Loyola University Chicago

Writing Center

The Writing Process


Quick Tips for Writing Top-Notch Essays

Writing is a process that consists of a series of stages. Those stages are broadly divided into three categories: prewriting, drafting and revising. Although we tend to think of these stages as distinct, it is not unusual to move back and forth between them because writing is recursive, not linear.

For example, you may have completed a first draft of an essay, and in the peer-review process, your editing partner may have suggested that a section of the paper needs further development. You now need to go back to the idea development/information gathering stage of the process.

Or perhaps in the revision stage you notice that one of your arguments could be bolstered by additional expert testimony. Now you must gather more information and draft a new section of the essay.

Although the movement back and forth through the stages can be frustrating, attention to the fluidity of the process will produce a stronger, better developed essay.

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