Writing process

Writing is a process that is made up of several different elements: Invention (Pre-Writing), Organization, Writing, Revising, and Editing.  However, these different elements overlap with one another; they arenít separate stages.  Successful writers are constantly going through these different elements.  In other words, the student who is proficient at college level writing is aware of what makes up the writing process.  Skillful writers continually remind themselves of this process, and they constantly monitor their writing, re-engaging themselves with their work. 

Invention (Pre-Writing): this phase consists of generating your essay topic(s), generating specific details for your essay, organizing your essay, determining the purpose of your writing and who your audience is.  Activities such as brainstorming, clustering, and freewriting will help you with this phase.

Organization: after inventing some ideas for your paper, it is usually a good idea to pare down your pre-writing to the essentials of what you need for an essay.  Having too much information in an essay can be as detrimental as not having enough.  Also, you need to find a method of organization for your essay, a game plan to execute, a backbone with which you will flesh out all of your details.  Hence, an outline or other sort of organization becomes crucial to developing a cohesive essay.

Drafting: once you have done some pre-writing (the amount of time that you spend on pre-writing depends on your own writing style as well as the topic), and some organization to get rid of unnecessary information, begin the actual writing of the essay. 

Revising: during and after your writing, you should check to see what needs to be added, deleted, or rearranged.  You also need to check your organization, focus, and purpose.  Good writers do this continually during the writing phase.

Editing: check your essayís grammar, syntax, word choice, etc.  Editing consists of checking your mechanics, not your content. 

The goal of these steps is not to provide you with a formulaic method of approaching writing; rather, these steps should serve as a general guideline for how to begin generating good text.  Ultimately, it is only through time and patience that proficient writers come upon the process of writing that works best for them.

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