The First Step in the Writing Process. Formal letter writing. Main principles
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- Bu sahifa navigatsiya:
- THE WRITING PROCESS
- STEP 1: PREWRITING THINK AND DECIDE
- STEP 2: RESEARCH (IF NEEDED) SEARCH
- STEP 3: DRAFTING WRITE
- STEP 4: REVISING MAKE IT BETTER
- STEP 5: EDITING AND PROOFREADING MAKE IT CORRECT
- See for MLA: Purdue OWL MLA Style Introduction
- Use these tips when writing a formal letter
- Be concise
- Use the right tone
- Use proper format and presentation
- Present your ideas properly: Formatting a formal letter
- Inside Address
- Closing and Signature
The First Step in the Writing Process. Formal letter writing. Main principles.
Writing is one of the most common ways we communicate. To be a successful writer, you should practice the five steps of the writing process: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publication.
Chances are, you have experienced a moment of writer's block. You may have been sitting in class, writing your notes, and given the writing assignment. You freeze. Your mind goes blank, and you have that thought: 'I have no idea what to write about!' You stare at the blank screen or paper and watch the time go by. You write a word, erase, and start again. It seems like you will never be able to start.
All writers, even the most professional and published, have experienced this moment of panic. Writing can be a bit intimidating, until you know how to approach the topic and start your work. The writing process helps us focus, plan, and write our papers.
In this lesson, we will discuss the five steps of the writing process by following the student Susie taking these steps.
The first step of the writing process is prewriting or our planning stage. During prewriting, you are thinking about your topic, brainstorming, focusing, and developing a working thesis.
This step begins with the assignment. Let's say our student Susie has been given the assignment to write a personal story that shaped a point of view. She first spends time asking herself questions about the topic, such as: 'What do I want to write about?', 'What do I hope to achieve?', 'What personal views do I have?', or 'What do I want my audience to learn?'.
Susie's next step is to brainstorm some potential topics. There are many different ways to brainstorm, but some she could use would be make a list, journal write, or create a chart. Susie decides to make a list and writes down some potential personal stories that she could share. Eventually, she selects one of these that she feels confident writing about.
Finally, Susie makes sure that her topic is focused and writes down a working thesis, the central idea of her paper. One great way to make sure a topic is focused is to develop a rough outline. This does not have to be formal but, rather, just write down the thesis and the main ideas that the essay will explore.
Now that Susie has decided on a topic and plan, she is ready to begin the second step of the writing process: drafting her essay. It is important to remember that a draft does not have to be perfect! The goal of the drafting stage is to take your outline and to develop a paper. When you draft, do not worry about the mechanics of your paper, this will come later. Right now, just focus on the content and make sure that your ideas are clear and well detailed.
When writing her paper, Susie asks herself some questions that you too can use:
'Are my ideas organized?'
'Am I sharing strong details?'
'Should I include more information or take some away?'
As you write, be sure to keep asking yourself questions that will help further develop and support your thesis.
Remember that you can write more than one draft! Often times, you will write several before you begin the next step of the writing process.
The third step of the writing process is revising. During revising, you should read your writing and look at the content. You can think of revising as looking at the big picture. Do not yet worry about the mechanics of your paper, but focus on the content.
Before starting the revising and editing stages, it is important to set the right environment! Try the following tips:
You should try to take some time away from your paper. Set it aside for a few hours or even days. This way you are starting with fresh eyes.
Print out your paper. This way you can take notes as you revise and edit.
You could even change the format of your paper! It could be a larger, bolder font, which may help you find the errors in your writing.
Work somewhere without distractions. Turn off the phone and TV. Just focus on your writing!
Our student, Susie, is ready to start the revising stage.
First, she reads her paper out loud. While it may seem strange to read out loud, it is the best way to really hear your paper as you read.
Next, Susie asks questions. In this step, she is looking to make sure that her thesis, the main idea of her paper is easy to identify and is supported. Some questions she can ask are: 'Do I have good topic sentences?', 'How are my details?', and 'Do I have a good order to my paper?' By asking these questions, Susie is checking that both her content and her structure meet the assignment and present a well written, organized paper. In addition, she takes time to look at the style of her paper. Here she would check her tone, language, and sentence structure.
Finally, Susie focuses on making changes to her content. In this last step, she may add more details, take some away, and reorder her ideas. She may add more definitions for clarity, make sure that her pronouns are clear, and change the sentence order for more variety.
Now that Susie has looked at the big picture of her paper, she is ready for the small picture. It is time to look over the mechanics of her paper.
The Writing Process: Activities
The below activities are designed to review students' understanding of the writing process and allow students to experiment with the writing process.
The Writing Process: Matching
Match the definition of the writing stage with its title.
Writers begin by considering their topic, focusing their ideas, brainstorming, creating an outline, and drafting a thesis statement.
Writers start to write their essay. In this stage, writers work on developing, communicating, and supporting their main ideas.
Writers evaluate their content, focusing on the big ideas to ensure they are well developed and clear.
Writers work on checking their grammar, spelling, and punctuation to make sure their mechanics are correct.
Writers present their work.
Answer Key: 1: prewriting; 2: drafting; 3: revising; 4: editing; 5: publication
The Writing Process: Writing Activity
Try your hand at completing each step of the writing process. Write a response of at least 500 words arguing either for or against the continued use of plastic straws (do some research if necessary). As you work on your writing, consider the challenges of each stage of the writing process. After you have written your response, answer the questions below on a sheet of paper:
What challenges did you face in each stage of the writing process?
What stage was the most challenging for you and why?
What stage do you rarely incorporate into your writing process? Why is it important to incorporate this stage in the future?
THE WRITING PROCESS
The writing process is something that no two people do the same way. There is no "right way" or "wrong way" to write. It can be a very messy and fluid process, and the following is only a representation of commonly used steps.
STEP 1: PREWRITING
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