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
STEP 1: PREWRITING
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.
- 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: Purdue OWL MLA Style Introduction
See for APA: Purdue OWL APA Style Introduction
See for Chicago: Purdue OWL CMOS General Format
for examples. Have someone else check your work.
1Adapted from The five steps of the writing process. lewis.cpsb.org