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The Writing Process
Part One: Planning and
Shaping
Pre-writing
Writing as Process
• Writing is a process—not an “event”
– So, professional writers don’t just sit down and
write. Instead, they engage in a series of
activities that starts the moment they begin
thinking about a subject and ends with
proofreading the final draft.
• Good writing is rewriting, again and yet again.
– Professional writing is filled with additions,
deletions, rewordings, and rearrangements.
• Writing is an ongoing process of considering
alternatives and making choices
The Writing Process
Planning and Shaping
Level I: Idea Generating
Freewriting, Brainstorming, Questioning
Level II: Organizing
Clustering, Outlining
Drafting/Writing
Thesis
Support
Revising
Content, Unity, Support, Organization
Sentence Level
Editing
What is a Writing
Situation?
• The writing situation of each assignment is the place to start
with thinking about your writing.
• T = Topic
– What topic will you be writing about? Will you have to come up
with one on your own?
• P = Purpose
– What is the purpose of your writing? Will you be informing,
persuading, or entertaining?
• A = Audience
– Who is your audience? In this course, I am your audience—you
will learn what my expectations are for academic writing when
you receive your first assignment.
• S = Special Requirements
– Practical matters—how much time do you have to complete an
assignment? What is the length requirement?
Planning, Level I: Prewriting
• Once you have analyzed your writing
situation, it is time to begin generating
ideas.
• What should you do after identifying a
potential topic?
– The next step is to figure out what you
already know about that topic and what you
need to find out.
• Exploring/ pre-writing strategies are the means for
doing this.
Prewriting
• Think-time (not equal to procrastination)
• Find out what you already know about your
subject
• Research: observe, experience, interview,
listen, talk, read
• ‘R’esearch: library work, surveys, hard data
collecting
• Generate ideas: listing, clustering, mapping
Pre-composing
• The goal is to expand the prewriting
• Use freewriting to explore a topic, find
a direction, a tentative thesis
statement begin to mold the ideas
Freewriting
• Freewriting can help you determine how
much you know about a topic
• Freewriting Strategy:
– Before beginning your paper, after
identifying a topic, write as quickly as you
can without stopping for five or ten minutes.
You should focus on a free flow of ideas.
Write down anything that comes to mind,
even if it does not directly relate to the topic.
The goal of this is to keep your mind active…
Questioning
• These six questions can help you think
through a topic. Reporter’s questions are
aimed at delving into a topic and exploring
every possible facet of that topic.
–
–
–
–
–
–
Who
When
Where
What
How
Why
Brainstorming
• Like freewriting, brainstorming forces
your mind to create connections and
develop ideas based on a non-stop
flow of information.
• Brainstorming usually takes the form of
a list of:
– Questions
– Statements
– Observations
Questions?
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