Steps in the Writing Process
Steps in the Writing Process
Elementary teachers long ago developed a method of teaching the writing process for kids. By late elementary school years and certainly by middle school years, all students should have been taught this process and should have had lots of opportunities to practice that process by short essays they wrote.
Things did not change much in high school. The same basic process continued to be taught for essay writing, and, again there was probably a good amount of practice of that process in the writing of essays, at least in English coursework.
Here’s a stunner – the writing process does not change as students enter college. The steps in the writing process are so universal and so “tried and tested” that they remain the most effective means of producing a good piece of writing.
Writing Process Steps
There are 5 steps to producing a well-written essay.
- Select and refine your topic and conduct research (if necessary) or brainstorm for ideas and details that relate to the topic.
- Organize and consolidate your research notes and/or your brainstorming elements into sub-topics. Create some kind of a graphic that provides a “road map” for you as you begin to write. This may be an outline; it may be a Venn diagram; it may be some other visual that you have found works especially well for you.
- Write Your Rough Draft: Use your graphic organizer to write your body paragraphs first, making sure that you have good transitions that lead from one paragraph to the next. Then write your introduction and conclusion. Be certain that you place your thesis statement in the introduction.
- Revise, Revise, Revise: If you really want a good grade, then you will review your essay and probably re-write it more than once. If you are not a good editor, then you will need to find someone who is. Sometimes a writer is just too “close” to what s/he has written to review and edit the piece. This is why authors have editors. So, find someone to help you with this or use a professional writing service – this step is just too important.
- Write Your Final Copy: When you have finished that final copy, re-read it one more time for a final check; make certain that it is formatted just as instructed; check to see that your conclusion ties back to the thesis statement in your introduction.
These 5 steps of the writing process for academic writing have been around for a long time, and no one has really been able to improve upon them, other than to break them up into more steps. Even then, the details of the process remain the same. If you use this process, you will have an essay or paper that has a far better chance of receiving a good grade. If, on the other hand, you skip any part of this process, the consequences could be a piece of writing that lacks coherence and good structure, an essay or paper that has grammar and composition errors, or both.
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