The Essay Writing Process

July 22, 2017 | Author: Rozi Khan | Category: Essays, Citation, Human Communication, Cognition, Psychology & Cognitive Science
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The Essay Writing Process Writing is an acquired skill which is learned through practice and hard work. The procedures that writers follow, their writing process, varies from writer to writer and from task to task. Additionally, the writing process is not a linear, step-by-step procedure, but a recursive method in which the writer often changes his mind, rewrites, reorganizes and rethinks his strategies before producing a text. However, some areas that all successful writers turn their attention to are pre-writing, writing, and revising. Stage 1: Prewriting consists of: generating ideas, including reading and research establishing purpose identifying audience ordering ideas

During the prewriting stage, writers scribble notes, make lists, and some write pages and pages of sentences because they are capturing the ideas. For the kinesthetic learner, this stage is demanding and usually the writer produces a great amount of text. Stage 2: Writing consists of: creating body paragraphs following the pre-writing order creating introductory and concluding paragraphs

During this stage, the writer reads over all the text and chooses the ideas, sentences, and paragraphs that best express the concepts to be included in the essay. For many writers, this means paring down the text produced in the pre-writing stage, sometimes by half or more. Usually many of the ideas and sentences produced in the prewriting stage just don't work in the final essay, so they are discarded. This is also the organizational stage where the writer makes decisions on the best order for the ideas. Most writers create their introductions and conclusions at this stage. Doing so ensures that the content of the introduction and conclusion accurately frame the ideas in the body paragraphs.

Rozi Khan Swat E-mail: [email protected]

Department of English, Govt. PG Jahanzeb College


Stage 3: Revising consists of: rewriting from the reader's point of view analyzing and changing paragraph and sentence organization assessing content and clarity for effective communication editing to improve word choice, grammar, usage, and punctuation proofreading for typos and surface errors

At this stage, the writer has to shift focus and try to see the text as a reader will see it. This can be difficult unless you can put the text aside for a while and then go back to it and read with a fresh perspective. The writer focuses on clarity for understanding, and, lastly, the mechanical features of the text. Most writers work through these three stages to produce a text, but not necessarily in the same way. Some writers spend a great deal of time on prewriting activities, thinking about ideas and planning the details of the writing. When writers spend more time on this stage, the next two stages usually take less time and proceed more smoothly. Some writers compose nearly everything in their heads before writing it down. Others write only after











Trying out different strategies is one way to learn the most

effective writing process for you. Regardless of the process, all writers revise extensively. This third stage is likely to be the most time-consuming part of writing yet it is essential to the process. First efforts are seldom acceptable, and sometimes a writer must even start over when a plan is not working. Writing is a process which can be facilitated by collaboration with others. The input of classmates, teachers, friends and family is invaluable in the stages of prewriting and revising. While the middle stage of writing is generally done alone, pre-writing and revising require others to be involved. During pre-writing, discussions with others help to generate ideas and organize thoughts. During the revising process, the essay should be read by others for feedback as to clarity and content for effective communication. An Overview of the 10 Essay Writing Steps

Rozi Khan Swat E-mail: [email protected]

Department of English, Govt. PG Jahanzeb College


1. Research: Begin the essay writing process by researching your topic, making yourself an expert. Utilize the internet, the academic databases, and the library. Take notes and immerse yourself in the words of great thinkers. 2. Analysis: Now that you have a good knowledge base, start analyzing the arguments of the essays you're reading. Clearly define the claims, write out the reasons, the evidence. Look for weaknesses of logic, and also strengths. Learning how to write an essay begins by learning how to analyze essays written by others. 3. Brainstorming: Your essay will require insight of your own, genuine essaywriting brilliance. Ask yourself a dozen questions and answer them. Meditate with a pen in your hand. Take walks and think and think until you come up with original insights to write about. 4. Thesis: Pick your best idea and pin it down in a clear assertion that you can write your entire essay around. Your thesis is your main point, summed up in a concise sentence that lets the reader know where you're going, and why. It's practically impossible to write a good essay without a clear thesis. 5. Outline: Sketch out your essay before straightway writing it out. Use oneline sentences to describe paragraphs, and bullet points to describe what each paragraph will contain. Play with the essay's order. Map out the structure of your argument, and make sure each paragraph is unified. 6. Introduction: Now sit down and write the essay. The introduction should grab the reader's attention, set up the issue, and lead in to your thesis. Your intro is merely a buildup of the issue, a stage of bringing your reader into the essay's argument.

(Note: The title and first paragraph are probably the most important elements in your essay. This is an essay-writing point that doesn't always sink in within the context of the classroom. In the first paragraph you either hook the reader's interest or lose it. Of course your teacher, who's getting paid to teach you how to write an essay, will read the essay you've written regardless, but in the real world, readers make up their minds about whether or not to read your essay by glancing at the title alone.)

Rozi Khan Swat E-mail: [email protected]

Department of English, Govt. PG Jahanzeb College


7. Paragraphs: Each individual paragraph should be focused on a single idea that supports your thesis. Begin paragraphs with topic sentences, support assertions with evidence, and expound your ideas in the clearest, most sensible way you can. Speak to your reader as if he or she were sitting in front of you. In other words, instead of writing the essay, try talking the essay. 8. Conclusion: Gracefully exit your essay by making a quick wrap-up sentence, and then end on some memorable thought, perhaps a quotation, or an interesting twist of logic, or some call to action. Is there something you want the reader to walk away and do? Let him or her know exactly what. 9. MLA Style: Format your essay according to the correct guidelines for citation. All borrowed ideas and quotations should be correctly cited in the body of your text, followed up with a Works Cited (references) page listing the details of your sources. When using ideas or phrases from other writers in your own essay, you must correctly cite in your text exactly where the ideas or phrases come from. Correctly identifying these ideas and phrases is called "in-text citation," and the page at the end of your essay listing the sources you used is called a "Works Cited" page. Different disciplines follow different style guides for in-text citation and Works Cited pages, but in most writing courses, because they fall under the humanities discipline, MLA (Modern Language Association) Style is used. 10. Language: You're not done writing your essay until you've polished your language by correcting the grammar, making sentences flow, incorporating rhythm, emphasis, adjusting the formality, giving it a level-headed tone, and making other intuitive edits. Proofread until it reads just how you want it to sound. Writing an essay can be tedious, but you don't want to bungle the hours of conceptual work you've put into writing your essay by leaving a few sloppy misspellings and poorly worded phrases. In this step the content of your essay should be solid. If the idea itself needs discarding, you shouldn't be tweaking the language; it would be a waste of time working on transitions if the organization and structure of your essay Rozi Khan Swat E-mail: [email protected]

Department of English, Govt. PG Jahanzeb College


were in need of repair. Hence editing the language of your essay comes last. Here you are putting polish on a shoe that has already been sewn. Editing the language can be tedious, but it is essential. You've got to proofread your essays dozens of times to catch all the rough spots and language errors. As you proofread you will be checking for misspellings, poor mechanics, bad grammar, awkward word flow and numerous other linguistic details that you can improve. Proofreading the language may take hours as you attempt to polish your language to the point that it is pleasing to read and has literary style.

The Parts of an Essay: Broadly speaking, essays have three parts: the introduction, the body and the conclusion. These roughly correspond to saying what you are going to say, saying that, and saying that you have said it. The three sections of an essay should normally contain the following information: Introduction: • Background information to the study • Explain how you have interpreted the question • State the thesis of what you are going to explore • Brief outline of how you will deal with each issue • Define any subject specific or problematic (e.g. ambiguous) terms Body: • Clearly stated arguments: Make your point at the beginning of a paragraph and then support that point in the rest of the paragraph. • Unity: In any paragraph, only write support that is relevant to the argument you made at the beginning of that paragraph. • Logical order: Make sure that your arguments follow the structure that is appropriate to the question you are answering. Start with the most important argument first and work your way down. Conclusion:

Rozi Khan Swat E-mail: [email protected]

Department of English, Govt. PG Jahanzeb College


• Usually says nothing new, but may contain some comment on the future in terms of direction for further research • Summarise your arguments and themes and bring them together • Give general conclusions and make it clear to the reader why these are important. • Finally relate all of this back to the title to illustrate how the question has been answered.

Rozi Khan Swat E-mail: [email protected]

Department of English, Govt. PG Jahanzeb College

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