The Writing Process

Infographic describing the writing process
The Writing ProcessInfographic showing the five steps of the writing process: Prewriting, Drafting, Workshopping, Revising and Editing, and Submitting.

Infographic describing the writing process

  • The first step is prewriting. The prewriting stage begins long before you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, as the case may be). When you read an assignment’s guidelines or rubric and try to determine what your purpose is, you are prewriting. When you talk to a friend about the topic you are considering writing about, you are prewriting. When you partake in an active reading of an article that you will be analyzing, you are prewriting.
  • After prewriting, is the drafting stage. This is when you begin implementing all the plans that you’ve made in the prewriting stage. The goal of the drafting stage is to get the ideas out of your head and onto your paper. A draft does not have to be perfect, but it should be written to the best of your abilities.
  • After drafting, comes workshopping your draft. In workshop, you share your work with peers, your instructor, and/or the Writing Center to get feedback. What is the reader’s opinion of your work? What do they think is working? What is not working? What suggestions might they have for improving your work?
  • Once you have gathered some feedback, you revise your essay according to that feedback. Revising focuses on making larger changes to your essay to make sure you are expressing your ideas as clearly as possible. Next you begin editing. Editing is like revising, because you are changing your work from the original draft, but you are focused on small scale changes, like grammar, mechanics, spelling, punctuation, and formatting.
  • The final step of the writing process is submitting your work. This is when you submit your final paper for grading (or publication, in the example of a novelist) and share your ideas with the rest of the world.
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