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University Writing Center

Steps in the Writing Process

Prewriting

  1. Consider your reason for writing.
  2. Think about your purpose and your audience.
  3. Generate ideas by freewriting and listing.
  4. Jot down your ideas, observations, impressions, and facts.

Organizing

  1. Review your prewriting notes.
  2. Look for main ideas, patterns and associations, and striking details.
  3. Choose and sharpen your focus, adding or deleting as needed.
  4. Make a tentative writing plan using an idea map, idea clusters, a list, and an informal outline.

Writing

  1. Begin your first draft, guided (but not controlled) by your plan.
  2. Reworks as you go, letting your writing lead you to new ideas.
  3. Let your draft cool. Incubate.

Revising

  1. Read you first draft aloud
  2. Rethink.
  3. Be your own editor. Make changes in organization, content, emphasis, and expression.
  4. Be your own proofreader. Check for sentence structure, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.
  5. Prepare the final draft.
Updated 1.12.2012