The Writing Process

Writing is never a one-step action; it is an ongoing creative act. When you first write
something, you have already been thinking about what to say and how to say it. Then
after you have finished writing, you read over what you have written and make
changes and corrections. You write and revise and write and revise again until you
are satisfied that your writing expresses exactly what you want to say. ·
The process of writing has roughly four steps. In the first step, you create ideas. ln
the second step, you organize the ideas. In the third step, you write a rough draft. In the
final step, you polish your rough draft by editing it and making revisions

Step 1 :Prewriting

The first step is called prewriting . Prewriting is a way to get ideas. In this step, you
choose a topi.c and collect ideas to explain the topic.
Listing There are several techniques you can use to get ideas. In this chapter,
you will practice the technique called listing . Listing is a prewriting technique i n
which you write the topic at the top of a piece of paper and then quickly make a
list of the words or phrases that come into your mind. Don't stop to wonder if an
idea is good or not. Write it down! Keep on writing until the flow of ideas stops.
In the following example, the assignment was to write a paragraph about a person
who has made a difference in the world, in the community, or in the writer's life.
First, the writer made a list of people who have made a difference. Then he
decided which person to write about and circled his choice.

A Person Who Has Made a Difference
Bill Gates
Mother Teresa
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Cesar Chavez
Aunt Sarah
Mr. Jakobsen (high school counselor)

Next, the writer started a new list. He wrote his chosen topic, Grandfather, at the
top of a new piece of paper and started writing words and phrases that came into his
mind about his grandfather.

uneducated (high school? eighth grade?) started hospital in town - only
farmer hospital in big area
worked hard first farmer to terrace his land - now
helped his community
started community hospital
respected in community
went to church every week
got up early worked late
was the first person in town to buy a car
forward-thinking everyone does it
improved farming techniques in his area
read about new things
terracing helps prevent soil erosion
listened to experts
thought things over
made me laugh when I was little

The writer then looked at his second list and decided to write about how his
grandfather helped his community. He circled that idea. Then he thought about
how his grandfather helped his community. He circled two ideas and marked them
A and B. The writer also crossed out anything that didn't belong to these two ideas.

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