Writing With a Process

Getting Ready

Writing an article, for example, can be “a piece of cake” or “a piece of work.” The choice belongs to the writer (you). An article is a written prose composition on a specific topic, usually nonfiction, and used as part of a newspaper, magazine, book, or similar publication such as HubPages. Let us explore an approach to writing an article without all of the complexities.

These are the main parts of a composition (an organized piece of writing):

1. Introduction (Beginning)

2. Body (Middle and main part with all of the details)

3. Conclusion (End)

When you finish writing your article, it should have the three parts above. The number of paragraphs you write should depend on the amount of information you plan to include in your article.


After choosing an appropriate subject, you are ready to brainstorm, plan, and organize your writing. We will use a writing process to help with that. These are five stages of a writing process:

1. Prewriting

2. Drafting/writing

3. Proofreading and Revising

4. Editing

5. Publishing

Skipping the stages can be very tempting. You may want to just start writing your composition as ideas pop into your head, but it is not advisable unless you are a practiced writer. Many professionals can mentally organize and keep a photographic memory of it all. Personally, I need a “recipe” before my eyes--and that is the process above--along with all of my developments.

Understanding the Writing Process

1. The prewriting stage is where you choose and narrow a writing subject, brainstorm and write down as many ideas as you can, weed out (delete) unwanted ideas and add any new ones, logically organize your ideas, and use them to create a working outline, which is also like a recipe. You may revise your outline anytime you wish as long as your composition reflects the changes. (See an outline model below.)

Research, using reliable sources, to get more information from the experts. If you are an expert, or have full knowledge of your subject, you may, or may not, need to research. If your subject is "Breakfast Food Southerners (USA) Like," and you are from the South, this would be common knowledge for you, and would not require research. However, if your subject is "Why Women Cry for No Apparent Reasons," it is advisable that you base your article on research, not personal opinions.

2. The drafting/writing stage is where the writing of the composition begins. Follow your outline to include your chosen subtopics and to keep your writing organized.

So, you have written your article, and it is time to publish it. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! The biggest mistake you can make is to stop the process here. This is a common mistake that many writers make. PLEASE, DO NOT DO IT! Continue the writing process.

3. The proofreading and revision stage is an extremely important, and often omitted, stage. This is where you get it all right. Kick out that sentence that is not related to your topic. Get rid of the bad grammar: Make your verbs agree with your subjects. Delete wordy sentences that do not say anything. Rewrite paragraph #2, for example, with more clarity. Correct all misspelled words. Improve word choice by deleting the vague and putting in specific, colorful, and meaningful ones. Delete slang and use Standard English words and phrases. Ask a reliable friend to proof your work after you have done your best to proof and revise it yourself. Use “Spell and Grammar Check” only after completing these efforts. Spelling and Grammar Check should never precede what you are able to do yourself. This list can go on and on, but use a lot of common sense to revise your article to reflect improvement. You will end with a polished article that you will be proud of. The writing process is almost complete.

4. Next, apply the editing stage. In the rush and excitement of finally approaching the end of your work, you type faster with your mind on the finished product. Quite naturally, you are apt to make a few minor errors in spacing, punctuation, capitalization, or spelling. Edit them and read your final draft as many times as you wish to rule out any missed errors and to feel good about your writing. If you are satisfied, say, “Well done!”

The final stage of the writing process is publishing. If you were in a classroom, you would publish by passing in your work to your teacher or sharing with your classmates. If you were writing an article for your local newspaper, you would mail a copy of the final draft to the editors. If you were at a board meeting, you would get the powerpoint ready and make your presentation before the other members. If you are writing for HubPages, just click on the “Publish” button and smile! This final stage is as easy as a snapshot.

Conclusion

I cannot express enough how important it is to follow a writing process to guide you through your article. While all of the stages are very important, most beginning writers make the terrible mistake of not proofreading and revising (#3) and going through the final cleanup of editing (#4) before publishing their articles. When you take care of these too-often-omitted stages, you will attract more readers who would likely read your entire publication. Happy writing!

Outline Model

The Parts of a Business Letter

A. Heading

B. Inside Address

C. Salutation

D. Body

E. Closing

F. Signature

Suggestions: Write a one-paragraph introduction, a paragraph on each subtopic, and a closing or summary paragraph; and you will have an article on “The Parts of a Business letter." If you feel the need to write more than one paragraph on any subtopic, this would be acceptable. Adding colorful illustrations would be like putting frosting on a cake.Thoroughness and appropriate creativity are encouraged.

Article Model

Check out the “Hub of the Day” in HubPages for a good example of an article model.

Writing Tips

Keep in mind that you may change any part of your article any time you feel the need, even if you carry it through the whole writing process. If you decide that one subtopic is too weak and you want to delete the paragraphs that cover it, do it. If you choose to add a stronger or more interesting subtopic, do that, too. Just make sure that your article reflects the changes made.

Always have access to quick references whenever you are writing (i.e., electronic or print dictionary, thesaurus, grammar handbook or a grammar textbook).

Terms to Know


Narrow - reduce or limit a subject to suitability or a more specific one

Example: "Effects of Alcohol on Man" narrowed to " Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning"

Weed out - delete anything unwanted or not needed

Reliable sources - up-to-date sources (articles from magazines, newspapers, books, data bases, pamphlets, etc.) authored by experts; human experts

Unless a source's information is not likely to change, it may be wise to choose those that are no more than five years in use or less.

More by this Author


60 comments

ckimani profile image

ckimani 4 years ago from Kenya

Thank you, will try the 5 stages writing my next hub


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime Author

ckimani:

Thank you for readng my article! I hope you find the writing process very helpful.


saday profile image

saday 4 years ago from India

Impressive post. You have mentioned such important things in this post that generally content writers forgots.


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime Author

saday:

Thanks for your comment and visit.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

This is very good. It will help me. I'm sharing this. Voted Up.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Very good article about the salient points of writing an article with ease. Welcome to HubPages! Voted up and useful.


Robert Erich profile image

Robert Erich 4 years ago from California

This is a great article on the basics of writing. There are many writers on Hubpages that could learn from this (including myself - I hate proofreading). Thanks for sharing! Voted up and shared.


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime Author

Robert Erich:

I have been guilty of not giving my writing that final look-over and discovered it too late after publishing.

Thanks for visiting and commenting.


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

well said indeed, levertis.

writing an article sure needs to be done in steps for the audience to understand the message better.

voted up ineed :)


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime Author

Ruchira:

Thank you for reading my article and making such a positive statement.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

These were drilled into us by the nuns many years ago and I've never forgotten them. Very nice hub that hopefully many newbie writers will pay attention to.


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime Author

Billybuc, thanks for visiting my hub and offering a hopeful comment. Such lessons were drilled into my head "to the tune of a hickory stick." How could anyone forget that?


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Hi, I totally agree with everything you said. I think the one thing that most of us forget when writing for hubpages especially when we begin, is that we are writing for the internet. Its so exciting to get started that we think that we are writing for us, or other hubbers. When we throw that idea out of the window and realise that we are adding to the internet pool then we start to write properly, great hub, cheers nell


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime Author

Nell,

Thanks for your visit and fine comments. You are right, ". . . writing for the internet" is often forgotten. Beginning hubbers who are open for learning will indeed learn much. I am still learning!

Take care.


LetitiaFT profile image

LetitiaFT 4 years ago from Paris via California

How easily we forget! Obviously it's useful for beginning hubbers, but it's also a great reminder for seasoned writers! I happen to be both and have discovered that writing for Internet is not the same thing as writing for publishers, yet your rules transition beautifully between the two.


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime Author

LetitiaFT,

Thanks for reading my article and leaving your thoughts.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 4 years ago from Australia

Nice logical pattern for writing an article. I sometimes get another person to do my proofreading (or read it out loud) as I have found in the past that if I make a mistake I tend to read 'through' that mistake during proofreading?


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime Author

Agvulpus:

Sometimes I read my work over and over again, but after I publish, I find mistakes. I hate when I cannot make corrections. After proofing, I should go to WORD to get a final word. Next time.

Thanks for visiting and offering your fine comments.


Vera harris 4 years ago

You brought back ideas I'd long forgotten.This article was percise and to the point. It could have been intitled Writing for dummies. It's a gift to make the complex simple. Thanks.


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime Author

Vera:

"Making the complex simple" was eaxctly what I tried to do. Thanks for visiting, reading, and commenting on my article!


ignugent17 profile image

ignugent17 4 years ago

I am glad you shared this hub to us. It is really very useful. Thanks Levertis Steele. :-)


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime Author

ignugent17:

I appreciate your visit and most kind comment!


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

Having a writing process not only speeds up your writing but increases its quality. Voting this Up and Useful.


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime Author

Alocsin:

Thanks for your visit, vote up, and added information. Good quality is certainly an important winning feature of a writing job.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Very useful points in here. Voted up and useful.


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime Author

rajan jolly:

I am glad that you found some useful points in my hub. Thanks for visiting and reading it!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago

This is really fabulous. You are spot on in your teaching here. Thank you for this excellent and needful article. It is very good.


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime Author

How complimentary, James! I am appreciative of your visit and kind words.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

You're right, many people skip the steps of good writing - I tend to skip a lot of them. I like to go right to the rush of writing and publishing, but taking the steps does make for higher quality writing, and I am working hard at slowing down and following the process step by step.


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime Author

Millionaire Tips, I wrestle with following the steps, too. When ideas start flowing faster than my mind can store them, the temptation to dash straight to the drafting stage is almost unavaidable. The good thing about making writing errors is that they can always be fixed.

Thanks for reading my article and sharing your writing experiences!


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime Author

Clarification: "unavoidable"


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca

I am one of those mental writers... I usually outline and brainstorm ideas, but once I have an idea I kind of make a mental outline in my mind and then I start to write. However, I do go back in forth between my processes depending on how complicated of a piece I am writing. Some I can write from this mental outline - but I will admit, the editing phase is often timely as I fight to get the words right. Other times, I really need to do a quick outline just to get my thoughts down. Great tips and advise on how to outline your writing process!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

I came back and read this again because it doesn't hurt to give ourselves a refresher course. I am one of the ones who try to publish too quickly, notice a mistake and have to re do! lol! so once again, great info, and voted up! nell


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime Author

You are a praticed writer, barbergirl. Most people do not do the mental outlining but go directly into the writing stage and end up with jumbled topics not realizing that more work is required to untangle than to organize and write right. I know that mistake too well. The editing stage probably presents a challenge to most writiers.

Thanks for your helpful points and visit!


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime Author

Nell, thanks for coming back! You are the first to tell me of a re-read. I think I will celebrate with a bowl of ice cream and chocolate syrup--just one.

A second read never hurts. I also make the mistake of publishing too soon. When I can correct the error, I deal with it, but when I cannot correct one that I post on someone else's hub, It kills me. Sometimes I find the error before the 5 or 10 minutes time is up.

Thanks for votes, revisiting, and leaving a cheerful note!


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

I hope I have learned something from your article. I do get in a hurry at times and don't proof as I should. It does help to have someone else read your work, I think.

I voted this Hub UP, and will share so others may read this.


Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 4 years ago from Michigan

I've copied and pasted this into a word document to use as a guide as I write and edit my hubs. I needed this. Thank you very much!

Mekenzie


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime Author

Mary 615,

Who doesn't make mistakes? I must remind myself to proofread well after I complete a piece of writing.

I thank you for reading my hub!


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime Author

McKenzie:

I am glad that you found my hub useful, and I hope it serves you well. Thanks for coming by!


TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

A very useful guide that many, many writers should read and follow. Nicely done, Levertis. Shared this to spread the word. :)


Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

Pamela Kinnaird W 4 years ago from Maui and Arizona

I enjoyed this hub very much. Voting up.

I find it's especially important to proofread, as you've said, but I find it important for an additional reason. Perhaps its due to age, but I notice that when I proofread I find I've left out little words like 'an' and 'the' which I definitely thought I had typed. I never used to have this specific problem. I think the brain takes little one-second naps as we age.

Sharing this.


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime Author

TTombso8:

Thanks for reading my hub! I am glad you found it useful and shared it.


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime Author

Pamela Kinnaird W:

Maybe the brain is taking a nap when we leave out those little words. When the brain and hand work in sync, we make fewer mistakes, but when the brain works a little ahead of the hand, it is like multi-tasking, and that ability slows as we age. That's just my opinion, but I will put this on my research list to see what the experts say. Thanks for that thought, your visit, and comments!


nanderson500 profile image

nanderson500 4 years ago from Seattle, WA

Definitely a great point about how important proofreading and revising are. I always try to make that effort in my articles. Great job.


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime Author

Thanks for your visit and comment, nanderson500!


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

Great tips. Thanks for sharing. I will have to think of these before writing a new hub. Voted up and useful. Have a great day!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

This is excellent basic information to follow. I get stuck sometimes in the revision, as I feel I can always improve on my word choices to make the writing more interesting. I do wish that people would proofread more at least. Nice hub. Voted up, interesting, useful. I'm sharing it.


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 3 years ago from Southern Clime Author

The revision can be a big job at times, but determination works almost every time.

Thanks for your visit and helpful contribution to this conversation, your votes and sharing, Victoria.


Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 3 years ago from Michigan

Excellent and easy to follow instructions for writing. I would do well to follow these steps and will take a stab at organizing my next hub as you have instructed.

Welcome to the Hubs, I look forward to reading more from you!

Mekenzie


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 3 years ago from Southern Clime Author

I am glad that you found my hub useful, Mekenzie. Thanks for your visit and words of encouragement!


epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

It's so very nice to meet you my friend and thank you for your passionate and intelligent comment on my new piece. It didn't take me long to see and read your hub article here that you are truly a writer's writer and a thinker's thinker.

Your thoughts and ideas are well communicated because you are a master of the written word and I will most definitely bookmark your page here for future reference and also post it to my FB page for everyone to see and read.

Sending to you my warmest wishes and good thoughts from lake erie time ontario canada 10:25pm courtesy of Colin and his two cats Little Miss Tiffy and Mister Gabriel


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 3 years ago from Southern Clime Author

How kind of you, epigramman, to give such wonderful compliments! Thanks for reading, posting to FB, and extending warm wishes.


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Writing with a process is just how one should think about when writing, and hard work, with lots of competition. A useful and informative hub indeed.


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Editing is so important - I'm glad to read you put emphasis on that step. Vote up!


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

Very impressive article!

You have rightly pointed out the mistakes, which writers often make while writing.

While I believe, much of the writing or the idea starts in the mind, real test is how effectively you organize the ideas in your writing. Before hitting the Publish button, one must go through the content, several times, to pick out mistakes, whether in grammar or organisation of the content.

Wonderful hub! Voted up!


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 3 years ago from Southern Clime Author

Christie, editing is indeed a very overlooked step. I appreciate your contribution.

ChitrangadaSharon, I have hit that push button to my regret. I hate finding errors long after I have published a post, but sometimes lessons must be reinforced.

Thanks for reading and leaving your comment.


CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

Great tips! Thank you for the information that is not only useful for the newbies but as well for the experience writers and maybe for those in-between who tend to sometimes forget or perhaps, developing their own writing style.

Never hurts to read and re-read educational articles like this.

Up and sharing.


GoForTheJuggler profile image

GoForTheJuggler 3 years ago from Texas

The methods for writing for TV/film are similar to these steps. Ask anyone who writes for the industry - you are never finished writing until the project is done filming! Voted up and useful!


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 3 years ago from Southern Clime Author

CrisSp,

I appreciate your reading this hub. I do feel than many unseasoned writers can benefit from a less complicaed approach to writing in order to get their jobs done.


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 2 years ago from Southern Clime Author

"Write on!"

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