The writing process
Much writing at university follows the idea of process writing, which, in short, means that you develop your text in stages and that you reflect and revise along the way. The point of this is to give you a chance to produce texts that are more informative, better structured, and that follow instructions more closely than texts put together in haste can do.
In this section, we guide you through the main stages of the writing process. Links are provided to AWELU resources that are of relevance during different stages of writing.
The video below introduces you to the writing process:
What is the "writing process"?
Writing can be seen as a process in which a text develops and changes all the way from first ideas to finished text. By revising and rewriting, writers develop their thinking and their texts during this process. The writing process is often presented graphically in a manner which indicates the linear, but also cyclical nature of writing. As the text develops, writers return to previous stages of the process to make additions and to revise their texts.
In process-oriented writing courses, there is thus a focus on text-production as process rather than as product. This means that students do not hand in a text for summative assessment but students receive formative assessment during the writing process.
The writing process can be divided into several stages. The work that is done before the writing begins, when material is collected and ideas are developed, is often referred to as the pre-writing stage or the invention stage. The actual writing of the text is often divided into stages such as drafting and revising, and the last phase of the writing process (often referred to as the rewriting stage) consists of the stages of editing, proofreading and publishing. The AWELU resources for the writing process have been divided into three parts, each one addressing a major stage in the writing process:
It is important to remember that the stages of the writing process are not fixed, and that writers go back and forth between them. Rewriting at all stages will involve editing, for instance, and during the final stage of the writing process, many writers see a need to add new pieces of text, thus returning to methods used in the pre-writing stage.