31 What is the writing process?

Kathy Boylan

No matter what type of writing you are doing, academic writing, professional writing, or personal writing, it can be made easier by using the writing process.  The writing process consists of the different stages that a writer follows to produce a good piece of writing.  Although different sources may label and group the stages in various ways, the stages of the writing process are essentially as follows:

Prewriting – Deciding what to write about (the topic) and gathering information to support or explain what you want to say about your subject, and planning how to organize your ideas in a way that effectively develops the topic.

Drafting -Writing the first copy of the piece (essay, article, etc.). This is often called the rough draft. Ultimately, you should have multiple copies or drafts of your work.

Revising -Reconsidering the ideas and content of the essay as well as refining the style and structure of the paper.

Editing/Proofreading – Correcting grammar, punctuation, spelling, and mechanics.

Publishing – Sharing the final draft with others.


Figure 4.1 The Writing Process

The Writing Process


However, the writing process is not a series of neatly developed steps and may differ somewhat for everyone.  Sometimes ideas do not flow easily, and the essay that you originally start out to write is not the essay that you end up writing.  Often the stages proceed erratically and overlap; the important thing is to keep writing and improving until a final product is achieved.  The more that you write, the better you will become as a writer.


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Let's Get Writing! Copyright © 2018 by Kathy Boylan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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