ALL students must learn to write, but this skill is a biggie. There are many common struggles with writing:
- Not knowing how or where to start
- Not knowing what to write about
- Ideas going all over the place
- Lack of clear ideas
One of the biggest reasons students have ANY of these problems with writing is simply because they don’t have a clear understanding of the writing process. This process is something all students should know back and forth, something that should be reiterated each and every year of school. Unfortunately, most kids don’t have a good grasp on this and schools don’t take enough time to strengthen this critical foundation.
Here’s a pithy video explaining everything you need to know. Feel free to print the simple guide below and share it. I recommend pinning a copy up near the study area for reference until it is thoroughly internalized.
The Writing Process
Good authors use this process for everything they write.
Audience: First, carefully consider who you writing for?
Purpose: What are you trying to get the reader to feel, think or do?
- Planning (aka Pre-writing): The most important part of the process requires a bit of time. This is also the most underused part of the process. When people do not plan thoughtfully, their writing becomes very disorganized. Examples pf planning methods: Brainstorm, thinking, talking it through, imagine, visualize, lists, graphic organizers, outlines, webs, story maps, post its, note cards or anything else that helps plan writing.
- Drafting: Get it on paper in an organized manner. The focus is on expanding your “plan” ideas into sentences and paragraphs, not on perfection. There should be
crossouts, eraser marks, arrows, markups, etc. all over the draft.
- Revising: Polish and clarify your ideas, check that your purpose is being met. Authors revise many times.
- Editing: Polish MUGS (mechanics, usage, grammar, spelling).
- Publishing: Get it as perfect as possible. Neat, organized, ready for a reader to read. The paper fulfills your purpose. Perhaps include a cover page. Turn it in.
During planning, plan the structure. Here’s a very basic model. For each section, ask yourself this magic question, “What is the purpose of this section?”:
- Body section 1
- Body section 2
- Body section 3
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