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The Writing Process Brenham Writing Room Created by D. Herring.

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1 The Writing Process Brenham Writing Room Created by D. Herring

2 Stages of the Writing Process There are several stages to the Writing Process. Each stage is essential. There are several stages to the Writing Process. Each stage is essential. Prewriting Prewriting Writing (Drafting) Writing (Drafting) Revising Revising Editing Editing

3 I. Prewriting Choose/narrow your topic Choose/narrow your topic Determine your Determine your Audience Audience Purpose Purpose Tone Tone Point-of-view Point-of-view Tense Tense Explore your topic Explore your topic Make a plan Make a plan

4 Choose/Narrow Your Topic Your topic should pass the 3- question test: Your topic should pass the 3- question test: 1. Does it interest me? 2. Do I have something to say about it? 3. Is it specific?

5 Determine Your Audience Your Audience is composed of those who will read your writing. Your Audience is composed of those who will read your writing. Ask yourself: Ask yourself: Who are my readers? Who are my readers? What do my readers know about my topic? What do my readers know about my topic? What do my readers need to know about my topic? What do my readers need to know about my topic? How do my readers feel about my topic? How do my readers feel about my topic?

6 Audience continued... What do my readers expect? What do my readers expect? Standard Written English Standard Written English Correct grammar and spelling Correct grammar and spelling Accurate information Accurate information Logical presentation of ideas Logical presentation of ideas Followed directions of the assignment!!! Followed directions of the assignment!!! What are my length requirements? What are my length requirements? What is my time limit? What is my time limit? What does the assignment consist of? What does the assignment consist of? Is research required? Is research required? What format should be used? What format should be used?

7 Determine Your Purpose Purpose is the reason you are writing. Purpose is the reason you are writing. Whenever you write, you always have a purpose. Most writing fits into one of 3 categories: Whenever you write, you always have a purpose. Most writing fits into one of 3 categories: Expressive Writing Expressive Writing Informative Writing Informative Writing Persuasive Writing Persuasive Writing More than one of these may be used, but one will be primary. More than one of these may be used, but one will be primary.

8 Determine Tone Tone is the mood or attitude you adopt as you write. Tone is the mood or attitude you adopt as you write. Serious or frivolous/humorous? Serious or frivolous/humorous? Intimate or detached? Intimate or detached?

9 Determine Point-of-View Point-of-view is the perspective from which you write an essay. Point-of-view is the perspective from which you write an essay. There are 3 points-of-view: There are 3 points-of-view: First person—”I, we” First person—”I, we” Second person—”you” Second person—”you” Third person—”he, she, they” Third person—”he, she, they” One of the most common errors in writing occurs when the writer shifts point-of-view unnecessarily! One of the most common errors in writing occurs when the writer shifts point-of-view unnecessarily!

10 Determine Tense Tense is the voice you use to designate the time of the action or state of being. Tense is the voice you use to designate the time of the action or state of being. Present tense Present tense Past tense Past tense Future tense Future tense

11 Explore Your Topic Pre-writing Techniques: Pre-writing Techniques: Brainstorming/Listing Brainstorming/Listing Freewriting Freewriting Clustering/Mapping Clustering/Mapping Questioning Questioning Discussing Discussing Outlining Outlining

12 Make a Plan Before you begin drafting your essay, you should make a plan (a roadmap). Before you begin drafting your essay, you should make a plan (a roadmap). Review, evaluate, and organize ideas written in your pre-writing; then make a plan for your essay’s Review, evaluate, and organize ideas written in your pre-writing; then make a plan for your essay’s Thesis statement Thesis statement Support Support Order Order Structure Structure

13 Thesis Statement The thesis statement expresses the MAIN IDEA of your essay, the central point that your essay develops/supports. The thesis statement expresses the MAIN IDEA of your essay, the central point that your essay develops/supports.

14 Thesis continued... Your thesis SHOULD: Your thesis SHOULD: Accurately predict your essay’s direction, emphasis, and scope Accurately predict your essay’s direction, emphasis, and scope Make no promises that the essay will not fulfill Make no promises that the essay will not fulfill Be direct and straightforward Be direct and straightforward NOT be an announcement, statement of opinion, or statement of fact. NOT be an announcement, statement of opinion, or statement of fact.

15 Support Be sure to evaluate the information in your prewriting carefully in order to choose the best support for your topic. Be sure to evaluate the information in your prewriting carefully in order to choose the best support for your topic. Primary Support—major ideas or examples that back up your main points Primary Support—major ideas or examples that back up your main points Secondary Support—details which further explain your primary support Secondary Support—details which further explain your primary support

16 Support continued... Basics of good support Basics of good support Relates to main point Relates to main point Considers readers, i.e. provides enough information Considers readers, i.e. provides enough information Is detailed and specific Is detailed and specific

17 Order The Order is the sequence in which you present your ideas. The Order is the sequence in which you present your ideas. There are 3 types of order: There are 3 types of order: Time (chronological) order Time (chronological) order Space order Space order Emphatic order (order of importance: least-to-most, most- to-least) Emphatic order (order of importance: least-to-most, most- to-least)

18 Structure/Organization Consider how your essay will be organized; then create an Outline. Consider how your essay will be organized; then create an Outline. Sample Outline of standard Sample Outline of standard 5-paragraph essay: 5-paragraph essay: A. Introduction B. Body Paragraph 1 C. Body Paragraph 2 D. Body Paragraph 3 E. Conclusion

19 II. Writing During the Writing Stage, you should During the Writing Stage, you should Create your essay’s Title Create your essay’s Title Compose a draft Compose a draft A Draft is the first whole version of all your ideas put together; it’s a “dress rehearsal.” A Draft is the first whole version of all your ideas put together; it’s a “dress rehearsal.” You should plan to revise your Draft several times throughout the writing process. You should plan to revise your Draft several times throughout the writing process.

20 Creating Your Title Your essay’s title should: Your essay’s title should: Be original Be original Be a reasonable length Be a reasonable length Reflect your topic Reflect your topic Be lively and attention-getting Be lively and attention-getting Your title should NOT: Your title should NOT: Be generic/repeat the assignment Be generic/repeat the assignment Be in ALL CAPS Be in ALL CAPS Be in boldface, “quotation marks,” underlined, or italicized Be in boldface, “quotation marks,” underlined, or italicized Be followed by a period Be followed by a period

21 Titles, continued Capitalization Rules for Titles: Capitalization Rules for Titles: Always capitalize the first letter of the first word and the last word. Always capitalize the first letter of the first word and the last word. Capitalize the first letter of each “important” word in between the first and last words. Capitalize the first letter of each “important” word in between the first and last words. Do not capitalize articles (a, an, the) Do not capitalize articles (a, an, the) Do not capitalize coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, etc.) Do not capitalize coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, etc.) Do not capitalize prepositions (on, at, in, off, etc.) Do not capitalize prepositions (on, at, in, off, etc.)

22 Effective vs. Ineffective Titles Topic: Cheating in College Topic: Cheating in College Effective Titles: Effective Titles: Cheaters Never Win! Cheaters Never Win! Cheating in Higher Education Cheating in Higher Education Why Do Students Cheat? Why Do Students Cheat? Ineffective Titles: Ineffective Titles: Don’t Do It! Don’t Do It! Cheating Cheating Students Cheat for Many Different Reasons. Students Cheat for Many Different Reasons.

23 Writing a Draft Basics of a good draft: Basics of a good draft: Has a fully developed introduction and conclusion Has a fully developed introduction and conclusion Has fully developed body paragraphs, each containing a topic sentence, at least two examples, and detailed support Has fully developed body paragraphs, each containing a topic sentence, at least two examples, and detailed support Follows standard structure and uses complete sentences Follows standard structure and uses complete sentences

24 Write Your Introduction Your introductory paragraph should do the following: Your introductory paragraph should do the following: Be a minimum of 4-6 sentences Be a minimum of 4-6 sentences Tell the audience what to expect from your discussion (thesis) Tell the audience what to expect from your discussion (thesis) Move from general to specific, with the thesis as the last sentence in the intro Move from general to specific, with the thesis as the last sentence in the intro Get the reader’s attention Get the reader’s attention Set the tone for the rest of the essay Set the tone for the rest of the essay

25 Introduction, continued Strategies for developing an Introduction include Strategies for developing an Introduction include Providing background information Providing background information Telling a personal anecdote Telling a personal anecdote Beginning with a quotation Beginning with a quotation Using an opposite Using an opposite Asking a question Asking a question

26 Write Your Body Paragraphs Each body paragraph should develop one of the specific points mentioned in the thesis. Each body paragraph should develop one of the specific points mentioned in the thesis. Each BP should contain: Each BP should contain: Topic Sentence—main idea of BP Topic Sentence—main idea of BP Primary Support—examples Primary Support—examples Secondary Support—details Secondary Support—details

27 Body Paragraphs: Topic Sentence A Topic Sentence expresses the main idea of the body paragraph. A Topic Sentence expresses the main idea of the body paragraph. Begin each body paragraph with a Topic Sentence that Begin each body paragraph with a Topic Sentence that Narrows the focus of the paragraph Narrows the focus of the paragraph Accurately predicts the direction of the paragraph Accurately predicts the direction of the paragraph Refers back to the Thesis statement Refers back to the Thesis statement

28 Body Paragraphs continued Body paragraphs must have Body paragraphs must have Unity—everything refers back to main point Unity—everything refers back to main point Support—examples and details Support—examples and details Coherence—all points connect to form a whole; one point leads to another Coherence—all points connect to form a whole; one point leads to another

29 Body Paragraphs: Unity Unity is achieved when everything refers back to the main point Unity is achieved when everything refers back to the main point ALL SENTENCES SHOULD RELATE BACK TO TOPIC SENTENCE & THESIS. ALL SENTENCES SHOULD RELATE BACK TO TOPIC SENTENCE & THESIS. Do not include any ideas that are irrelevant or off-topic. Do not include any ideas that are irrelevant or off-topic.

30 Body Paragraphs: Support Support is achieved through adequate examples and details. Support is achieved through adequate examples and details. Each body paragraph should include at least two examples to support the main idea of the paragraph. Each body paragraph should include at least two examples to support the main idea of the paragraph. Each example should include at least one specific detail that further illustrates the point. Each example should include at least one specific detail that further illustrates the point.

31 Body Paragraphs: Coherence Coherence is achieved when all points connect to form a whole; one point leads to another. Coherence is achieved when all points connect to form a whole; one point leads to another. Coherence is mainly achieved through the use of transitions. Coherence is mainly achieved through the use of transitions. Transitions—words & phrases which connect your sentences so that your writing flows smoothly. Transitions—words & phrases which connect your sentences so that your writing flows smoothly.

32 Write Your Conclusion The concluding paragraph should The concluding paragraph should Contain a minimum of 4 sentences Contain a minimum of 4 sentences Refer back to the main point, but not simply repeat the thesis Refer back to the main point, but not simply repeat the thesis Make an observation on what is written Make an observation on what is written NOT introduce any new ideas NOT introduce any new ideas Create a sense of closure Create a sense of closure

33 III. Revising Revising is finding & correcting problems with content; changing the ideas in your writing to make them clearer, stronger, and more convincing. Revising is finding & correcting problems with content; changing the ideas in your writing to make them clearer, stronger, and more convincing. Revising looks at the “Big Picture”— the Idea level. Revising looks at the “Big Picture”— the Idea level.

34 Revision Strategies Look for Look for Unity Unity Does everything refer back to main point? Does everything refer back to main point? Does each topic sentence refer to the thesis? Does each topic sentence refer to the thesis? Does each sentence in each BP refer back to the topic sentence? Does each sentence in each BP refer back to the topic sentence? Detail and support Detail and support Does each BP contain at least two examples? Does each BP contain at least two examples? Is each example followed by at least one supporting detail? Is each example followed by at least one supporting detail? Coherence Coherence Are all points connect to form a whole? Are all points connect to form a whole? Are transitions used to move from one idea to the next? Are transitions used to move from one idea to the next?

35 Revision Tips Take a break from your draft before attempting to revise. Take a break from your draft before attempting to revise. Read your draft out loud and listen to your words. Read your draft out loud and listen to your words. Imagine yourself as your reader. Imagine yourself as your reader. Look for consistent problem areas. Look for consistent problem areas. Get feedback from peers. Get feedback from peers. Get help from a tutor! Get help from a tutor!

36 IV. Editing Editing is finding and correcting problems with grammar, style, word choice & usage, and punctuation. Editing is finding and correcting problems with grammar, style, word choice & usage, and punctuation. Editing focuses on the “Little Picture”—Word level. Editing focuses on the “Little Picture”—Word level.

37 Editing Strategies Keep an Error Log to help you identify your problem areas and improve your writing. Keep an Error Log to help you identify your problem areas and improve your writing. When editing, review your paper for one type of error at a time; don’t try to read through looking for everything at once. When editing, review your paper for one type of error at a time; don’t try to read through looking for everything at once.

38 Editing Tips Work with a clean printed copy, double-spaced to allow room to mark corrections. Work with a clean printed copy, double-spaced to allow room to mark corrections. Read your essay backwards. Read your essay backwards. Be cautious of spell-check and grammar-check. Be cautious of spell-check and grammar-check. Read your essay out loud. Read your essay out loud. Get feedback from peers. Get feedback from peers. Work with a tutor! Work with a tutor!

39 Self-Review You should never move to peer review without first completing a self- review (revising & editing); you want your peer to look for mistakes that you were unable to catch yourself! You should never move to peer review without first completing a self- review (revising & editing); you want your peer to look for mistakes that you were unable to catch yourself! After you have reviewed your own work, make the necessary corrections and print a clean, revised copy before moving on to peer review. After you have reviewed your own work, make the necessary corrections and print a clean, revised copy before moving on to peer review.

40 Peer-Review It is important to make the peer review process useful. It is important to make the peer review process useful. Basics of useful feedback: Basics of useful feedback: It is given in a positive way It is given in a positive way It is specific It is specific It offers suggestions It offers suggestions It is given both verbally and in writing It is given both verbally and in writing


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