This workshop is on writing as process as well as an important aspect of that process: revision. Writing has many purposes, motivations, and stages, and in this course we’re going to engage with many of them. In particular, you’ll be engaging various aspects of the writing process throughout this week as you work on your Education Narrative revision.
I’ve made a quick audio file talking about writing as a process, and some of the other values and guiding principles underpinning the work we’re doing together this semester in the course. It’s the first text listed below.
Below are also a number of other short texts that offer additional context about writing as a process and revision.
READ + ANNOTATE the following short texts:
- Writing as Process (Professor Belli)
- Writing as Process (MIT)
- Stages of the Writing Process (Purdue OWL)
- The Writing Process (A Guide to Rhetoric, Genre, and Success in First-Year Writing)
- Revising Drafts (UNC Writing Center)
- Reverse Outlining (Purdue OWL) + Reverse Outline (UNC Writing Center)
COMMENT: After reading and annotating the above texts, participate by commenting below. You can share something new you’ve learned here, questions you have, a reflection on your Unit 1 process / revision so far, etc. It’s all fair game, as long as you engage 🙂
*Note: Since writing is a process, you don’t want to skip any stages along the way. Your best chance of being the most successful and achieving the best outcome on your assignments is to engage all aspects of the process. Therefore, you shouldn’t be submitting the final draft of your essay today — make sure to read all of this week’s material, engage with all the Workshops and Class Discussions, get additional help in my Office Hours &/or the City Tech Writing Center, and then continue to work on your revision.
All the articles above highlight that writing is an ongoing process. At the moment with this unit, we are at the step where we should be revising our first drafts. A key part of that is to ensure the arguments throughout our essays have a clear idea with a logical progression from one point to the other.
I learned that writing a good essay requires a lot more effort than just putting words on a paper. That is only one step. You have to read it over and make sure its is enough words to get your point across clearly to the reader. You also don’t want to many words otherwise it might drown out your point or dilute it. Its a balance that you have to learn.
While reading these articles and writing my essay, I realized how much going through each stage really helps improve your writing. While I was writing my first draft, I was just writing off the top of my mind and my essay didn’t make too much sense, however once I finished and started thinking about what I had wrote. I started considering how I should write my essay to fit into the topic of the assignment, should I focus more on this, or that. Ultimately I decided that my essay had a bit too much about my personal experience as compared to views on education, which I think helps me get a clearer idea about what I should write.
A good essay requires a lot of time and a great thought process. You need a first draft and you need it to be per edited before creating your final draft. The first draft would be compromised of ideas until you put everything together and create your final draft. First drafts are not always the best and it may be messy.
Writing requires a lot of thinking and organization. It’s a process that needs to be done to get the desired results. Before I start writing I think about organizing my ideas into place. I try to picture what my essay’s beginning and end will look like. And if something doesn’t sit right after writing it I switch the organization around or add or delete stuff. As I read in the article Reverse Outlining, it’s smart to write the main ideas in the margins of each paragraph so you don’t have to keep rereading to make changes. Sometimes I get frustrated having to reread paragraphs to figure out where to add details, so writing the main idea in the margin is a great idea.
While working on my unit 1 process, I realize that there are two things to be a successful writer. Number one is having a clear mind. Having a focus on one task will help us as a writer to revise our work. The second is time management. A set schedule will improve in having a better impact on a task.
Yes, time management is such a key (and under-discussed and under-appreciated!) aspect of being a successful writer, and student. Thanks for highlighting it here, Karen!
I learned that when we write we learn more about the topic we are writing about. I also learned that writing is never finished and you can always add, remove, and edit the writing in any shape or form that you see fit in.
After reading the articles, something new I found was in the fourth article. The writer expresses that to improve your own writing you must make time for it because the process is a series of steps, you must give yourself enough time so you can go back and read it to move stuff around. Writing it one time and not rereading your writing doesn’t allow room for improvement. Since writing is an ongoing process, steps are required like brainstorming, drafting, revising, and editing, the article gives 6 steps to think about. Having many drafts is something I tend to do because I can always move or change stuff.
Everything in this life takes a process and writing could not be the exception. For me has been and is a complex process, especially since English is not my mother tongue. By reading these articles I understand this process a little better and as Paul Eschholz and Alfred Rosa tell us that we MUST understand the assignments. I am learning that the stages of the writing are crucial in a good essay. That brainstorming, outlining, rough draft, polish as prewriting, drafting, revising and editing are essential in the process and all go hand by hand. I am 100% agree that I need to work harder on forceful verbs. Dr. Jill said something on her audio that I will take forever. “WRITE TO DISCOVER” and that’s what we’re definitely doing.
Something that I learned new is basically the articles were saying how to further write and understand how you’re writing and how it takes time. for example and the unit one revision I did my final draft super last minute and wasn’t able to revise and then when I did because I noticed there was a lot of mistakes and could’ve done rhetoric choices into it and also had a different idea which then I had to change a couple things to my final draft. which tell me the writing is a process just how it’s stated in the articles and also the voicenote.
Thanks all for sharing these thoughts — keep them coming! We’ll be returning to the idea of writing as process over and over throughout the semester.
As many of you noted above, it takes time (and patience, and an open-mind!) to fully engage writing as a process. As Lacey and Gagich claim, “The most important lesson to understand about the writing process, is that it is recursive, meaning that you need to move back and forth between some or all of the steps.”
Hopefully you have developed an increased awareness of your audience throughout these past two weeks, as you have moved from the “writer-centered” aspect of the drafting stage to thinking more abut your “reader’s needs and expectations” in the revising stage (MIT).
Revision is SUCH a key part of the process — it’s when we revisit and re-evaluate what we have already written, and decide whether it works and what to do next. From the UNC Writing Center handout on “Revising Drafts”:
“Why is revision important?
Writing is a process of discovery, and you don’t always produce your best stuff when you first get started. So revision is a chance for you to look critically at what you have written to see: