Writing is often described as a process rather than an outcome. According to Johnson (2021), a process is defined as “a series of actions that are followed to some desired end result” (para. 1). Since writing is comprised of several steps that one has to follow to complete a good paper, it can fairly be called a process. There are five main steps of the writing process: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and proofreading, and publishing (Johnson, 2021). The writing process is not linear, which means that steps are not necessarily completed in a sequence; rather, a particular step can be repeated several times until the desired result is achieved.
The first step in the writing process is prewriting, also known as brainstorming. At this stage, one searches for ideas to write about, using such techniques as freewriting, information gathering, note-taking, and others (Johnson, 2021). It is also necessary to identify the purpose and the audience of the paper because it will influence the word choice and argumentation. This step also involves planning and organizing the future paper, which may be done by mind-mapping and creating an outline.
The second step is drafting, which means creating the first version of the paper that will have to be updated later. The draft is based on the outline created during the first stage. The aim of drafting is not to create a perfect paper; instead, its purpose is to develop and elaborate on ideas identified at the first step and organize them in a consistent and logical manner.
Further, the phase of revising follows, at which the ideas and the structure of the text are clarified and refined. As a rule, this stage follows after the work has been put away for some time and given to peers or the instructor for review (Johnson, 2021). This step may reveal that the topic or arguments of the paper should be changed, which will bring the writer back to the stage of prewriting and planning.
When the ideas in the paper are properly organized and the paper is effectively structured, the writing process proceeds to the stage of editing and proofreading. During this phase, the writer focuses on correcting small but important flaws, such as wrong word choice, grammar and spelling mistakes, and document formatting. This stage is important because it helps the writer polish the work and make it visually appealing to the audience.
The final step in the writing process is publishing, which means choosing the way of presenting the work to the audience. If the work is to be handwritten, the writer should try to make the text look clear and readable. In the case of printed papers, one may consider adding some illustrations to clarify the ideas conveyed in the paper to the audience. If the paper is to be read aloud, one should take time to rehearse reading it with proper intonation, pauses, and loudness.
Thus, writing consists of five steps, all of which have to be followed to make sure the paper is logically structured and free of mistakes, inconsistencies, and typos. The five steps of prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and proofreading, and publishing represent the writing process, the outcome of which is a well-written paper. This process is recursive, encouraging the writer to repeat steps as many times as needed to achieve the most effective word choice, sentence structure, and arguments to attain the purpose of writing.
Johnson, A. (2021). The writing process. Defiance College.