Think about a party or an event that you and your friends have planned. List the necessary steps needed to make this event successful.
Transforming a vacant lot covered with weeds and trash into a bright spot in the community is not impossible. However, it does take planning. Achieving a finished piece of writing also takes planning. The paragraph below is an example that a student wrote last year. This paragraph is the first one. The young author had explored many ideas and topics before he settled on one.
“Many Chinese New Year traditions are about luck. One tradition that my family celebrates is the giving of lucky money. Parents give children money in a red envelope. The envelope symbolizes luck. Putting the money in the envelope means that the parent is sharing the luck with a child. Both giving and receiving the red envelope bring luck.”
~reprinted with the permission of the author, Chang Feng.
Having read this passage, what do you suppose that Chang’s article will be about?
Work in Your Own Way
Every writer works in his or her way, but most writers take their writing through several stages before they finish. Before Change finished his article, he went through a process. First, he listed his ideas about traditions. Then, he organized them into paragraphs. Later, he rearranged and polished his writing until he was satisfied.
Write from Start to Finish
Many writers use the following stages of the writing process. Not all writers follow them in a strict order. Many writers will go through the same stage over and over until he is happy with results.
There are five stages of the writing process:
· Prewriting: In this stage you find and explore ideas and then choose a topic in which you are interested. At this time, you also decide on your audience, the people who will read or hear your writing. You also decide on your overall purpose for writing or write my essay. Your purpose is your reason for writing.
· Drafting: Transforming thoughts, words, and phrases into sentences and paragraphs is called drafting. You can rearrange and revise your writing more quickly once your ideas are in draft form.
· Revising: In the revising stage, you look at your draft to see that is clear and organized. You might read your writing to a partner. Guide your revisions with questions like these: Does what I have written make sense? Have I presented my ideas in a logical order? Have I kept my audience in mind? Some pieces of writing need a little revision. Others need revising two, four, or even a dozen times before the author is satisfied.
· Editing: The editing stage, unlike the revising stage, focuses on the mechanics of your writing. When you edit, you make sure that you have spelled and punctuated your writing correctly. You also correct any grammatical error. Conventions are your grammar, usage, and mechanics.
· Publishing: This is what you do when you are ready to hit the publish button. In this stage, you are prepared to present your writing to your audience. You might publish by handing it to your teacher. You might read it aloud to your classmates. You might send it to the newspaper or a magazine.
Think about the last time you wrote something. What challenges or rewards did that writing project present?
Prewriting: Finding and Exploring a Topic
Often you write because you need to or want to: a thank-you letter, a note asking for permission to do something, a school assignment. Other times, however, you need to think of how to fill an empty sheet of paper.
Some writers get their ideas easily. Other writers have their unique methods for getting ideas. Some take a walk; others take a shower. Some listen to music; others listen to friends. To help you come up with ideas, you may need to try a few basic techniques.
Finding Good Ideas Everywhere
You can find a writing idea almost anywhere. What catches your attention when you walk down a street or a school hallway? What makes you happy? What makes you angry? Try carrying note cards or a small notebook with you. Whenever an idea comes to you, jot it down.
What are no ideas come to you? Then, try brainstorming—coming up with as many ideas as you can. Do not worry about whether they are good or bad, practical or silly. The point is to get your thoughts flowing. Eventually, you will hit on an idea you can use.
Journal Writing Idea
Carry a notebook with you for the next five days. Write down ideas whenever they occur to you. At some point, take the time to brainstorm ideas. After five days, write in your journal that worked better—letting ideas come naturally or brainstorming them.
Explore Your Topic
From your many ideas, you can choose one that might make a good writing topic. Then you can use clustering to explore your topic more thoroughly.
To cluster, write your topic in the middle of a piece of paper. Then, as you think about that question, briefly write down everything that comes to mind. Each time you write something down, draw a circle around it. Then, draw lines to connect the ideas that seem related to each other.
Clustering can help you decide on an interesting topic. You can’t write about every idea, but you might discover surprising connections. Clustering can also help you organize your writing by showing which ideas about a topic are broader or narrower than other ideas.
Collect Topic Ideas
Take some time to find a topic in which you are interested. You will be working on this subject through a series of lessons as you move through the stages of the writing process.
· Look through your journals and notebooks for ideas.
· Choose three topics that you might like to explore.
· Use clustering to spin off more ideas about your topics.
Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the first part of the writing process, and you are on your way to writing every day.