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A Brief Description Of The Writing Process For Students

By Expert Author: Joe Jenkins

Students are taught that writing is a process, and it requires time and dedication for good results. Time in the classroom is limited, and there isn't always to allow students (and to remind them) to take the time to go through the process. Many teachers will count the prewriting and outlining as separate grades or will not accept the final draft without the prewriting, outlining, and rough drafts. This reminds the students (and teachers) of the importance of these steps in creating organized and well-written essays.
Here is a brief description of the writing process. The basic writing process involves the five step process. This begins with prewriting. There are many activities that are considered prewriting. Webbing, brainstorming, listing of ideas, T-charts, and mapping are all ways of getting initial ideas down on paper. All of these are activities that are considered prewriting. Outlining is another form of prewriting that is often used in formal essay writing and research writing.
After prewriting is completed and ideas are on paper and organized in a logical way, the drafting process can begin. This is where the writer will take his or her ideas and formulate them into a coherent piece of writing that will appeal to a particular audience. Often the drafting process is not a one-time deal. It may take several attempts to craft the writing into a solid piece. Part of this step includes the third step, revising.
Revision is when the writer continues to review his own work and make changes to improve it. Teachers often will offer revision suggestions to students in middle school and high school. Collegiate settings don't always foster writers the same way, and college students should have peers review their work and offer revision suggestions when instructors are not available.
When the student/writer is comfortable with the piece of writing and is ready to have a teacher or instructor review it or do a "first read", this is when the editing step begins. Editing refers to fixing all of the problems whether they are content, format, or grammar related. Instructors often have a superior grasp of grammar and syntax and can make suggestions for improvements in student writing that make huge differences in the quality of the piece.
The last step of the process is publishing. Publishing actually refers to completion of the final product. It can be just having a final copy that is ready to be graded. It can be publishing the paper or piece to a website or journal or even just having it displayed in a classroom. For students, this is usually when the piece receives a "grade".
It is often difficult to remember to do all of the steps, all of the time. However, students will find that the outcome is always better if they follow the process. Sometimes, students are asked to answer essay questions during testing situations. A modified version of the process can still be employed when you must "write on demand". Read the prompt. Assess what is being asked of the writer. Think about the audience and purpose associated with the prompt. Pre-writing can still be done in a time-crunch. Jot down ideas and organize them in a logical order. Write a draft. Go back and review it for content problems and grammatical issues. Fix the issues. Done! Never just start writing an answer to an essay question without doing some planning first. There is an excellent chance that important information will be left out that the writer will want credit for knowing.
Remember: Prewriting, Drafting, Revising, Editing, and Publishing!

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