Why It Matters: The Writing Process

Why is it necessary to analyze the process of writing?

You’ve likely heard the phrase “writing process” before, and the steps below may be familiar to you.

"The Writing Process": Topic, Prewrite, Evidence, Organize, Draft, Revise, Proofread.

Though these steps are often talked about as separate tasks, they are actually much more fluid. Don’t overlook the importance of the arrows around each item. These arrows indicate the most vital aspect of the writing process: it doesn’t just go in one direction. One step bleeds into the next; sometimes an issue comes up late in the process, such as during revision, which requires going back to the prewriting stage for a bit. This kind of dance through the steps is expected, and healthy—it’s called recursive writing. You make your own path through the process.

Watch It

The video below is a beautiful example of one person’s application of the recursive writing process. He narrates the stages he goes through to complete blog entries for a course he’s taking. Though you may not be writing the same kind of product, you can certainly analyze his process to see how it might be applied in other writing situations.

You can view the transcript for “Writing Process Animation” here (download).

Were there steps in this video that surprised you? That seemed out of order to you? Would you be able to adapt his process to the next writing task you’re faced with?

The rest of this module will address the individual stages of the writing process, and how they work together.