Crash Course in the Writing Process
Last updated 10/11/2016
Visual: Video opens with the title of the video and the description “The 4 steps of the writing process in 4 minutes or less” and a picture of a stop watch.
Audio: Welcome to the Writing Center’s crash course on the writing process! Crash course videos are a great fit if you are new to scholarly writing or are returning after a long absence. In this four minute video, we’ll go over a high-level overview of the four steps of the writing process.
Visual: Slide changes to say the following: Not familiar with an area, tip, or term? Look it up!
As the speaker talks, the following key terms flash on the screen: critical reading, prewriting, assignment prompt, Library, researching, generating ideas, outline, writer’s block, revising, word choice, organization, thesis statement, paragraphs, concision, transitions, formal voice, APA, clarity, proofing
Audio: The writing process—in its simplest form—includes four steps: prewriting, writing, revising, and proofing. We’ll give you quick tips and introduce you to terms in each of these steps, but we won’t be talking about them in-depth—remember, this is a crash course! Instead, get out a pen and paper. If you’re not familiar with one of these steps, a tip we give, or a term we use (we’ll help you by displaying key terms in bold), write it down so you can look it up later! At the end of the video we’ll show you where to find more information on our website. Let’s get started!
Visual: The slide changes to the following: The Writing Process
Prewriting → Writing → Revising → Proofing
Audio: In this video we will talk about the writing process as if it is a series of steps with one step following the next. However, note that the writing process is often not this straightforward. You might find as you revise that you need to return to prewriting or that you need to do some revising before you can write some more. Know that as you complete your assignments, you might go back and forth between steps in the writing process and that’s okay—it’s even encouraged!
Visual: The slide changes to the following with an image of a notebook with the word “IDEAS” written on it: Prewriting
- Reviewing the assignment prompt
- Critically reading and/or researching in the Library
- Taking notes and outlining
- Generating ideas
Audio: The first step is prewriting. Prewriting consists of all the things you do before you start putting words on the page. For each assignment, this should include reviewing the assignment prompt, critically reading the learning resources and/or researching in the Library, taking notes, outlining, and generating ideas.
Visual: Slide changes to the following with an image of a person writing in a notebook: Writing
- Develop a thesis statement
- Organize ideas in paragraphs
- Cite sources per APA
- Use an outline and techniques for avoiding writer’s block
Audio: The next step is writing, and as you write you should make sure you develop a thesis statement, organize ideas in well-developed paragraphs, and cite your sources per APA. Students often find that it’s helpful to write from an outline and to use various techniques to avoid writer’s block if they get stuck.
Visual: Slide changes to the following with an image a person editing a paper: Revising
- Larger changes about ideas:
- Organization, thesis statement, paragraphs, ideas
- Sentence-level changes about word choice:
- Concision, transitions, formal voice, clarity, and APA
Audio: The next step is revising, which refers to reviewing your writing for larger changes about ideas and sentence-level changes about word choice. Students often find that it’s helpful to revise their writing in stages, making larger changes first to things like organization, the thesis statement, paragraphs, and ideas. Then, students often go back and make changes to individual sentences for things like concision, transitions, formal voice, clarity, and APA.
Visual: Slide changes to the following with an image of the word “GRAMMAR” under a magnifying glass: Proofing
- Last step before submitting a paper
- Grammar and APA errors
- Grammarly and Word’s spell check
Audio: The last step is proofing, which occurs right before submitting a paper. Students proof their paper line-by-line for minor grammar or APA errors, sometimes using Grammarly or Word’s spell check.
Visual: Slide changes to the following: The Writing Process
Prewriting → Writing → Revising → Proofing
Then as the speaker discusses the website, a screenshot of the Writing Center’s home page is displayed with the home page URL: https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter. Each section of the home page is highlighted as the speaker talks about it.
Audio: Now you’ve learned about the steps in the writing process! Next, search our website for any of the steps, quick tips, or terms we discussed that you wrote down. Use the search box at the top-right corner, the Quick Answers box, or the main menus to find more information and begin learning!