The Writing Process

To become a proficient writer, it is important to understand that writing is a process. Whether you are writing a business letter, sending an email to a friend, or writing an essay for history class, there is a process that, when followed, will make your writing easier to understand and more enjoyable to read. The process of writing is listed below in easy to follow steps.

  • Choose a topic.

  • Gather information.

  • Record notes that are relevant to your topic.

  • Construct sentences from your notes.

  • Disregard irrelevant sentences.

  • Arrange sentences in logical order.

  • Write sentences in paragraph format.

  • Check for errors and rewrite.

  • Check again for errors and rewrite again.

  • Turn in or send your document.

Let's examine each step more closely and see if we can discard any of the steps.

  • Choosing a topic. This step is needed regardless of what type of writing you intend to do. Even if you are just sending an email to a friend, there is a reason for sending the message. This reason is the topic of your email.

  • Gather information. In this step you find and collect all the information that you believe you will need to complete the writing you plan to do. In certain types of writing, such as a letter to a friend, this step may take place unconsciously. In other types of writing, such as an essay for a class, this step requires time spent doing reasearch.

  • Record notes that are relevant. In this step you should not worry about grammatical structure. The notes you write on your paper are just bits and pieces of information that are relevant to the topic you have chosen to write about. Like the previous step of gathering information, this step happens unconsciously in most instances of informal writing.

  • Construct sentences from your notes. This step requires a little concentration and work. Make sure the sentences are grammatically correct. This is critical, even for informal writing such as email.

  • Disregard irrelevant sentences. Make sure the sentences you keep are relevant to the topic you have chosen. Check the tutorial on relevancy for a full explanation.

  • Arrange your sentences in logical order. Remember, every language organizes ideas differently. What is logical in one language is usually not logical in another.

  • Write the sentences in paragraph format. See the tutorial on paragraphs for an explanation of paragraph formats.

  • Check for errors and rewrite. This is commonly known as editing and rewriting. This is one of the most crucial steps in the writing process, which is why I have listed it twice.

  • Check again for errors and rewrite. This time you may even want to have someone else read what you have written. Sometimes other people will see mistakes that you have overlooked.

  • Turn in or send your document. Once you are certain the piece you have written is free from errors and says what you want it to say, give it to the person for whom it was written.