The academic writing process is a vital component of any educational establishment and allows students to exercise their abilities and learn new skills. While this process can be perceived as a free flow of thoughts since it is not an exact science, there is a strict structure in any paper and certain stages that assist writers in creating quality works. Additionally, critical thinking is an integral part of the process as it helps the writer find arguments and sources, analyze data, and draw conslusions. Thus, academic writing is a complex process that has a specific structure and must involve critical thinking.
Stages of Academic Writing Process
The first stage of the academic writing process involves critical thinking and creative thinking. The first step is to conduct research and engage actively with data and various sources, which is important to write a quality paper. Finding supplementary materials to support the thesis could be required (Bruce, 2008). The next step, prewriting, involves the use of techniques including taking notes, brainstorming, and structuring (Gillet, 2015). Despite the widespread belief that every issue has already been covered, if a writer empowers themselves to think creatively, they may be able to approach an old subject in a novel way.
The following stage of the academic writing process involves the process of drafting and completing the work. The initial step, drafting, is crucial since it allows the writer to set a thesis concept and direct the work. The prewriting sources, as well as any notes made during the research, should be used to structure and generate main points throughout the drafting process (Gillet, 2015). This is the most crucial stage in terms of combining thoughts and incorporating creative approaches.
The last stage of the academic writing process focuses on corrections made during the revision and review steps. Searching for flaws in the paper’s structure and general flow is known as global revision (Gillet, 2015). The final step is the evaluation of the paper, which allows the writer to check for any grammatical, punctuation, or spelling issues that may have been missed throughout the editing process (Gillet, 2015). This step also helps find any imperfections in thoughts or arguments.
Critical thinking plays an integral role when writing an academic paper since writing can be viewed as a problem-solving activity. Writers must use the knowledge they currently possess to collect relevant content for their papers. To exercise the abilities of data analysis and information synthesis, they must apply reasoning skills (Cottrell, 2011). In academic contexts, critical thinking is characterized in terms of aptitudes or abilities, including drawing conclusions, deducing, evaluating, analyzing, reflecting, questioning, inferring, and making decisions (Sheffield Hallam University, n.d.). When critical thinking is used in writing, the aforementioned skills are demonstrated through the ability to make arguments and corroborate them with evidence (University of Hull, 2020). As a result, without critical thinking, it will be impossible to create plausible arguments and corroborate them with reliable sources, which lowers the quality of the paper.
Hence, academic writing is a complex process that involves several stages, more specifically, research, writing, and editing. The initial stage, research, includes finding sources and using creativity, which is important to make the work more reliable and interesting. The second stage, writing, includes drafting and completing the work. Lastly, editing, which comprises revising and reviewing the work, is essential to eliminate any flaws. Each stage is permeated by critical thinking since it helps with arguments, analyzing, reflecting, and drawing conclusions.
Bruce, I. (2008). Academic writing and genre: A systematic approach. Continuum.
Cottrell, S. (2011). Critical thinking skills. Palgrave MacMillan
Gillet, A. (2015) Successful academic writing. Longman.
Sheffield Hallam University. (n.d.). Critical Writing. Web.
University of Hull. (2020). Critical writing: Descriptive vs critical. Web.