The Writing Process

Writing is a process that can be divided into three stages: Pre-writing, drafting and the final revising stage which includes editing and proofreading. In the first stage you research your topic and make preparatory work before you enter the drafting stage. After you have written your text it is important that you take time to revise and correct it before submitting the final result.

Writing is often described as a linear process, moving from the first stage to the last stage in an orderly fashion. However, the writing process often requires moving back and forth between steps and is often more complex than the linear model represents. If you are working on a larger project you may have to break down the work into smaller parts to make it manageable; therefore you can be at different stages of the writing process in different parts of your project. You may also have to make changes in sections that you thought were finished as the contents are affected by what you write in other sections. Furthermore, new questions may arise along the way that will make it necessary to return to an earlier stage of the process, for example to do further research.

Pre-writing

In the pre-writing stage you plan and prepare your writing. This is also the stage where you research your topic and look for relevant sources.

Early in the pre-writing stage you should give thought to the subject and purpose of your assignment. If you are assigned a broad subject by your instructor you will need to narrow it down and focus on a smaller subject area, preferably something that interests you. In order to write effectively you also need to know the purpose of why you are writing.  Each type of writing has a unique set of guidelines and knowing your purpose for writing will help you produce a text of high quality and relevance.  In order for you to know the purpose of your writing you will need to interpret the task. See more information below about this.

Doing thorough preparatory work is important for your writing and will save you a lot of time in the long run. It will help you keep your focus during the writing process. As your project progresses you may have to make some changes to your initial plan.

At the beginning of the writing process it is important to take time to create a timetable for writing in order to ensure that you will have a finished product when the assignment is due. When planning your time, take into account that the revising phase may take as much time as the initial writing, or perhaps even longer. This is in many ways similar to planning your studies in general.

Tips on how to organize your studies

Drafting

Once you have created an outline it is time to start writing. Remember that you do not have to write a perfect first draft. Instead of focusing on producing a flawless text at this stage, try to concentrate on writing down your main ideas.  You do not need to edit or proofread yet. Instead, try to let your thinking and writing flow as freely as possible. Furthermore, you do not have to write the text from start to finish. It is okay to begin with the sections that you feel the most confident with.

You will probably have to rework your draft several times before you have a complete text. Preferably you should allow time between drafts (1 to 2 days, if you have the time) as it will give you a new perspective on your text.

Revising, editing and proofreading

This is the stage in the writing process where you make sure that your text is coherent and written accurately. Your final product should be a text that has been thoroughly worked through and that meets the academic standards of writing. Make sure that you allow enough time to revise, edit and proofread your assignment before submission.