The writing process is a step by step process that requires different stages of development in order to construct an essay or paper. Every writer has a different and unique writing process. Personally, I believe that there is no single approach to producing an essay, rather multiple ways in which a writer may arrive at the final product. My writing process breaks down into four main steps; pre-writing, writing, revising/editing and then rewriting. Throughout my years of writing in high school I have never considered myself to be a strong writer.
The writing process can be very frustrating for me, because even after I have done my brainstorming and organizing, once I begin writing I will instantly start crossing out what I wrote and changing my sentences. This sometimes can make the writing process seem long and tedious, and is often very frustrating, however, by exploring and practicing the different steps of the writing process that work best for me I will able to produce well written essays that clearly communicate my intended message to my reader.
In this essay I will examine my writing process, in hopes of becoming a more skilled writer and communicator, and will further develop my ability to create thoughtful and well-constructed essays. Because I believe that writing is a skill that is utilized throughout a person’s life, it is essential to know how to prepare, organize and edit as it is useful in a myriad of situations. When beginning to write an essay, I know preparation is essential. My initial task is picking a topic, unless it is given.
After determining a topic, I then generate a thesis statement, which should not only support the topic but prepare the reader for the contents of the essay. I then begin my next step which is usually brainstorming and doing research to expand my knowledge on the subject given, or chosen topic. When I brainstorm, I get a piece of paper and pen to write down any ideas that come to mind. I then develop the jumbled mass of thoughts into a list of more complete ideas and points that I wish to address.
The last part of the pre-writing stage for me is to outline. Outlining helps me to structure the paper and determine how I want all of my information to lay out. My outline will show where and what main points I want to include in each of my paragraphs. I am now ready to begin creating my rough draft; this is the most difficult process for me, as I have always experienced difficulty simply beginning to write the essay. I make organization my ultimate goal during this step, because once my ideas, focuses and points are organized, I am able to freely write.
I make sure I have all of my pre-writes at hand, as they are my guide for writing my rough draft. I think that creating the rough draft is the most essential step when producing an essay, as it contains the outline of the topic being explored and it gives way to the thinking process. I will write as much information as I can without correcting anything. When I have all the information I want written down, I then check what I have and start to add necessary information, and erase information that isn’t consistent or accurate regarding my thesis.
Another important aspect of writing an essay is the conclusion, just as every essay has a clear beginning, it should also have a clear ending. The conclusion should make the essay sound finished. The more time that I put into giving my rough draft a strong foundation, the easier it will be for me to add my finishing touches to the final essay. Revising and editing my essays are the most crucial step and I spend most of my time during this process, I never think what I have written can’t be improved.
I tend to go over and over my words and change them as many times as is needed. I have been told that to “revise” is to look again at what is written and see how it can be improved. Usually, I will start to revise as soon as I begin my rough draft. I do this because I find myself constantly rearranging my words and sentences as I work out my ideas. I have also been taught that the best time to revise is a day or two after having written the rough draft so there is distance from the work and it is easier to spot errors, and make changes.
One thing I have learned that the revision step involves much more than just correcting errors in my grammar, spelling and punctuation. The last thing I make sure I do while revising is to read my work aloud so I am able to hear if something needs to be changed in my writing that I am unable to see. Once I have finished revising, I turn my attention to editing and proofreading my essay. I examine my sentences to make sure they are clear, concise and free of mistakes. I double check for run on sentences and wordy sentences which are a weakness in my writing.
I will also check each word in my essay and make sure they are appropriate with what I’m trying to say, check for spelling errors and making sure my punctuation is correct. A lesson I have learned from writing is everybody makes mistakes, and the worst mistake is forgetting to proofread. After I have completed the revising and editing process, I have my final draft ready. I ensure that it is in the correct MLA format and any citations are correct. I always take the time to read over my paper one or two more times before turning in my final copy.
It could mean the difference of a letter grade! Now that I have examined my writing process I am able to pin point the things I need to work on in order it improve my writing skills. I can see the importance of the writing process and the step by step process I will continue to follow and critique in order to make myself a great writer. The four stages of my writing process are framework for me to improve, write well and hopefully make it easier. Writing is the primary basis, upon which my work and learning are judged, it expresses who I am as a person and makes my thinking visible.
Courtney from Study Moose
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