The writing process teaches students to internalize the steps for producing a finished piece of writing and should entail the recursive phases of pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. When students internalize the process approach, they are prepared to produce logical and well written documents which convey an appropriate message for a specific audience in personal, academic, and professional contexts.
All stages in the writing process may be condensed in a timed writing, but they are addressed, even briefly. Internalizing the writing process helps students improve “on demand” or timed essay performance. In a professional environment, the same steps in the writing process should be employed for presentations and even emails. In scientific and technical contexts, where the purpose for writing may not be production within a limited time frame but rather ease of replication, working through the writing process is still a valuable exercise. Learning, implementing, and internalizing the writing process helps students to produce effective writing for a variety of purposes including writings that may not proceed through the full writing process.
The writing process is something that no two people do the same way. There is no "right way" or "wrong way" to write. It can be a very messy and fluid process, and the following is only a representation of commonly used steps.
STEPS OF THE WRITING PROCESS
STEP 1: PREWRITING
THINK AND DECIDE
STEP 2: RESEARCH (IF NEEDED)
STEP 3: DRAFTING
- Put the information you researched into your own words. See Paraphrase and Summary
- Write sentences and paragraphs even if they are not perfect.
- Read what you have written and judge if it says what you mean. See Thesis Statements
- Write some more. See Incorporating References
- Read it again.
- Write some more.
- Read it again.
- Write until you have said everything you want to say about the topic.
STEP 4: REVISING
MAKE IT BETTER
- Read what you have written again. See Revising Content and Revising Organization
- Rearrange words, sentences or paragraphs.
- Take out or add parts.
- Do more research if you think you should.
- Replace overused or unclear words.
- Read your writing aloud to be sure it flows smoothly.
STEP 5: EDITING AND PROOFREADING
MAKE IT CORRECT
- Be sure all sentences are complete. See Editing and Proofreading
- Correct spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.
- Change words that are not used correctly or are unclear.
- Make sure you are using the appropriate Style formatting.
See for MLA: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01
See for APA: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/
See for Chicago: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/717/01/
for examples. Have someone else check your work.
1Adapted from The five steps of the writing process. lewis.cpsb.org