How is the more formal nature of a draft different from the informal nature of pre-writing?Steps in the writing process.

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Pre-writing, in my opinion the most important step in the writing process, is the step in which the writer considers his/her purpose and method of writing by utilizing the following steps:

  1. Creating/asking questions to be answered.
  2. Brainstorming ideas.
  3. Narrowing down ideas and brainstorming further by adding examples.
  4. Organizing ideas into categories or lists, and ultimately, an outline.

Each of the above steps in the pre-writing process can be done using notes and shorthand without thought to spelling, grammar, and/or technically correct writing conventions.  The most important part of pre-writing is not the final product, it is creating a detailed and organized plan for writing the draft.

A draft, on the other hand, formally utilizes complete sentences and complete paragraphs.  I always tell my students that if they spend enough time pre-writing and creating a very detailed outline, the rough draft almost writes itself.  The rough draft fills in the details and bulk of the skeleton outline.  While a rough draft does not necessarily need to be free of all errors (consider revision as another step in the writing process), it is written with a formal structure.  The rough draft should have a working thesis statement and the subtopics which support that thesis.  Each subtopic (as its own paragraph or section of the paper) should be supported with examples and explanation.