Writing Process Guide for English 99/101/102



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Writing Process Guide for English 99/101/102



For our 4 major essays, we will follow the same basic writing process:


  • Brainstorm or Prewriting Activity during which ideas are explored using your favorite of several techniques from our text and discussions in class.

  • Audience Discovery Paragraph or list in which you will explain who your target audience is using a handout as a guide.

  • Writing Proposal: A paragraph based on your proposed thesis statement that tells how you intend to approach this essay. (types of evidence you will offer to support your thesis, etc.)

  • Initial Research: research to get you started on your writing plan (for research essays only)

  • Writing Plan: not a formal, Roman Numeral style outline, but a detailed writing plan that, if done well, will make your first draft strong, organized, and focused.

  • More Research: research as needed to fill in gaps in your writing plan.

  • First draft: Bring 3 copies to class to workshop. Your peers will comment on those 3 copies. We will begin in class and complete this process as homework. This is a “global” workshop, which means you will NOT be commenting on grammar and punctuation; rather, you will focus totally on content (the big picture) using criteria in the next bulleted section.

  • Peer comments: You, as commenter on your peers’ papers, will write directly on the page, in the margins and between the lines, as necessary in order to ask questions, point out excellence, and offer suggestions. Then you will type a detailed paragraph (close to a page) first giving your overall impression of the draft and how it fits the assignment, and then summarizing and expanding on the comments you wrote on the paper itself. Bring 2 copies of each Commenter’s Paragraph to class – 1 for the person to whom it is addressed and 1 instructor copy. (see Commenting on First Draft Essays for Peers handout for details)

  • Response to peer comments: When you receive your commented papers back, read through the comments given and consider each carefully. You may or may not use all of the ideas, and some of them will undoubtedly conflict, as you will have 3 readers with 3 different backgrounds. Therefore, you will need to carefully select which ideas you use, which questions you answer, which suggestions you choose not to use, etc. as you revise. Before you begin revising, however, type a response to your peers’ comments. As a part of your careful consideration, you will need to explain WHY you did or did not use each suggestion. Bring 2 copies of the response to your peers (one for the author and one instructor copy). (see Responding to Comments from Peers handout for details)

  • Second draft (Kel’s Comments draft): Revise your essay based on your responses to your peers’ comments and bring 3 copies of draft 2 to seminar. You will use one copy to refer to and take notes on during seminar. The second copy will be traded within your seminar group for additional peer comments. The third copy will be turned in for instructor comments. Comment on the paper of your peer by making comments directly on the page. This is a “local” workshop wherein you will focus on paragraph integrity, transitions, remaining gaps in support, and the details of writing mechanics: look closely at individual sentences for grammar, punctuation, clarity, variety, etc. Note: We will only write commenter’s paragraphs and response paragraphs for the first draft of each essay, so you do not need one for this draft.

  • Third draft (which will often develop into more than three): Using the suggestions from your peer and us, revise once again. This will be your editing draft. Bring 2 copies to class for an editing workshop (read aloud). Revise once more; read backwards sentence by sentence using your “pink sheet” and/or CWH to verify punctuation. Make necessary editing revisions.

  • Graded draft: This is the draft that will be graded. It may then be revised for final collection if you select it for that purpose.


Please keep this list in your notebook, as we will use it throughout the quarter.


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