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O VERVIEW OF THE W RITING P ROCESS Language Network – Chapter 12.

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1 O VERVIEW OF THE W RITING P ROCESS Language Network – Chapter 12

2 T HE W RITING P ROCESS Writing is a form of art – a creative process of expression. As with most works of art, it is easier to complete your project if you have the end goal in mind before you begin. Toni Morrison, a famous author, once said, “I always know the ending; that’s where I start.”

3 T HE W RITING P ROCESS There are five steps to the writing process. In order to increase your chances of successfully completing a writing project, you should follow them closely: 1. Prewriting 2. Drafting 3. Revising 4. Editing and Proofreading 5. Publishing and Reflecting

4 P REWRITING As you prepare to write, you should always ask yourself questions about the following four items: 1. Purpose 2. Topic 3. Audience 4. Form Once you are able to answer questions on all of these topics, you should be prepared to write.

5 P URPOSE 1. Why am I writing this piece? 2. Am I writing to entertain, inform, or persuade? 3. What personal need does it fulfill? 4. What effect do I want to have on my readers?

6 T OPIC 1. Is my topic assigned, or can I choose it? 2. What would I be interested in writing about? 3. What do I already know about my topic?

7 A UDIENCE 1. Who is my audience? 2. What might they already know about my topic? 3. What do they need to know? 4. What about the topic might interest them? 5. What approach and language might they respond to best?

8 F ORM 1. What form will work best? 2. Which of the following formats would be most suited to my purpose, topic, and audience? 1. Essay 2. Letter 3. News article 4. Poem 5. Research paper 6. Review 7. Script 8. Short story 9. Speech

9 E XPLORE Y OUR T OPIC Freewriting Focus on the topic, set a time limit, and write quickly and continuously. Read what you wrote, and circle the best ideas. Listing List all the ideas that come to mind. Clustering Use graphic organizers such as flow charts, webs, or Venn diagrams to group ideas together. Include subtopics or related ideas that can be included in your writing.

10 R EFINING A T OPIC Once you have explored your topic, try the following to see if it will be effective: Create a rough outline about your topic to see how much information you will need to cover. Ask yourself what aspect of your topic readers would be most interested in. Check books about your topic to see how information is organized in a table of contents. Is there a subheading that fits your topic?

11 G ATHERING AND O RGANIZING I DEAS Develop Research Questions Make a list of questions you intend to answer in your writing. Find and Organize Ideas Use personal experience. Research a topic in a library or on the internet. Use books and magazines as references.

12 D RAFTING There are three primary ways to draft: 1. Drafting to Discover 1. Use your rough draft to explore ideas and develop the topic, but with no plan or structure in mind. 2. Drafting from a Plan 1. Use an outline or other similar organizational method to draft your piece of writing. Outlines can be formal or informal (such as lists). 3. Using Peer Response 1. Test your writing on your audience, such as a peer group, and then use the ideas you gather to draft.

13 R EVISING Consider the six traits of effective writing: 1. Ideas and Content – ideas are clear, focused, and supported with relevant details. 2. Organization – arrange your ideas in a logical order to help the reader move easily through the text. 3. Voice – express your ideas in a way that shows an individual style and personality. 4. Word Choice – use language that is precise, powerful, and engaging. 5. Sentence Fluency – create an interesting rhythm and flow by using varied sentence lengths and structures. 6. Conventions – use correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

14 R EVISING Evaluate your ideas: 1. If your main idea is not clear, make sure it appears in the introduction and is mentioned elsewhere. 2. If you don’t have enough details, add more facts and examples that support your ideas. 3. If your ideas are hard to understand, use simpler vocabulary and more examples. 4. If your introduction is weak, begin with an anecdote, a surprising statement, or a quotation. 5. If your conclusion is weak, restate your main idea in powerful language, or recommend a course of action.

15 E DITING AND P ROOFREADING Don’t begin proofreading after you’ve just finished writing. Put the work away for a while. You’ll find more errors if you take a break. Read your work slowly – one sentence at a time. Read your work aloud – you’ll hear errors you don’t see. Look for the kinds of mistakes that you have often made before, as well as other kinds of mistakes. Use a dictionary to check spelling. Ask a family member or friend to read your work.

16 KNOW YOUR PROOFREADING MARKS!! They are found on page 313 of the Language Network.

17 P UBLISHING AND R EFLECTING There are a variety of media to share your writing with others, including: Print media such as books, magazines, and newspapers. Electronic media such as web sites and online journals. If you have written a script or speech, performances are a great way to “publish” your work.

18 T HERE WILL BE A QUIZ OVER THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THE WRITING PROCESS ON FRIDAY. The quiz will be simple multiple choice or short response, so be sure you understand this chapter.

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