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The Writing Process. Part One: Planning and Shaping Pre-writing. Writing as Process. Writing is a process—not an “event”

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The writing process

The Writing Process

Part One: Planning and Shaping


Writing as process
Writing as Process

  • Writing is a process—not an “event”

    • So, professional writers don’t just sit down and write. Instead, they engage in a series of activities that starts the moment they begin thinking about a subject and ends with proofreading the final draft.

  • Good writing is rewriting, again and yet again.

    • Professional writing is filled with additions, deletions, rewordings, and rearrangements.

  • Writing is an ongoing process of considering alternatives and making choices

What is a writing situation
What is a Writing Situation?

  • The writing situation of each assignment is the place to start with thinking about your writing.

  • T = Topic

    • What topic will you be writing about? Will you have to come up with one on your own?

  • P = Purpose

    • What is the purpose of your writing? Will you be informing, persuading, or entertaining?

  • A = Audience

    • Who is your audience? In this course, I am your audience—you will learn what my expectations are for academic writing when you receive your first assignment.

  • S = Special Requirements

    • Practical matters—how much time do you have to complete an assignment? What is the length requirement?

Planning level i pre writing
Planning, Level I: Pre-writing

  • Once you have analyzed your writing situation, it is time to begin generating ideas.

  • What should you do after identifying a potential topic?

    • The next step is to figure out what you already know about that topic and what you need to find out.

      • Exploring/ pre-writing strategies are the means for doing this.


  • Think-time (not equal to procrastination)

  • Find out what you already know about your subject

  • Research: observe, experience, interview, listen, talk, read

  • ‘R’esearch: library work, surveys, hard data collecting

  • Generate ideas: listing, clustering, mapping

Pre composing

  • The goal is to expand the prewriting

  • Use freewriting to explore a topic, find a direction, a tentative thesis statement begin to mold the ideas


  • Freewriting can help you determine how much you know about a topic

  • Freewriting Strategy:

    • Before beginning your paper, after identifying a topic, write as quickly as you can without stopping for five or ten minutes. You should focus on a free flow of ideas. Write down anything that comes to mind, even if it does not directly relate to the topic. The goal of this is to keep your mind active…


  • These six questions can help you think through a topic. Reporter’s questions are aimed at delving into a topic and exploring every possible facet of that topic.

    • Who

    • When

    • Where

    • What

    • How

    • Why


  • Like freewriting, brainstorming forces your mind to create connections and develop ideas based on a non-stop flow of information.

  • Brainstorming usually takes the form of a list of:

    • Questions

    • Statements

    • Observations