Writing process (students)

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The writing process

Traditional writing classes viewed writing as a product. The teacher gives an assignment, the students go home, produce a paper, and turn it in. What happens in between was given little attention. Nowadays language teachers recognize the importance of the process of writing – how a writer goes about planning the essay, pre-writing methods, drafting, and multiple stages of revisions (ideally), and finally, a final version.

For you, it would be helpful to introspect on your your own writing process, and then guide those you tutor to do so as an initial exercise, before you two start working on an actual assignment. Describe your writing process from start to finish, including the following:

  • How do you go about doing a major writing task, in English or Korean, at school or work?
  • How do you get started?
  • How do you get comfortable?
  • How do you brainstorm ideas and organize them?
  • How, how often, and how much you revise your paper?
  • How similar or different is your writing process for different kinds of projects?
  • How similar or different is your writing process for assignments in English versus those in your native language?
  • If you have writer's block, explain how you deal with it, and perhaps what causes it (e.g., perfectionism, lack of ideas, too much information to deal with, or negative voices from your past that you've internalized).

Writer's block refers to the difficulty that one has in getting started on a writing assignment, e.g., when a person experiences a mental block and cannot focus, cannot get started writing, cannot organize his/her ideas, cannot get past the introduction, or such. Writers can learn to reflect on the possible causes of writer's block, which is usually due to the reasons in the next section on prewriting techniques.