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The Writing Process. The first steps. The Writing Process Overview. Understand the assignment Choose your topic Narrow your topic Come up with ideas (prewrite) Plan your essay (outline) Draft your essay Revise your essay Edit your essay.

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the writing process

The Writing Process

The first steps

the writing process overview
The Writing Process Overview
  • Understand the assignment
  • Choose your topic
  • Narrow your topic
  • Come up with ideas (prewrite)
  • Plan your essay (outline)
  • Draft your essay
  • Revise your essay
  • Edit your essay

Why is “the writing process” helpful? Why do people teach it?

choosing a topic
Choosing a Topic
  • Topic criteria:
    • It responds to the prompt
    • You are interested in the topic
    • You have enough to say about it (after prewriting)
  • Practice:
    • Freewrite about your topics
    • Share your topics with your small group
    • Share your group’s topics with the class
    • Choose one topic that meets the above criteria
narrowing your topic
Narrowing Your Topic
  • What does it mean to narrow a topic?
    • Make it more specific
    • Make it cover fewer closely related ideas
  • Why is it important to narrow your topic?
    • Include more insightful points (the reader hadn’t thought about)
    • Include more specific details and evidence
  • Examples:
    • Broad: Having strong writing skills can help people in their careers.
    • Narrower: Mechanical engineers need to have strong writing skills.
    • Narrower: Mechanical engineers need to be able to write with clarity and concision.
narrowing your topic1
Narrowing Your Topic
  • How can you narrow your topic?
    • Key word method:
      • Write the main point of your essay as a sentence
      • Make the key words more specific
    • Clustering:
      • Cluster ideas about your topic
      • Choose one branch of your cluster to focus on
  • What do you have to do if your essay starts out too broad?
  • What do you have to do if your essay starts out too narrow?
  • Practice:
    • Choose one of these methods to narrow your topic
    • Share your narrowed topic with your group
prewriting
Prewriting
  • Coming up with ideas before you sit down to write your essay can help you:
    • Prevent writer’s block
    • Make sure your essay has plenty of details
  • What prewriting methods does the book describe?
  • Practice: Questioning method
    • Write a list of questions about your topic.
      • Use the W/H questions (e.g., who, what, when, where, how, why, which, so what) to help.
      • List as many questions as you can think of.
      • Consider what your reader might want to know.
      • Pretend you have a skeptical reader.
  • Prewriting Assignment: Answer your questions with as many details as possible
next time
Next Time…
  • Going from prewriting to outlining
  • Going from outlining to drafting