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Snap Language

Getting Smarter through Language

The Writing Process
(Intermediate, B-Level)

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Enrichment (non-ESL)

Note. This page is part of a course about the writing process. See the table of contents for the complete course.

Overview of the Writing Process

In very simple terms, the writing process has three main stages: (1) Think, (2) Write, and (3) Polish.


You need to define a topic and idea for writing first. If your idea is too narrow, you will not have enough to write about. If your idea is too broad, it will become unmanageable (unless you are trying to write a long book).


Once you have a well defined idea, the next step is to outline your work and start writing your paragraphs. Each paragraph must be tied together coherently so that the reader can have a clear picture of your ideas. The most common way to organize your paragraphs into a whole is by writing an introductory paragraph, body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph.


Once you have a good first draft, it is time to improve it and clean it up by revising and editing it.

First, you revise your work by focusing on substance; that is, you improve how you present your ideas. Once you are happy with your ideas, you go over your draft focusing on the mechanics of writing, on grammar, and on style; that is, you edit your work for grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and word choice.


Video Activity 1

Watch a video for an overview of the writing process and take good study notes.

Video: An overview of the writing process

Why Not Just Start Writing Right Away?

Following the above stages and steps may seem like a lot, but keep in mind that, again, writing is a process, and processes take time. When you engage in the writing process (as opposed to “jumping right into it” haphazardly), you end up saving time in the end because you work through your writing purposefully and methodically.


As you complete each step, you should keep your end goal in mind (whether it is a short blog post, an article, or a college essay). At the same time, do not let the idea of having a final product intimidate you.

Definition. To intimidate means to make you feel timid, afraid, or uncomfortable (to do something).

When you think of a finished product as a whole, it may seem as though you will never get to the end. That is another reason to follow the writing process; it breaks an enormous task down into more manageable tasks. Keep an eye on the end goal, but focus on what you have right in front of you at each stage.

Continue the Lesson

Continue the lesson to learn about the first stage in the writing process…