Writing is a PROCESS. Good writers, professional writers..and COLLEGE writers…go through a process in order to arrive at the finished paper. Below, you will find the "phases" of the process--they are not 'steps.' One part of the process really flows into the other.
1. THINKING…moving your mind in the direction of the topic.
Take time to just think about the topic; use your imagination; think about the topic from different perspectives if you can.
2. NOTING…beginning to jot down ideas; brainstorm; make lists; make a web.
As your thinking begins to take shape and form, as you find yourself revisiting ideas, start putting your pen to paper...begin to organize your ideas on paper through lists, webs or other means.
3. DRAFTING…getting the ideas on paper—an outline and a first draft.
Start by putting together a thesis (see the following post for how to put this together!) and an outline. Then, write the very best 1st draft you can. Remember--no "rough" drafts. The better you write at the beginning, the better it will be at the end!
4. REVISING and EDITING…making corrections; expanding ideas; adding or removing information.
You'll do this all through the process, but you'll also want to 'park' your paper after you have your 1st draft written...and then come back to it later to edit it and revise it. You'll never have a perfect paper...just a better and better one!
5. FINALIZING…typing; formatting; printing.
This is when you decide that you've done all you can do...or when the time is up and you have to turn it in! Make sure you format the paper correctly for college writing--we usually want to see TimesNewRoman font, 12pt type, 1" margins all the way around, and double-spacing. Also, make sure your personal/class information is in the right place and right order. Here's a sample:
Mr. Jon Herrin
Why I Want a Knife
Make sure that your essay has a title...and that may be the very last thing you decide. And, there you have it! Enjoy the writing process. Take time now to read "The EssayEssay"... and you'll see how it should all lay-out!