "neatly" applies these days. Our rough drafts, like our finished copies, are done on a computer or other device, not by hand.
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