Writing process

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Writing process

  1. 1. (Or, where do I start?)
  2. 2. Writing Process Pre-write Organize Draft Revise Proofread
  3. 3. Pre-write This is the first step. Think about your topic, audience and purpose. Some common pre-writing activities are:  Brainstorming  Freewriting  Clustering  Browsing sources  Talking to others  Going for a walk and thinking about your topic  Asking questions  Anything else that helps you generate ideas
  4. 4. Organize This is when you decide how to organize your piece of writing. Remember, the needs of your readers and your purpose for writing should dictate the structure or format. Some things to try:  Outlining  Using index cards  Storyboarding This is also the time to do any necessary research.
  5. 5. Draft Start writing! You can do your rough draft by hand or on the computer…whichever works best for you. Try both ways, because each has advantages. Your draft may be very rough, with no concern for sentence structure, paragraphing or grammar, or it may be almost-final-copy quality. This is an individual choice, but your main concern right now should be content.
  6. 6. Revise Re-read what you’ve written and evaluate it. Focus on content and organization at this point. Don’t worry about grammar, spelling and punctuation yet.  Add information  Delete anything that’s off-topic, distracting, or just doesn’t work  Reorganize if needed  Make sure your meaning is clear  Get someone else to read your draft and give feedback
  7. 7. Proofread When you are satisfied with your content, go through one more time and correct grammar, spelling and punctuation. Look at each sentence individually. Use spell-check and grammar-check if your computer has them, but don’t trust the computer to do your proofreading for you! Make sure the format is correct (MLA or APA)
  8. 8. So, were you taught the five-paragraph essay?  Introduction: Get your readers’ attention, thesis, three     points Body Paragraph I: Discuss point number Body Paragraph II: Discuss point number two Body Paragraph III: Discuss point number three Conclusion: Summarize your points, restate your thesis  Were you taught that each paragraph has to have 5 sentences?
  9. 9. Why move beyond it?  Most ‘real’ writing (newspaper articles, editorials, scholarly articles, creative writing, memoirs, business letters, reports and so on) has more than five paragraphs  The five-paragraph essay does little to engage the reader, or answer the question, ‘Why should I read this?’  The ‘tell them what you’re going to say, say it, tell them what you’ve said’ format can be repetitious (repetitious is a polite way to say boring. Readers hate to be bored).  As you begin to write longer, more in-depth papers, five paragraphs are simply not enough. Remember, paragraphs are there to help your reader by organizing your information and breaking it up into manageable chunks for them.

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