The Writing Process: Overview - Student Development Services

The Writing Process: Overview - Student Development Services

4- DraftingHalfway thereJust get the ideas outTry not to worry about wordingThe good news is that you have probably done very little writing at this stage, and you’re already half done. The bad news is that after this stage, you will have a completed draft and only be halfdone, but we’ll talk about the revising stages later. If you have an outline completed, you should just focus on turning those fragments and clusters into sentences and paragraphs. Try not toworry about the wording, just get the general idea out. If you prefer to work without outlines, you should be mindful of the overall organization of your paper because it is more difficult to revisethe structure of a paper in later stages.7

5- RevisingFocus on the big issuesLogical argumentsThesis supportDetached perspective is essentialPeer revision helps a lotAfter you have completed a draft, you should try to evaluate how effectively you’ve organized it. Try to focus on the big issues like the logic of your arguments and determining whether yourcontent can be directly linked to your thesis or hypothesis. A detached perspective is essential at this stage, so hopefully you have some time to get away from your paper. Having other peopleread your text is invaluable because they will see gaps that you cannot. For more revising tips, check out the “Revising, Editing and Proofreading” presentation on the GradWRITE page.8

6- Editing and ProofreadingEditingFocus on the writing styleSentence structure and flowAppropriate transition useRead aloud; learn your tendenciesHard copy vs. ElectronicOnce you are satisfied with the organization of your paper, you may start to focus on the smaller issues. Look at each sentence to make sure it is communicating what you would like tocommunicate. If you have difficulty editing your own work, ask a colleague or friend to read your work. By reading your writing aloud, you will force yourself to read every word and hear theirrhythm. Finally, some people prefer to edit their work on paper, allowing them to mark up their papers with red ink, but recent innovations (e.g. track changes) have eased the process of editingon the computer, thereby reducing your paper output.9

6- Editing and ProofreadingProofreadingChecking for errors and typosRead each sentence carefullyBest results when rested; learn your common mistakesRead aloud; read backwardsHard copy vs. ElectronicWhen proofreading your work, you should just be looking for grammatical and spelling errors, typos and other small blemishes. Again, it is important to read each sentence carefully as the eyecan easily gloss over these errors. You will probably have better luck when you are rested, and it can be beneficial to learn your common mistakes so that you can pay these problems areasspecial attention. Read aloud helps, as can reading sentence by sentence starting at the end of your paper so that you are not thinking about larger issues at this time.10

7- Final TouchesFormattingGet to know your word processorReferencesCheck every oneTitle PageOnce the content is satisfactory, you should consider how you will present the text. Modern word processors have many features to ease this process, and if you are comfortable enough withthe software, you can save yourself a lot of time by using features like automatic tables of contents and reference sections. Speaking of references, it is essential that you doublecheck eachreference to make sure that what is cited in the text appears in the reference list and vice versa. Many times, a reference or two will have been removed from within the text during revising butthe citation is still found in the reference list.11

Take Home MessageTreat writing like it is your jobDevelop a method12

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