The Writing Process

Hartono
College of Languages of Sultan Agung Islamic University (UNISSULA)
Programs Available: English Education S1 and English Literature S1 (both are accredited).

Writing is a process with 4 stages namely planning, drafting, revising and editing (Seow; 2002), or planning, drafting, editing and final draft (Harmer; 2004). Planning which is also sometimes called as pre-writing is the stage where writing learners are encouraged to write by jotting ideas and collecting information necessary as through brainstorming, clustering, making WH-questions and the like. When planning, writers have to think about three main issues (Harmer, 2004). In the first place they have to consider the purpose of their writing since this will influence not only the type of text they wish to produce, but also the language they use, and the information they choose to include. Secondly, writers have to think of the audience they are writing for, since this will influence not only the shape of the writing but also the choice of language –whether it is formal or informal in tone for example. Thirdly, writers have to consider the content structure of the piece – that is how best to sequence the facts, ideas or arguments which they have decided to include.
Drafting is the stage where writer puts ideas and information he wishes to share on paper. This is usually done on the assumption that it will be amended later. The focus is usually more on the fluency of ideas rather than the accuracy of grammar and spelling.

The next stage is revising (Seow) or editing (Harmer). Seow suggests that revising occurs when writer looks back at his / her work by putting feedbacks from both teachers and peers into consideration. The writer will also measure the effectiveness of his / her communication to the audience he / she is targeting. Harmer also suggests that what he means by editing is reflecting and revising.

The last stage is editing (Seow) or Final version (Harmer) in which the writer produces the final version. Checking grammar and spelling accuracies, punctuations, and word choices usually becomes the main task to be done at this stage.
Though there are four stages but as a matter of fact elements writing process as mentioned above are not linear, but rather recursive in the sense that a writer plans, drafts, edits / revises and then re-plans, re-drafts, re-edits before finally has the final work. Seow describes this process from Process Activated to Process terminated, while Harmer describes it as the Process Wheel.

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