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The Writing Process:  Simplified and Chunked

The Writing Process: Simplified and Chunked

Author: Jessica M Brown

Many students feel overwhelmed when they are assigned a writing task.  Some students may have trouble organizing their thoughts, while others may have trouble merely thinking of what to write about or the details to include in their story.  This tutorial is designed to help chunk and simplify the steps of the writing process and make it seem less challenging.

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The Next Step

Do not get overwhelmed by trying to organize your thoughts.  First, look at your brainstorm and choose 3 specific ideas about your topic that you think you'll be able to write the MOST details about and write them down, spaced out.


The first step

"Creative team brainstorming improves your critical thinking and problem solving skills as an individual and a team."  

The first step to the writing process is brainstorming.  A lot of frustration stems from lack of being able to remember specific things you include in a writing.  One way to eliminate forgetting about special details is to jot them all down as your brain is flooding with thoughts, so as not to forget them later on.  What is Brainstorming?

Brainstorming not only helps you to come up with some amazing things to write about and include in a story, but when you brainstorm in a group setting, the amount of new ideas is abundant!  Think about it, don't you think more heads throwing ideas out into the group discussion will serve a greater purpose than if your mind was working alone?

Source: Mill Agency

Step 3- Reduce the Text

You have 3 details you want to get specific about.  Now, just come up with a few short bullet points about EACH one.

                         Topic:  My Family Vacation

  • Detail 1= the drive
    •  took 6 hours
    • crammed in small car
    • luggage fell off car
  • Detail 2=the food
    • spicy
    • over cooked and dry
    • best seafood ever
  • Detail 3=the hotel
    • old and smelly
    • fun pool area
    • beds were hard and too small

Step 4- Create Short, Simple Sentences

     The shorter the sentence, the easier it is to organize your thoughts.  Short sentences are easy to organize because they don't have too much going on in them to be confusing.

Now, turn your bullet points into complete, short, simple sentences. You can details to them later.

Step 5-Form paragraphs

Take your short simple sentences and put them together to form paragraphs. Each of your 3 details you are working with will turn into 3 paragraphs once you rewrite them next to eachother!  Now all you need in your introductory paragraph and conclusion!!


Look at the three details you created paragraphs about your topic. All you have to do now is introduce to your audience -

  • your topic you're writing about
  • why you're writing about this topic (why is it interesting?)
  • what 3 details about this topic are you going to write about?

Don't forget to "hook" the reader into thinking your writing will be GREAT! To do this, just begin your paragraph with a question, for example:  Have you ever been to the amazing waterfalls in Hawaii!?   If your reader has never been there, they will probably be itching to read your paper to find out WHY the waterfalls are amazing.

Step 6- Your Conclusion

People get nervous about the conclusion.  It's pretty simple: By the time your reader gets to end of the your writing, they have forgotten what your main topic is about since you have spent so much time on those details you wrote about. You'll need to review and simply summarize in a few sentences what they've just read.

So....... retell your introductory paragraph by rephrasing a few of the original sentences you started with.  Maybe answer that hook question you asked the reader to think about before they read your story?  Try it.  The ending is the fun part to write!


Step 7- Revise and Edit

So, are they are words you notice that repeat a lot in your story?  Are there any "boring" words, such as the word "good" that could be replaced?  For example, "good" could be written as "glorious" and it sounds so much better and attention grabbing!  

Look at your paper- do you see words you could change?  Or sentences that need a little more love?  Add some figurative language so that your reader feels like they are experiencing what they are reading WITH you!

For example:  The salty sea air splashed little cold droplets of water onto my feet as they sunk with every whispering breath of rushing, foaming water.  Can you guess where I am talking about? If not, add a little more detail.

                 Remember:  Too much detail is NOT too much detail!