The 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
THINK AND DECIDE
Make sure you understand your assignment. See Research Papers or Essays
Decide on a topic to write about. See Narrow your Topic
Consider who will read your work. See Audience and Voice
Brainstorm ideas about the subject. See Prewriting Strategies
STEP 2: RESEARCH (IF NEEDED)
List places where you can find information. See Doing Research
Do your research. See Evaluating Sources and Primary vs. Secondary Sources
Make an Outline to help organize your research. See Outlines
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.
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1Adapted from The five steps of the writing process. lewis.cpsb.org