Do you know the first step in the writing process? It is prewriting. The prefix "pre" means before; therefore, prewriting is what you do before you write. The main purpose of prewriting is to gather thoughts and generate ideas. Some prewriting activities are:
It is during this phase of the writing process that important ideas are conceived and existing notions surface as potential material for writing. Prewriting is an important first step in the process and should not be disregarded or rushed.
The second step in the writing process is drafting. This is the time to begin writing. During drafting you write out rough ideas in a preliminary or "rough draft." It's important to write these beginning ideas down before you forget them. The primary focus in drafting is to put initial ideas and details in written form. For many people, drafting is the easiest step in the process, because perfection is not the major issue at this pint.
Next, comes revising. To revise means to change or modify the draft to improve the quality of the content. Revision is one of the most difficult steps in the process; however, it is also one of the most important, because it is the time to improve upon what you say and how you say it. Reread your draft and ask yourself, "Who am I writing for and what is my purpose?" Revision takes time and effort. There are several ways to improve the quality of the content, for example:
After you've improved your writing and are satisfied the intended audience will understand exactly what you are trying to say, you are ready to move on to the next step in the writing process.
Editing is the next step in the writing process. This is the time to locate and correct errors in the mechanics of writing. This requires careful attention to:
It takes years for a person to learn the standard conventions of writing and to hone their editing skills. Some people don't believe editing is important, but it is. An edited paper is much easier to read. Also, the meaning of a sentence can be changed entirely because of a simple little punctuation mark or use of a capital letter. For example, notice how the meaning of the following sentences change because of mechanics:
It is important to make your message clear; therefore, editing is important and helps "polish" your writing.
The final step in the writing process is publishing. When others will be reading your writing, you publish it. Thsi means you make a copy that is legible. Some people call this published piece the "neat sheet" or the "final copy". Published pieces may take a variety of forms, for example:
You can rewrite your revised and edited draft in your best penmanship, type it, or print it out on a computer. Publishing is important, because people will not be able to read you writing if it is not legible.