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Detailed Overview Of Writing Process

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Detailed Overview Of Writing Process

  1. 1. The Writing Process Brenham Writing Room Created by D. Herring
  2. 2. Stages of the Writing Process  There are several stages to the Writing Process. Each stage is essential.  Prewriting  Writing (Drafting)  Revising  Editing
  3. 3. I. Prewriting  Choose/narrow your topic  Determine your  Audience  Purpose  Tone  Point-of-view  Tense  Explore your topic  Make a plan
  4. 4. Choose/Narrow Your Topic  Your topic should pass the 3- question test: 1. Does it interest me? 2. Do I have something to say about it? 3. Is it specific?
  5. 5. Determine Your Audience  Your Audience is composed of those who will read your writing.  Ask yourself:  Who are my readers?  What do my readers know about my topic?  What do my readers need to know about my topic?  How do my readers feel about my topic?
  6. 6. Audience continued. . .  What do my readers expect?  Standard Written English  Correct grammar and spelling  Accurate information  Logical presentation of ideas  Followed directions of the assignment!!!  What are my length requirements?  What is my time limit?  What does the assignment consist of?  Is research required?  What format should be used?
  7. 7. Determine Your Purpose  Purpose is the reason you are writing.  Whenever you write, you always have a purpose. Most writing fits into one of 3 categories:  Expressive Writing  Informative Writing  Persuasive Writing  More than one of these may be used, but one will be primary.
  8. 8. Determine Tone  Tone is the mood or attitude you adopt as you write.  Serious or frivolous/humorous?  Intimate or detached?
  9. 9. Determine Point-of-View  Point-of-view is the perspective from which you write an essay.  There are 3 points-of-view:  First person—”I, we”  Second person—”you”  Third person—”he, she, they”  One of the most common errors in writing occurs when the writer shifts point-of-view unnecessarily!
  10. 10. Determine Tense  Tense is the voice you use to designate the time of the action or state of being.  Present tense  Past tense  Future tense
  11. 11. Explore Your Topic  Pre-writing Techniques:  Brainstorming/Listing  Freewriting  Clustering/Mapping  Questioning  Discussing  Outlining
  12. 12. Make a Plan  Before you begin drafting your essay, you should make a plan (a roadmap).  Review, evaluate, and organize ideas written in your pre-writing; then make a plan for your essay’s  Thesis statement  Support  Order  Structure
  13. 13. Thesis Statement  The thesis statement expresses the MAIN IDEA of your essay, the central point that your essay develops/supports.
  14. 14. Thesis continued. . .  Your thesis SHOULD:  Accurately predict your essay’s direction, emphasis, and scope  Make no promises that the essay will not fulfill  Be direct and straightforward  NOT be an announcement, statement of opinion, or statement of fact.
  15. 15. Support  Be sure to evaluate the information in your prewriting carefully in order to choose the best support for your topic.  Primary Support—major ideas or examples that back up your main points  Secondary Support—details which further explain your primary support
  16. 16. Support continued. . .  Basics of good support  Relates to main point  Considers readers, i.e. provides enough information  Is detailed and specific
  17. 17. Order  The Order is the sequence in which you present your ideas.  There are 3 types of order:  Time (chronological) order  Space order  Emphatic order (order of importance: least-to-most, most- to-least)
  18. 18. Structure/Organization  Consider how your essay will be organized; then create an Outline.  Sample Outline of standard 5-paragraph essay: A. Introduction B. Body Paragraph 1 C. Body Paragraph 2 D. Body Paragraph 3 E. Conclusion
  19. 19. II. Writing  During the Writing Stage, you should  Create your essay’s Title  Compose a draft  A Draft is the first whole version of all your ideas put together; it’s a “dress rehearsal.”  You should plan to revise your Draft several times throughout the writing process.
  20. 20. Creating Your Title  Your essay’s title should:  Be original  Be a reasonable length  Reflect your topic  Be lively and attention-getting  Your title should NOT:  Be generic/repeat the assignment  Be in ALL CAPS  Be in boldface, “quotation marks,” underlined, or italicized  Be followed by a period
  21. 21. Titles, continued  Capitalization Rules for Titles:  Always capitalize the first letter of the first word and the last word.  Capitalize the first letter of each “important” word in between the first and last words.  Do not capitalize articles (a, an, the)  Do not capitalize coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, etc.)  Do not capitalize prepositions (on, at, in, off, etc.)
  22. 22. Effective vs. Ineffective Titles  Topic: Cheating in College  Effective Titles:  Cheaters Never Win!  Cheating in Higher Education  Why Do Students Cheat?  Ineffective Titles:  Don’t Do It!  Cheating  Students Cheat for Many Different Reasons.
  23. 23. Writing a Draft  Basics of a good draft:  Has a fully developed introduction and conclusion  Has fully developed body paragraphs, each containing a topic sentence, at least two examples, and detailed support  Follows standard structure and uses complete sentences
  24. 24. Write Your Introduction  Your introductory paragraph should do the following:  Be a minimum of 4-6 sentences  Tell the audience what to expect from your discussion (thesis)  Move from general to specific, with the thesis as the last sentence in the intro  Get the reader’s attention  Set the tone for the rest of the essay
  25. 25. Introduction, continued  Strategies for developing an Introduction include  Providing background information  Telling a personal anecdote  Beginning with a quotation  Using an opposite  Asking a question
  26. 26. Write Your Body Paragraphs  Each body paragraph should develop one of the specific points mentioned in the thesis.  Each BP should contain:  Topic Sentence—main idea of BP  Primary Support—examples  Secondary Support—details
  27. 27. Body Paragraphs: Topic Sentence  A Topic Sentence expresses the main idea of the body paragraph.  Begin each body paragraph with a Topic Sentence that  Narrows the focus of the paragraph  Accurately predicts the direction of the paragraph  Refers back to the Thesis statement
  28. 28. Body Paragraphs continued  Body paragraphs must have  Unity—everything refers back to main point  Support—examples and details  Coherence—all points connect to form a whole; one point leads to another
  29. 29. Body Paragraphs: Unity  Unity is achieved when everything refers back to the main point  ALL SENTENCES SHOULD RELATE BACK TO TOPIC SENTENCE & THESIS.  Do not include any ideas that are irrelevant or off-topic.
  30. 30. Body Paragraphs: Support  Support is achieved through adequate examples and details.  Each body paragraph should include at least two examples to support the main idea of the paragraph.  Each example should include at least one specific detail that further illustrates the point.
  31. 31. Body Paragraphs: Coherence  Coherence is achieved when all points connect to form a whole; one point leads to another.  Coherence is mainly achieved through the use of transitions.  Transitions—words & phrases which connect your sentences so that your writing flows smoothly.
  32. 32. Write Your Conclusion  The concluding paragraph should  Contain a minimum of 4 sentences  Refer back to the main point, but not simply repeat the thesis  Make an observation on what is written  NOT introduce any new ideas  Create a sense of closure
  33. 33. III. Revising  Revising is finding & correcting problems with content; changing the ideas in your writing to make them clearer, stronger, and more convincing.  Revising looks at the “Big Picture”— the Idea level.
  34. 34. Revision Strategies  Look for  Unity  Does everything refer back to main point?  Does each topic sentence refer to the thesis?  Does each sentence in each BP refer back to the topic sentence?  Detail and support  Does each BP contain at least two examples?  Is each example followed by at least one supporting detail?  Coherence  Are all points connect to form a whole?  Are transitions used to move from one idea to the next?
  35. 35. Revision Tips  Take a break from your draft before attempting to revise.  Read your draft out loud and listen to your words.  Imagine yourself as your reader.  Look for consistent problem areas.  Get feedback from peers.  Get help from a tutor!
  36. 36. IV. Editing  Editing is finding and correcting problems with grammar, style, word choice & usage, and punctuation.  Editing focuses on the “Little Picture”—Word level.
  37. 37. Editing Strategies  Keep an Error Log to help you identify your problem areas and improve your writing.  When editing, review your paper for one type of error at a time; don’t try to read through looking for everything at once.
  38. 38. Editing Tips  Work with a clean printed copy, double-spaced to allow room to mark corrections.  Read your essay backwards.  Be cautious of spell-check and grammar-check.  Read your essay out loud.  Get feedback from peers.  Work with a tutor!
  39. 39. Self-Review  You should never move to peer review without first completing a self- review (revising & editing); you want your peer to look for mistakes that you were unable to catch yourself!  After you have reviewed your own work, make the necessary corrections and print a clean, revised copy before moving on to peer review.
  40. 40. Peer-Review  It is important to make the peer review process useful.  Basics of useful feedback:  It is given in a positive way  It is specific  It offers suggestions  It is given both verbally and in writing

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