If you’re like many writers, your “writing process” probably consists of sitting down at the computer, opening a document, and struggling to write the first sentence.
If this is the way you’ve been writing, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a much easier way. The writing process can productively be divided into five steps or phases. This 5 step writing process will make your writing easier, faster, and better.
Prewriting - getting your thoughts down on paper so you can work with them.
Thesis – finding and stating the main point you want to make.
Outline – organizing your ideas to make writing easier.
Drafting – turning your ideas into full sentences.
Revision – re-working your writing until you’re sure it says exactly what you mean it to say, as effectively as possible.
At first you may think that these steps will take longer to complete than just sitting down and writing. But in fact, the 5 step writing process is much faster and easier. Here’s why.
If you sit down at the computer to write an essay from scratch, you’re asking your brain to: come up with ideas, decide which to include and which to leave out, choose how to arrange them, figure out how to express them, and write complete, correct sentences, all at the same time.
The fact is, these processes are very different and require different ways of thinking. When you come up with ideas, that’s a creative process, and creative thinking is mainly located in the right side of your brain. But when you decide how to arrange ideas logically, that’s a left brain, analytical activity. So you’re asking different parts of your brain to complete different tasks at the same time.
This is one reason you spend so much time staring at the screen and thinking.
When you’re watching the computer cursor blink, you’re not really writing at all. That’s wasted time, on top of being frustrating and disheartening.
Many students get the idea that they aren’t good writers because they have so much trouble when they sit down to write. You aren’t a bad writer; you’re just going about it in a bad way.
By focusing on each of the steps in the writing process separately, you can work more efficiently. Not only will this make your writing faster and easier, it will also create a better product in the end.
So if you aren’t in the habit of using a 5 step writing process, use the links above to learn how to do each step effectively and quickly. You’ll be amazed how much faster and easier writing becomes.
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