The Writing Center

The Writing Process

Writing Process


Pre-writing: This is the planning phase of the writing process, when writers brainstorm, research, gather, and outline ideas, often using diagrams for mapping out their thoughts. Audience and purpose should be considered at this point, and a working thesis statement should be established. *See "Invention Techniques: How to Determine a Topic," "Building and Revising a Thesis," and "Creating an Outline for a Classic Argument" under Resources to receive additional information regarding Pre-Writing

Drafting: Writers create their initial composition by writing down all their ideas in an organized way to convey a particular idea or to present an argument. A writer's audience and purpose should be defined and evident in this stage. *See "Parts of the Essay," "Topic Sentences and Transitions," and "Argument Templates" under Resources to receive further guidance on Drafting

Revision: Revising should be, literally, a "Re-Vision" of a piece of writing. Students should review, modify, and reorganize their work by rearranging, adding, or deleting content, and by making the tone, style, and content appropriate for their intended audience. The goal of this phase of the writing process is to improve the draft. *See "Essay Checklist" under Resources to determine what may need to be revised in your writing

Editing: At this point in the writing process, writers proofread and correct errors in grammar and mechanics, and edit to improve style and clarity. Having another writer’s feedback in this stage is helpful. *See "10 Rules for Using Commas" and "Common Writing Mistakes" under Resources to receive additional information about proper grammar 

Publishing: In this last step of the writing process, the final writing is shared with the group. Sharing can be accomplished in a variety of ways, and with the help of computers, it can even be printed or published online. *See "Presentations: Making a PowerPoint" under Resources to receive helpful tips on presenting your written work to others

Note: Writers do not necessarily move through each stage of the writing process sequentially. As shown in the diagram above, writers may bounce from one stage to the next, revisiting stages they may have already encountered. Navigating your way through the Writing Process requires you to continually reflect on the writing decisions you are making, remaining open to making changes when you are enlightened to something new and improved, or when you see that you can communicate something more clearly and powerfully. 'Good' Writers recognize that ALL writing can be improved and enhanced, and they are willing to critically examine their work until they feel confident with the writing they have produced.


Last Updated: 6/9/16