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Writing Process

Five Steps of the Writing Process

Stage 1: Gathering Ideas (Prewriting)


Brainstorm, freewrite, cluster, cube, ask questions, read, interview others, relate aloud, or reflect.


Select and narrow a topic.


Discover a purpose for writing.


Analyze your audience.


Stage 2: Drafting


Get your ideas down on paper.


Don't be concerned about sentence structure, word choice, grammar, spelling, and punctuation.


Write a tentative thesis statement.


Stage 3: Revising


Focus on helping your audience understand your essay,


Improve your organization and supporting details.


Strengthen your introduction, thesis statement, and conclusion.


Polish sentence structure and word choice.


Use peer review.


Stage 4: Editing


Correct errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation.


Use a dictionary and a grammar handbook.


Don't rely on the computer's spell-check and grammar-check to catch all errors.


Keep an editing log.


Stage 5: Publishing


Share your final draft with your audience.