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Following the Steps The Writing Process

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Presentation on theme: "Following the Steps The Writing Process"— Presentation transcript:

1 Following the Steps The Writing Process
Rationale: Welcome to “Finding Your Focus: The Writing Process.” This presentation is designed to introduce your students to the steps that constitute the writing process, including strategies for brainstorming, drafting, revising, and proofreading. The fifteen slides presented here are designed to aid the facilitator in an interactive presentation of the elements of the writing process. This presentation is ideal for the beginning of a composition course and the assignment of a writing project. This presentation may be supplemented by OWL handouts, including “Starting to Write” ( “Planning (Invention)” ( “Developing an Outline” ( and “Higher Order Concerns and Later Order Concerns (HOCs and LOCs)” ( Directions: Each slide is activated by a single mouse click, unless otherwise noted in bold at the bottom of each notes page. Writer and Designer: Jennifer Liethen Kunka Contributors: Muriel Harris, Karen Bishop, Bryan Kopp, Matthew Mooney, David Neyhart, and Andrew Kunka Developed with resources courtesy of the Purdue University Writing Lab Grant funding courtesy of the Multimedia Instructional Development Center at Purdue University © Copyright Purdue University, 2000.

2 Why do you need a writing process?
It can help writers to organize their thoughts. Rationale: Though students engage in a writing process, they may not be conscious of the steps it entails. Some students who have trouble organizing their thoughts struggle because they do not follow a consistent writing process or they skip steps within the process. This slide presents some important reasons to identify the steps in the writing process. By thinking about the writing process, students may be able to make the process more effective and efficient for themselves. Activity: The facilitator may choose to invite participation by asking students why they need a writing process. Each reason is activated with a mouse click.

3 Why do you need a writing process?
It can save time because you know what to do next.

4 Writing process Prewriting Organizing Drafting Revising/Proofreading

5 Prewriting Choose topic Gathering details Create thesis
Rationale: This slide previews the six steps of the writing process. Each element forms a part of a successful writing experience. Key Concept: The facilitator may explain that the writing process is not necessarily sequential--a linear path from invention to proofreading. Writers may generate a topic, collect some information, organize their notes, go back and collect more information, invent subtopics for their work, go back to organization, etc. The writing process is recursive--it often requires going back and forth between steps to create the strongest work possible. Knowing these steps and strategies, however, can be a great help to writers who struggle with their work.

6 Prewriting: Choose Topic
Pick a general topic, and as you research and brainstorm, focus the topic.

7 Prewriting: Choose Topic
For Example: General Topic Population control Reasons it is needed Reasons against it Countries that use it

8 Prewriting: gathering ideas and information
Brainstorming Clustering Key Concept: The first step in the writing process is invention--developing a topic. Students often make the mistake of latching onto the first idea that comes their way. However, by doing some invention exercises, students can give themselves some options for their writing assignments and allow themselves to consider the ideas that are the most manageable, appropriate to the assignment, and, above all, interesting to the writer. If the writer is bored with the topic, it will show through in the final product.

9 Pre writing: Research Plan your research What questions do you have?
What sources would be good? How much do you need? Key Concept: Once students decide on a topic, their next step is to collect information. Activity: The facilitator may ask students where they might go to collect research. Answers will likely include such things as books, magazines, and the Internet. Examples: The facilitator might suggest other forms of research, including indexes for periodicals, newspapers, and academic journals (these can be located through the index link on ThorPlus). In particular, the INSPIRE database and the Academic FullText Search Elite database will provide students with a number of printable periodical sources. Interviews can also be useful, whether by phone, through , or in person. Often, web authors can be contacted through links on their web pages and may agree to be interviewed through . Activity: If students are engaged in a particular research assignment, the facilitator may choose to offer guidance on the best places to locate research for the project. For more information on collection strategies, see the presentation titled “Research and the Internet,” located on this CD-ROM.

10 Prewriting: Create a thesis
Thesis: A statement of opinion to be supported in a piece of writing.

11 What makes a thesis? Topic +Writer’s opinion on that topic Thesis

12 Sample Thesis Example: Margaret Haddix’s book Among the Hidden shows the reader that although over population may be a problem, there are serious dangers in creating a national policy controlling population.

13 What would we need to support this thesis?
Margaret Haddix’s book Among the Hidden shows the reader that although over population may be a problem, there are serious dangers in creating a national policy controlling population. Facts and opinions that show overpopulation is a problem. Description, and explanation of potential problems that could come from such a policy

14 Organizing: putting information in an outline
I. Introduction A. Grab attention B. Focus Topic C. State thesis II. Body A. Build points B. Develop ideas C. Support main claim Conclusion: Reemphasize main idea Key Concepts: After writers collect information pertaining to their topics, a useful next step is to organize it--decide where to place information in the argument, as well as which information to omit. One easy way to do this is outlining. Argumentative and narrative papers generally have three main sections. The introduction is used to grab the readers’ attention and introduce the main idea or claim, often in the form of a thesis statement. The body consists of several supporting paragraphs that help to elaborate upon the main claim. Finally, the conclusion serves to wrap up the argument and reemphasize the writer’s main ideas. After gathering information in the collection stage, the writer should think about where each piece of information belongs in the course of an argument. By taking time to organize and plan the paper, writers save time and frustration in the drafting stage; they find that they can follow the pattern they have established for themselves in their outlines.

15 Drafting Use outline to guide you.
Each main idea should support your thesis. Develop a paragraph for each main idea. Support each paragraph with several details. When using sources, DOCUMENT! Rationale: Many students struggle with drafting because they make it the second component of their writing process--right after coming up with a topic-- instead of the fourth, after collecting and organizing. Students also struggle because they do not give themselves enough time to complete the drafting process. Key Concepts: With a little bit of pre-planning and organization, the drafting stage can be both a rewarding and efficient experience. First of all, students can avoid the dreaded procrastination by beginning their projects early. A comfortable place to write--whether with a keyboard or a pencil--also aids concentration. Avoiding distractions, such as television, noisy friends, or computer solitaire, will keep writers focused on their projects. Finally, writers should take breaks, preferably leaving off at a place where they know what comes next. This will make it easier to pick up again after the break. Sometimes completing a draft and coming back to it the next day helps students to look at their work with a fresh pair of eyes and a rejuvenated attitude. Writers should not feel compelled to write chronologically. Sometimes the conclusion can be an easier place to begin than with the thesis statement. With each writing assignment, students will be able to find a personal system that works best for them. Activity: The facilitator may ask students to share tips that they have learned about their own successful drafting habits.

16 Revising: reviewing ideas
Does your writing say what you want it to say? Does it say it clearly? Is it organized? Does the introduction get the reader’s attention? Does the conclusion end with a purpose? Rationale: Students tend to view revising as a process of altering word choices and correcting spelling errors. Rather, this presentation separates revising--the revaluation of higher-order concerns--from proofreading--the correction of later-order concerns. Key Concepts: Revising is a process of reviewing the paper on the idea-level. It is a process of re-vision--literally re-seeing the argument of the paper. The revising process may involve changes such as the clarification of the thesis, the reorganization of paragraphs, the omission of unneeded information, the addition of supplemental information to back a claim, or the strengthening the introduction or conclusion. The key to revising is the clear communication of ideas from the writer to the intended audience. This is an important step to take following the drafting stage. Following the completion of an entire draft, students may have a stronger conception of their purpose, intended audience, and thesis statement. Feedback from other readers may also contribute toward the need to re-vision (or re-see) the project. Rather than feeling chained to every printed word, students should be encouraged to look at their writing as an evolving piece of work, subject to change. Sometimes a first draft is just that--a first draft. Again, students must be sure to allow themselves enough time to complete the revising process.

17 Proofreading Check for errors Spelling Punctuation Complete sentences
Documentation Key Concepts: After improving the quality of the content in the revising stage, writers then need to take care of mechanics, including corrections of spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, and documentation style. For more information on sentence structure and punctuation, see “Sentence Clarity and Combining” and “Conquering the Comma,” included on this CD-ROM. For presentations on documentation styles, see “Cross-referencing: Using MLA Format” and “Documenting Sources: Using MLA Format,” also on this CD-ROM.

18 Proofreading tips Slowly read your paper aloud.
Read your paper backwards. Exchange papers with a friend. NOTE: Spell check will not catch everything Examples: Here are a few tips students can use to proofread their papers: The best tip is to read your paper out loud. Reading aloud forces the writer to engage each word verbally. Often typos, spelling errors, and sentence structure problems can be caught this way. If spelling is a big problem, checking through the paper backwards can also help writers to correct errors. Again, checking backwards will help writers to engage every word. Exchanging papers with a friend can also be a good way to check for errors. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes helps. However, writers need to remember that the paper belongs to them and they are responsible for their work. If a friend corrects something that you don’t think is correct, double check with a grammar book, the OWL web site, or the Writing Lab Grammar Hotline. Sometimes students can develop an overreliance upon technology to correct spelling and grammar errors. However, if you meant to type “Good spelling is important in college” and instead type “Good smelling is important in college,” spell check will not catch the error because “smelling” is a correctly spelled word. Also, many grammar checks function on computer-programmed patterns of words. Often, they cannot process long or complicated sentences. Just because sentences are long or complicated does not mean they are wrong. Having an understanding of grammar yourself is the best way to check over your work.

19 The Writing Process: Find Your Focus Prewriting Choose topic
Gathering details Create thesis Organizing Drafting Revising/Proofreading Publishing Rationale: This slide reviews the six components to the writing process. Activity: The facilitator may choose at this time to answer questions or get feedback from students about their own writing processes. Students may share strategies about their own successful writing process tips.

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