“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” -Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it." ― Winston S. Churchill
“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”― Louis L'Amour
Step 1: Prewriting
During this step, students organize and explore ideas. They begin to brainstorm ideas and initially put them down into writing. Do not be overwhelmed by the blank page that is sitting in front of you. These strategies will assist with the beginning of the process to get the ball rolling. Do not be afraid to think outside the box. Using one's own imagination will be a source to find information that lies within you.
Prewriting Activities and Strategies
Outline: This consists of planning out the basic structure and format of the essay by incorporating the main ideas and initial details that will be expanded on throughout the paper. Planning is important because it allows a set structure that can always be amended to fit the specific argument that you are trying to convey.
Charts/Graphic Organizers: Useful tools to organize thoughts into a visual display that demonstrates relationships between concepts and ideas.
Quick Writing/Free Writing: Rapidly writing down ideas about a topic allows a person's mind to think and write freely without any restrictions. Let the ideas flow because the more you write the better and easier it will be. You can always delete material but some people struggle with transferring the words onto paper to this can be a useful strategy.
Step 2: Drafting
This is where students will prepare a preliminary version of their assignment. During this step, it is important to keep writing and not worry about if the text is properly edited. The most important aspect to keep in mind is to get as much down on the page as possible. Students will return to the text during the next step of the writing process
Step 3: Revising
During this step, students will take time to examine word choice and order, organization of their paper, content, and writing style. This is a time consuming process and involves thinking critically about the ideas they are trying to convey to the audience. Revision is the stage in the writing process where the author reviews, alters, and amends his or her message, in accordance to what has been written in the draft. Drafting and revising often form a loop as the work moves back and forth between the two stages.
Step 4: Editing
Spelling, punctuation, and grammar are certain mechanics and conventions of the language. Editing involves carefully looking at each sentence and making sure that it is well designed and serves its specific purpose. Proofing is the final stage of the writing process before moving onto the publication stage when the work is ready to be submitted.
Step 5: Publishing
The author can finally celebrate the finished product of writing. This displays the student's writing with purpose and a sense of accomplishment. Congratulations, you have worked diligently on your assignment and can now celebrate its completion and the hard work that went into all of these steps throughout the process.
"The Writing Center offers free assistance to writers in the Saint Joseph’s community, including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Our goal is to meet writers where they are in their writing journey, wherever they are, and to help them where they want to go, wherever that may be. We are big-picture people, more focused on that journey than on a single writing moment, though we take seriously those moments, those papers and poems and Powerpoint presentations and personal statements, with which writers entrust us along the way" (SJU Writing Center).
"The Saint Joseph's University Writing Center staff recognizes that writing is a life-long adventure, unique to each writer, including those who are learning to write in two or more languages, who face physical disabilities or learning challenges, who are plagued by perfectionism, malaise, frustrations, anxieties, and/or pressures that may be invisible to others. We welcome all, and we are committed to diversity and inclusion" (SJU Writing Center).
Lesson 3: Types of Writing Styles
A writer’s style is a clear reflection and display of his or her own personality and thought process. Through writing in one of these specific styles, the writer has the opportunity to effectively utilize language, voice, and the desired tone in order to affect the reader in a certain way and express themselves. The author's writing style is a way for them to approach the audience and convey the specific message they intend.