The Writing Process

Writing is a repetitive activity that involves both process and content goals that you continually revisit.

The process is broken down generally into six stages:

To write a great research paper you need to do the following:

  • Start early in the semester and plan your time.
  • Understand the assignment.
  • Locate your sources.
  • Study and understand your sources.
  • Formulate an idea for your paper.
  • Write a draft.
  • Revise and edit your draft.
  • Complete your APA documentation.
  • Put the final touches on your paper.
  • Submit your assignment.

Virtual Tour of a Sample Student Paper

The Writing Process section on this website gives you examples of how a sample student paper develops from prewriting through to polishing. As you work through each of the steps in the writing process, you will discover some hints and suggestions to make your writing more effective.

If you need further writing practice, you may want to try the free trial at Essay Punch Online that allows you to pick a topic and work through the process. The site has tabs at the top of the page that provide suggestions and track your progress through each stage of the process.

You might also want to check out the University of Richmond Writer's Web, a free, publicly accessible writing handbook.