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C LEAR J OHN L ANGAN © 2010 Townsend Press T HINKING AND W RITING
Chapter Seven: The Writing Process Writing a paper is a process.
THE FIVE STEPS The process of writing a paper can be divided into five steps. STEP 1 Getting started through prewriting STEP 2 Preparing a scratch outline STEP 3 Writing the first draft STEP 4 Revising STEP 5 Editing
Here are three helpful prewriting techniques to help you get started writing a paper: Freewriting Questioning List making 1 GETTING STARTED — PREWRITING
Freewriting is just sitting down and writing whatever comes into your mind about a topic. 1 GETTING STARTED — PREWRITING Freewriting Write without stopping and without worrying about spelling, grammar, and the like.
On page 24 in the textbook is a paragraph on bullies that was written by a student named Carla. Here is part of the freewriting Carla did for that paragraph. 1 GETTING STARTED — PREWRITING Freewriting Carla is not worried about spelling, grammar, and punctuation at this prewriting stage. Instead she is concentrating on getting ideas and details down on paper. Bullying is part of school most of the time teachers dont have a clue. I really never thought about it and was just glad I wasn't part of it. At least for the most part. I'd see some phisikal stuff now and then but kind of turned my head not wanting to look at it. The worst thing with girls was words, they meant more than phisikal stuff. I rember once being called a name and it stung me so bad and it bothered me for weeks.... Example of Freewriting
Questioning means that you generate details about your topic by writing down a series of questions and answers about it. 1 GETTING STARTED — PREWRITING Questioning Your questions can start with words like what, when, where, why, and how.
Here are some of the questions that Carla might have asked while developing her paper. 1 GETTING STARTED — PREWRITING Questioning Who was bullied? Who were the bullies? When did bullying take place? Where did it happen? Were there different kinds of bullying? Why were some kids teased and bullied? Who was bullied? Who were the bullies? When did bullying take place? Where did it happen? Were there different kinds of bullying? Why were some kids teased and bullied? Example of Questioning
List making is also known as brainstorming. You make a list of ideas and details that could go into your paper. 1 GETTING STARTED — PREWRITING List Making Try to think of as many details as possible. Don’t worry about putting them in any special order.
After Carla did her freewriting, she made up a list of details. Here is part of her list. 1 GETTING STARTED — PREWRITING List Making some bullies were phisikal boys would push kids around kids would be tripped in hallways some kids would cry names would be used "dummy" or "creep" or "fairy" no one would sit near some kids some kids never chosen for games.... some bullies were phisikal boys would push kids around kids would be tripped in hallways some kids would cry names would be used "dummy" or "creep" or "fairy" no one would sit near some kids some kids never chosen for games.... By the time Carla had finished her list, she was ready to plan an outline and to write her first draft. Example of List Making
It shows, at a glance, the point of the paragraph and the support for that point. 2 PREPARING A SCRATCH OUTLINE A scratch outline is a brief plan for a paragraph.
As Carla was working on her list of details, she discovered what the plan of her paragraph could be. She wrote it down as a scratch outline. There are three kinds of bullies. 1. Physical 2. Verbal 3. Social There are three kinds of bullies. 1. Physical 2. Verbal 3. Social Carla was now ready to write the first draft of her paper. Example of a Scratch Outline 2 PREPARING A SCRATCH OUTLINE
Don’t worry yet about grammar, punctuation, or spelling. Your goal in your first draft is to develop the content of your paper with plenty of specific details. 3 WRITING THE FIRST DRAFT When you do a first draft, be prepared to put in additional thoughts and details that didn’t show up in your prewriting.
Here are a few lines of Carla’s first draft. Carla is not worried about spelling, grammar, and punctuation at this stage. She is concentrating on developing the content with specific details. There are different kinds of bullies that can be seen in schools. One kind of bullying that goes on is done by phisikal bullies. You see kids who will get pushed around on the playground. You see kids getting shoved into lockers and that kind of stuff. There was a girl I knew who was a real bully and a bit crazy because of a really bad home life. She would shove gum into another girl's hair and would also pull her hair. Other bullying went on with words and the calling of names. There were awful names that kids would use with each other, words included "creep" and "weirdo" and names that I don't even want to write here.... Example of a First Draft 3 WRITING THE FIRST DRAFT
A typical revision means writing at least one or two more drafts, adding and omitting details, organizing more clearly, and beginning to correct spelling and grammar. 4 REVISING Revising means that you rewrite a paper, building upon what has been done, to make it stronger and better.
Here are a few lines of Carla’s second draft. Carla has added transitions (First of all and Another). She has also removed details that were not relevant. And she has added supporting details in the form of examples for types of bullies. There are three kinds of bullies in schools. First of all, there are the physical bullies. They are the bigger kids who try to hurt smaller kids. They'll push kids off of swings in the playground or shove them into lockers. Other examples are knocking books out of the hands of kids or waiting for them after school and slapping them around or yanking their hair. Another kind of bullying is by verbal bullies. The aim here is to hurt with words rather than with fists. A victim will be called a "creep" or "weirdo" or "fatty" or will be told "You are such a loser."... Example of a Second Draft 4 REVISING
When you are satisfied that your point is clear, your supporting details are good, and your paper is well organized, you will be ready to edit your paper. 5 EDITING Editing means checking the paper carefully for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and other errors.
Chances are that you will find sentence mistakes at every spot where your paper does not read smoothly and clearly. 5 EDITING An important part of editing is to read your paper out loud. This will help you pick up grammar and punctuation problems.
5 EDITING This is very important: to find mistakes in your paper, read it out loud.
Prewriting Freewriting Questioning List Making Scratch Outline First Draft Revising - Drafts 2, 3, etc. Editing THE FIVE STEPS OF THE WRITING PROCESS
Here are four questions to ask yourself to help you decide if your paper is finished. A WRITING CHECKLIST Does my paper or essay have a clear point, stated in one sentence? Is there enough detailed support for my point? Do I use transitions such as first of all, in addition, and finally to help organize my support? Does the final draft of my paper flow smoothly and clearly when read aloud?
Revising Getting Started through Prewriting Writing the First Draft Preparing a Scratch Outline THE WRITING PROCESS Editing Step 5 Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Remember:
CHAPTER 8: WRITING ASSIGNMENTS Chapter 8 (pages 35-40) suggests a variety of writing assignments. Your instructor may ask you to choose some of these topics CHAPTER 9: WRITING AND READING— and a Special Offer Chapter 9 (page 41) explains the importance of reading as a key to success in education. It also offers you a reading challenge.
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