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2: The Writing Process

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    Learning Objectives

    • Use prewriting to prepare to write a well-developed college essay.
    • Strategically draft, revise, and edit an effective college essay appropriate to the audience and purpose of the assignment.

    • 2.1: Introduction
      When Kiana started taking college classes, she brought with her a belief that she was not a very strong writer. This lack of confidence was, unfortunately, developed throughout her K-12 education. In elementary school, she struggled with spelling. In middle school, she found that her vocabulary were embarrassingly limited. In high school, she struggled with what she thought must be writer’s block, sitting down to finally write a draft right before it was due....
    • 2.2: Prewriting
      Prewriting is an essential activity for most writers. Through robust prewriting, writers generate ideas, explore directions, and find their way into their writing. When students attempt to write an essay without developing their ideas, strategizing their desired structure, and focusing on precision with words and phrases, they can end up with a “premature draft”—one that is more writer-based than reader-based and, thus, might not be received by readers in the way the writer intended.
    • 2.3: Drafting
      Once students have spent time and effort preparing to write by gathering ideas and organizing activities, they are ready to begin drafting. Many instructors recommend a practice that is referred to as fast drafting, in which the student writes under the pressure of a time limit, much like freewriting. This allows students to create without their inner critic undermining their momentum. It empowers the “creator hand” to work with agency, while silencing the “editor hand.”
    • 2.4: Revision
      Revision literally means to re-see or re-envision a piece of writing. This process may involve adding, rearranging, removing, and replacing (ARRR) words, sentences, and ideas. Since writing is recursive, revising may require revisiting the prewriting stage.
    • 2.5: Editing
      The process of editing is an ongoing activity for all writers. From the time they come up with a possible topic, they begin editing their ideas and directions in which to go. Once they begin to write, however, the editing takes a new path. Writers edit their own work by reading with fresh eyes and deciding if words need to be moved around or changed. They look for misspellings and awkward wording, and they rework for the sake of clarity.

    Thumbnail: Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

    This page titled 2: The Writing Process is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Ann Inoshita, Karyl Garland, Kate Sims, Jeanne K. Tsutsui Keuma, and Tasha Williams (University of Hawaiʻi OER) .