Applying the Writing Process
to Create a
Middle School Memory Book
How to Use this Tutorial
To navigate through this tutorial, simply use your mouse to click at the buttons
at the right hand side of the bottom of the screen to perform the following
To return to the beginning of the tutorial, click the home button
To return to the previous page, click the back arrow
To progress to the next page, click the next arrow
Middle school is a time when many new
experiences are had by students. We grow
physically and mentally, and learn many new
skills in a range of subjects. One skill that is used
in every subject is writing. This is a skill that does
not require us asking “When am I really going to
use this?”. We have learned that writing is a
major way of communication, and although
much of our writing these days comes through
informal texting and email, it is important to
understand and use the entire writing process.
This tutorial will walk through the writing
process as a guide to creating a middle school
memory book. This is a book that will house
written experiences and pictures that will help
us remember our exciting middle school
moments for the rest of our lives.
Making a Memory Book: Before We Get Started
Before you can start, you need to think about available materials for the project. You will want to have sturdy
material such as cardboard, or heavy duty construction paper for front/back cover and a way to bind the
finished product together. Visuals will add significant meaning to your memory book. Gather photos you will
want to include, and think about personal drawings you will need to create or locate. Additional ideas for
visuals to add to your memory book could include: postcards or greeting cards, cash register receipts from
items associated with memories, notes from friends, and anything else that comes to mind. This is your
memory book, so make it special to you.
Making a Memory Book: Getting Started
The purpose of creating this memory book is to not only serve as a reminder of the middle school years, but to
take you through the entire writing process. A good memory book will include many photos/illustrations and
interesting journal entries. Ideas for developing journal entries may include the
first day of middle school
a middle school dance
worst cafeteria lunch
best middle school vacation or field trip
a bully experience
middle school crush
The Writing Process
Before we can actually begin, it is important to ensure a clear understanding of the writing process. The five
Please watch this short video for more in-depth explanation of each element: Writing Process Explanation
Making a Memory Book: Prewriting Stage
Now that ideas for topics have been provided, it is time to think about the personal experiences that you will
relate to each topic for a journal entry. Visualize the experiences as you are recalling them. Follow this link to
view a short video to help with the pre-writing (brainstorming) stage: Getting started
What brainstorming looks like:
Steps to help brainstorm:
1. Write the topic at the top of a blank page.
2. List every idea about the topic that comes to
mind, in whatever order the ideas occur to you, and
no matter how silly an idea may seem.
3. Group similar ideas together.
4. Get rid of any idea that doesn’t fit into one of
5. Feel free to doodle pictures that may come
First Day of Middle School
Wore new pink Converse
Saw friends missed from last year
Got to show off summer tan
Knew way around from big sis
Got to sit by cute boy at lunch
No more glasses – contacts!
Sat by mean 8th grader on bus
Forgot drink money at lunch
Mean homeroom teacher
It was so hot!
Best friend moved
Argued with mom that morning
Spilled pudding on shirt at lunch
Making a Memory Book: Drafting
There is no reason to waste time during the
drafting process. If you are having a hard time
with the introduction, skip to the body and go
back later. This version of writing will be revised
several times, so there is no need to worry about
mistakes during the drafting stage. Use your
brainstorming list to help organize ideas in the
draft and roll with it, because it is just a draft!
Take your topics, the brainstorm organizers for each topic,
and jump in to drafting the journal entries!
Check out this video for more information on the drafting
process: How to Draft
Making a Memory Book: Revising
The revision process can seem overwhelming at times. The purpose of revising is to make sure that the
everything makes sense and is clearly conveyed. Ask yourself the following questions during this process:
Does the writing seem to flow naturally (use transitions!)?
Are my main ideas clear and supported with sufficient details?
Is only relevant information included?
Check out this video for tips on how to start the revision process with the big picture and work towards
revising on a smaller scale: 3 Step Revision Process
Making a Memory Book: Proofreading
The proofreading process is a very important step to
take before releasing your final product. This is the
last chance to check for errors and make sure your
product is well written. While you need to
proofread your own paper, it is always a good idea to
have a peer evaluate your work with a fresh pair of
eyes and a different perspective. In addition to
making sure ideas are clear and all information is
relevant, at this stage is is imperative to check the
following components: grammar, punctuation,
capitalization, and spelling. Use the provided
checklist to get a peer to proofread your journal
Peer Editing Checklist
Title of Work
Does the writing make sense?
Are transition words used?
Are all sentences related to the main idea of each paragraph?
Are words spelled correctly?
Is there a capitol letter at the beginning of each sentence? Are all proper nouns
Are sentences punctuated properly?
Does the title clearly relate to the writing?
2 stars and a wish: write two things that were great about the writing and one you
would like to see improved.
Making a Memory Book: Publishing
After all your hard work is complete, you are now ready to share your finished writing with other people! Your
memory book may have some private information in it, so you may not want to share it with just anyone.
However, you want your final product to reflect all of the time and effort you put into it.
Before you are completely finished, ask yourself the following questions:
Is the content of your memory book organized logically?
Is the memory book visually appealing overall?
Do illustrations (photographs/drawings/memorabilia ) appear neatly and purposefully throughout the memory
Is handwriting/typing neat and errorless?
Once you have completed each step of the writing process, you should feel confident about the work you have
Now that you have completed your memory book
using the complete writing process, think about what
you found to be useful and what you found to be a
challenge. The writing process is something you will
use during high school and in college, as well as in daily
life. Following the writing process will ensure that you
have quality work in the end, but it takes practice and
knowledge of what works best for you as the individual
writer. Continue to reflect on the process and use it for
future projects, and you will certainly become a better
writer along the way!