Stages of writing

Stages of writing

1- Pre-writing

2- Drafting

3- Revising

4- Editing


Pre-Writing strategies:

1- Mapping or clustering

2- Free writing

3- Listing

4- 5 Ws or journalistic questions

5- Brainstorming

Mapping or clustering

Clustering is a prewriting technique that allows you to develop your ideas with the help of a diagram called a cluster.

Begin by writing your topic in the middle of the page. Draw a circle around it. Then think of ideas that are related to your topic directly. Write words or phrases in circles around the topic and connect them with lines to the main circle. You can have some sub-branches to each circle. Keep the clusters that have the most circles and cross out the ones that didn’t produce related ideas.

Free writing

Free writing is an approach to prewriting in which you just begin writing about a topic. You set a time limit, five minutes or so. And begin writing anything that comes to your hear non-stop. The important point is to keep writing no matter what and not to censor your thoughts. No one else needs to read this, so  don’t worry about the spelling, the sentence structure, or the value of your ideas. Try to keep a constant flow of thoughts from your mind to the paper. If you can’t think of anything, write: ‘I can’t think of anything.’ Do that until you have another idea.


Just as you might make a shopping list before you go to the supermarket, you can also make a list of ideas to help you generate ideas for writing. You simply start by thinking about your topic. Then you make a list of every word or phrase that comes to your mind . Don’t stop to wonder if an idea is good or if the spelling and grammar is correct. Just keep writing.

5 Ws/ Journalistic questions

In this prewriting technique, the writer asks the five journalistic questions. These are the five questions: who? What? When? Where? Why? The writer asks these questions about the topic he has chosen and takes notes of the answers.

Topic: smoking

1- Who smokes?

2- What are the pros and cons of smoking?

3- When do smokers smoke?

4- Where do smokers smoke?

5- Why do they smoke?


Brainstorming requires that you write down all the ideas that occur without finding fault with any of them. You can try brainstorming with a group of people or you can do a similar thing by yourself. Just put down every idea that occurs to you without trying to organize or to reject any of them.


     When you are done with your prewriting and you gathered all the information that you need, you should begin the next step which is drafting. When you draft, you put your ideas down in some sort of order. You try to compose paragraphs with topic sentences and eventually to relate all the paragraphs to one main point. Think of drafting as an attempt to make sentences of all the ideas you have gathered. You need to arrange all those ideas. Drafts are not permanent, so they don’t need to be neat or absolutely correct. You can have as many drafts as you need till you reach the draft that is best in your opinion.


There are different things you can do for revising including:

1- Share it with someone else to give you advice.

2- Checking subject-verb agreement.

3- Correcting fragments: a fragment is an incomplete sentence. A fragment can’t stand alone.

You can discover fragments by starting to read the text from the bottom; you start with the last sentence in the paper and read each sentence back to the first sentence of the text.

e.g. of all the boys in my neighborhood when I was growing up, Tom, who was my best friend.

e.g. my father, roaring with anger when I ordered only half a sandwich.

4- Run-on sentences: Run on sentences are related to punctuation. When you create a run-on sentence, you fail to give your reader the punctuation needed to make the point clear. Run-ons occur when you combine two or more sentences without punctuating them to let the reader know how they are related.

e.g. When I think of my aunt I remember her ability to criticize everyone while she had their best interest at heart I remember the countless times her thoughtlessness caused my brother and me to cry now I know she even made my mother cry too.

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