Strengthening Your Writing Process Means Becoming a Better Writer
When we mention the writing process, we’re generally referring to:
These are the stages one must pass through to successfully plan, write, and polish a piece of writing. Of course, this process isn’t easy to master.
If you’re struggling with the writing process and want to improve, try following the tips below!
Learn the Writing Process Steps
If you don’t already know, you’ll first need to understand each step of the writing process. Here’s a quick overview.
The prewriting stage involves choosing a topic (if one hasn’t been assigned), researching, and planning. You’ll also determine your audience and purpose, which will shape your writing. At this stage, you’re gathering all of the information you’ll need to write your essay.
After prewriting, you’re ready to start working on your first draft. At this point, you shouldn’t be too concerned about making mistakes. You’re simply recording your ideas on paper, according to the research you’ve gathered during the prewriting stage.
At this stage, you’ll make improvements to your initial draft. You may add details and ideas, delete ideas that are off topic or unclear, and rearrange sentences or paragraphs. If possible, it’s a great idea to get feedback from your peers or teacher at this point.
While revising focuses more on the big picture, editing is all about correcting individual errors. At this stage, pay attention to spelling, grammar, punctuation, capitalization, and word usage.
You might not always publish your writing, but if you do, it’s the last step in the process. Once you’ve revised and edited your writing, you’re ready to share it with others. This may involve formatting, adding visuals or audio, and reading through the piece a final time.
If you struggle to remember these steps, try coming up with a mnemonic device to help you. For instance, you might say, “Paula’s Dog Rufus Eats Popcorn.” Of course, you can come up with any mnemonic device that’s memorable for you.
Understand the Importance of Each Step
To be successful during the writing process, it’s useful to understand why each step of the process is important.
Without planning and research, your writing will be undeveloped and unorganized. Without revising and editing, it may be unclear, unfocused, or full of errors. And publishing your writing allows you to share your hard work with others.
You should also know that these steps aren’t always linear. Sometimes, you may move back and forth between the steps of the writing process. If, for instance, you realize you need more research, you might need to return to the prewriting stage. Sometimes, multiple revisions are necessary as well.
If you understand each of these stages and why they’re important, as well as the fact that you may need to move back and forth between stages, then you’re off to a great start.
But you also want to learn how to do the writing process well. The best way to do this is by finding high-quality examples. Once you understand what an excellent finished product should look like, walking through the steps of the process becomes easier.
You can even search for examples of completed essay plans, checklists that others use to revise and edit, and so on. The more quality examples you see, the better the quality of your own writing will become.
Practice, Practice, Practice
And of course, the key to improvement is practice. As Vince Lombardi once said, “Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.”
This means you need to practice the writing process the right way in order to get better. Each time you’re assigned some writing, walk through the process of planning, drafting, revising, editing, and—if applicable—publishing. Move back and forth between the steps as needed in order to produce the best piece of writing possible.
Consult with teachers or accomplished peers to ensure that you’re practicing correctly. You can ask these individuals for advice during the prewriting process and have them review your plan. Then, you may want to have several pairs of eyes review your draft and give you pointers for the revising and editing stages.
Once you feel your paper is complete, have teachers or peers read through it again to let you know if you’ve missed any major errors or if your paper needs additional work.
Continue practicing perfectly, and you’ll eventually master the writing process. As a result, you’ll produce much better papers that earn you much higher scores.
Craft Stronger Writing for Your Academic, Professional, and Personal Life