Question: What is the “writing process”?
Answer: Depends on whether I know what I am going to write, as in a memo or e-mail business communication, or whether I am not sure about what I am going to write.
When I know what I am going to write, like a memo, or an e-mail business communication, I simply sit at the word processor and type in the “To,” “From” and “Subject” lines. Then, on the keyboard, I type the memo or the business e-mail, trying to be as concise, yet as clear as possible. I try to keep memos and business e-mails as short as possible. The fewer paragraphs the better. Never more than a single page. That is my “writing process” when I know what I am going to say.
When I am not sure what I am going to say, I go through a series of five steps. 1. If necessary, I study a model of the format I am going to use. 2. Assuming I have a topic, I brainstorm the topic. 3. I review my brainstorm and define my main idea. 4. I write a draft 5. I revise and edit.
When I was teaching writing in class, I demonstrated my writing process with a little poem called a “Cinquain.”
1. If needed, study a model of the format you are going to use. Here is a model of a “Cinquain.”
Noun (topic, main idea), (one word)
Adjectives (two words)
Verbs (three words)
Phrase (four words)
Summary (one word)
Stalks, Leaps, Kills
Burning Eyes and Soul
Here is a second example of a Cinquain:
Squeezes, Stabs, Strangles
Slides On Ground Slowly
2. Assuming you already have a topic, brainstorm the topic. My topic is “school.” Here is my brainstorm of "school."
hard work; thinking; reading; textbooks; writing; teachers; homework; intense; ideas; problem solving; different subjects; education; independent study; learning; growing mentally; sometimes difficult; stimulating; boring; routine; synthesizing; confusing; 12 years; 13 years; learning to read; times tables; theorems; geography; critical thinking; memorizing; schedule of classes; schedule for study; accomplishments; failure; intellectual; success; rewards; not real life; preparation for life; graduation; degree.
3. Review the brainstorm. Main idea is the same as my topic, “School.”
Thinking, Writing, Reading
Rewarding Experiences and Accomplishments
5. Revising and Editing.
Questioning, Studying, Growing
The World of Ideas
When I am not sure about what I am writing, I (1) study a model of the format. (2) brainstorm the topic. (3) write the main idea. (4) write a draft. (5) revise and edit.
Tomorrow, I will be more specific about how to use my writing process with exposition.