Professor Belli | Fall 2022 | City Tech

Writing as Process & Revision

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:

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.


  1. Brandon Rivera

    Something new to me with writing is the way I think about it. I think writing is like baking a brand new cake that no one has made, you want to make sure it comes out the best as it can possibly be and stand out. You do not want the final essay or any writing to come out with little effort. This is why creating drafts always helps. With my analogy about baking a cake, you want to start off with the ingredients and recipe. The recipe will be your draft. You can add to it, revise it, change it, or even start all over again because it’s yours. Writing is a process that takes time to get better.

    Though that’s not to say I do not struggle with these steps. I have never been someone to do drafts I always liked to edit while I write. But my process with my writing is different now and I find it helpful to make the first draft in order to read over what I wrote and fix what I find to be wrong or not on par with what I wanted. Then that allows me to create a second draft and re-read it to see if I am good with making it my final product.

    • Jill Belli

      The “baking a cake” analogy is great, Brandon! Thanks for sharing.

  2. jamani anderson

    when I was reviewing these short texts I came across something interesting in the writing process is that writing involves elements of resources such as topics, texts, images, videos, or any type of media and that writing increases your understanding and thoughts of ideas that you would illustrate to your reader. In the creative writing process you want to write your ideas and make sense of it in a way that you can revision your ideas more better and become more creative as you write more it increases you skills on how you form your ideas and how persuasive it can be. The key to improve your writing skills is to enhance the revision of your idea and be creative in a way that you seek a stronger draft. Another important key is to structure your sentences make it more mindful to your audience. These tips made my first draft stronger in a way that I knew exactly where I wanted to go with my first draft and create it into my final draft.

  3. Khandoker

    As with anything, writing is of course a process. The writing we are thinking of here obviously doesn’t mean just putting ink on paper or typing words in a document, that just references the action. Writing I believe encompasses the entire process through which the an authour produces a collection of comprehendible words with complex (or simple) meaning, thoughts, ideas and emotions on display. Maybe a piece of writing doesn’t always fit this definition but the overall understanding is always there. The process includes various different steps an authour must take to reach a satisfactory end result. Brainstorming, research, drafts and revisions are but a few of the steps in the writing process. Perhaps many writers use processes different from the conventional ones we think of or other people use, but that is to be expected. No two writers are ever the same. Learning about some of the processes a novice writer can use may the best choice for any aspiring writer.

    An opinion I am interested to know is about some of the things one can do when experiencing blocks or burnout in the writing process, which are not related to writing itself.

    • Jill Belli

      Thanks for raising blocks & burnout, Khandoker. These are difficult (but expected and often experienced!) aspects of the writing process.

      What are some things that you and others do in these circumstances?

  4. Neal Ross

    Writing as a process is something we have all been encouraged to do throughout all our school years. Honestly I never took to it, I am the type of person to procrastinate to the last day, then sit down and knock it out. Although it does work on most occasions I am not getting the best of myself out that way. Not being able to hit every point I need to make, ignoring the outlining and revising that is critical to forming my best work. The way this course has been set up so far it has forced me to write as a process, much more of a process than I had ever before. outlining and drafting, pulling from previous works and looking over peers writing. Taking in the approach of others and how they are able to see a question and take it in a completely different direction that I had. Considering how a reader other than myself would view my writing and how they would absorb the message I am trying to get across, if they will even take away what I am trying to give to them. Writing is definitely something that is at first for yourself, while writing as a process you don’t have to always worry about how others are going to perceive your work because it is not always for others. It allows us to get our ideas down in whatever messy and unconventional way feels right to us. later pulling from those ideas in order to form a more cohesive work than what we would have came up with otherwise.

    • Logan Aloise

      I like how you put it in your own perspective and how it affected you and how you can improve. Also how this information helped you.

  5. Henry Ren

    I learned that the writing process is not just one step. I used to think it was simple, like writing down your first draft and tweaking it as you reread. Sure, that could be it, but there can be much more. It’s like making a clay pot. You can write down all your ideas and cut out what you don’t need and shape it into the perfect shape you want it to be. In this case, your ideas are the clay that you start with and it has always been easier to revise with too much rather than too little. When you write your first draft, there is a flow and if you are adding things in afterward, it might ruin the flow. In addition, every step is a very important process that complements each other. Brainstorming, outlining, writing down your ideas, revising, polishing, and publishing are all very important steps that complement each other in the final step of publishing. Without one of the steps, a crucial part of your writing process could be missing and you can end up writing less fulfilling than you are capable of. Before I wrote the draft for Education Narrative Unit One, I never thought of it that way. I did it some of the time without realizing it during high school, but it never occurred to me how important brainstorming and writing down all of your thoughts were.

    • Jill Belli

      Henry, I love the image of writing process as shaping a clay pot!

  6. Zavier Santillana

    After reading the articles and reflecting I’m learning that writing drafts is really beneficial in the writing process. With the use of a draft you can free write your thoughts and let the creativity flow. Then you can take a step back reread what you wrote correct any improper grammar or add and remove stuff from what you wrote to sound better and better get across your message. After that you can get to fixing and fixing till you feel it’s perfect each time coming with a fresh mind. I normally don’t write drafts I usually just free write everything fix grammar and improper spelling and think its good but with the help of drafts I can fix and improve my work better and coming up with the best work I can.

  7. Tahani Rabah

    A writing process is not a 1,2,3 fast and easy kind of thing. While writing I notice it takes a lot to have a complete and final product. It starts of with brainstorming, gathering thoughts. Writing a first draft. Correcting it, rewriting and allowing others to read your work, and the process continues over and over until it’s “perfect” . I always have wrote first , second drafts because I know that it will take Many attempts to get it right, and that’s okay. What I learn threwout this course was actually taking my work criticism well from my peers. I didn’t know how important peer review was until I actually listen and read about what others had to say about my work, and I took advice and applied it into my writing.

  8. DavidP

    When looking at how I write my essays, I focus too much on the prewriting and not enough on the revision. The draft is always easy for me as I just write what I think as long as it fits the format that I’m using. However, the revision is hard for me not because I don’t see the problem after the fact but because I find it hard for me to pick out the best correction. This is especially the case for when it comes to creative writing as there are so many choices but many of them require me to revise a larger section of the draft for it to work. There have been many times where I just take the easiest option when revising and handing it in with mixed results. Overall, I think that the revision part of the writing process is an important part that I need to work on in order to become a better writer in the future.

  9. Jill Belli

    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:

    • if it’s really worth saying,
    • if it says what you wanted to say, and
    • if a reader will understand what you’re saying”
  10. logann

    I really like this quote, “proofreading will just be putting a band-aid on a bullet wound.” it show that there is a more serious and time consuming process to a much larger problem and that would be better than nothing but not enough. In other words half done

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