The writing process usually begins with the writer wanting or having to convey something. They must have a desire or obligation to share something important with their reader. A student writing an essay or paper must not only complete the assignment, they must seek to make sure their professor, or reader, understands the idea, impression or feeling they are attempting to communicate. A journalist responsible for writing an article or column must write in a way so that most every reader understands the point of telling the story in the first place. A person writing copy for an advertisement, or writing a script for a commercial, is ultimately writing to communicate a message – that the product being featured should be purchased.
In higher education, the same goes for the student writing to complete an assignment. They are either a given a particular topic to write about, or students are provided a basic assignment where they have to create an argument about a topic of their choice as long as it pertains to the course. Free writing and research are ideal ways to begin the writing process. It always benefits the student to research a topic they are writing about. This informs them, educates them and helps them begin to mentally frame their essay. A quick online search is a good place to begin collecting information to make one’s argument or point. The student conducting the research should also write down important information and thoughts that come to their mind as they read.
Most academic essays and papers call for some argument to be made, a point that the student will defend in their essay with credible evidence. In this step, the student chooses the direction of their essay, what it will argue for or against. But as they do so, they should keep in mind that their mission is to convince the reader that their argument has credibility, that it’s believable and true. So the student must use the body paragraphs of their essay to provide evidence that validates what they are arguing.
Next in the writing process: planning and outlining the first draft of the essay. This requires accomplishing the previous steps and building on them. The student will center the entire essay on the thesis statement, incorporating it into each and every paragraph for emphasis. In the outline, they are to literally plan out the content and placement of each paragraph; they are to strategically place certain information into each essay to further solidify the point they are going to make when the write the first draft of their essay.
Next in the writing process is the actual plugging away at the keyboard – the writing of the first draft. It requires a professional and conversational tone, one that speaks with confidence and conviction. Writing is not everyone’s forte. That’s a given. But writing these kinds of essays trains a student to make a case for something – which is often required verbally in the workforce, whether it’s why someone deserves a raise, a newer office, a different route, a longer lunch, a better assistant. People, in all aspects of life, to be successful or to get what they want in life, must have the ability to convince another person that what they are arguing is true.
Once the first draft is written, it’s time to reread the essay for many reasons. One, in particular, is making sure the argument the essay is attempting to make is done successfully, that it ultimately convinces the reader to believe the argument the essay is making. Also, an essay should be reread several times in search of misspelled words, punctuation errors and incomplete sentences. Once errors are found, they should be corrected promptly. Finally, once this is done and the student is confident in their essay, they should read it once more before turning it into their professor for a graded evaluation.
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