The Writing Process Casey Kelly Prewriting This is usually the hardest part of the writing process— coming up with an idea. Teachers usually will assign the genre of writing, and leave it to students to form a personal idea. Students love writing Ideas start in the brain Ideas move from generic to specific Assigned Genre General Idea Specific Potential Specific Potential Idea Idea Search and Research Libraries are great places to both help gather ideas and research materials such as books, Internet sites, films, etc. Audience Audience is crucial to any writing assignment. Who will be reading this? Who will read this? Men? Who will read this? Women? Who will read this? Children? Who will read this? The elderly? Who will read this? All kinds of ethnicities? Who will read this? Will religious beliefs of the audience affect its reading? Step Two: Outlining Once an idea is formed, the writer now has to format the essay accordingly. There are three basic parts to any essay: 1. Introduction 2. Body 3. Conclusion We will look at each part individually. 1. The Introduction The Introduction begins the essay, and is the most important part of a paper. The writer must grab the reader’s attention, preview the main points, establish the mood/tone of the piece, and give a clear thesis statement—all within a few sentences. The Attention Catcher Common Attention Catchers are quotations, statistics, and questions to reel the reader in. Basically, it is a reason for the audience to read on. Tone Tone is the mood of the piece of writing. There are many different kinds of Tone. Tone Happy Tone Sad Tone Angry Tone Humorous Tone Scary Tone Serious Preview Main Points Before writing the Thesis, the writer should give the audience a taste of what will be covered in the paper. This is a Preview of the Main Points. Thesis Statement The Thesis takes the point of the whole paper and puts it into one sentence. It is usually simple and declarative, but does not have to be. The Thesis is the final sentence of the Introduction. 2. The Body If the Introduction is the “bun” of a sandwich, then the Body is without a doubt the “meat.” This is where we put the detail to help prove our thesis statement. Body Paragraphs This is the general layout for the body paragraphs: they begin with a topic sentence, and then are followed by supporting evidence and possibly research. WARNING: Plagiarism Remember, as writers we can use anybody else’s material in our own, as long as we say where we got it—if not, it is the writing equivalent of stealing. Transitions Transitions are important parts of Body paragraphs; they typically come at the end of one, and segue into the next. Newscasters are experts at using good transitions. The End of the Body Once all the main points have been stated and supported, the Happy Writer is ready to begin the end of the essay. 3. The Conclusion The conclusion wraps everything up. In it we will Restate the Thesis, Review the Main Points, and give a Clincher to leave the audience wanting more. Restate Thesis Remind the audience of what this paper was all about in the first place. Remember to Rephrase the Thesis (say it using new words; do not merely repeat the same thing from the Intro). Review Main Points Go over the main ideas that were covered throughout the paper. Attorneys review main points when giving their final arguments to a jury (the audience of a trial). Clincher Just as the Attention Catcher reeled the audience in, the Clincher leaves them hungry for more. A question or quotation can be effective, and sometimes it is best to just leave the readers hanging. Finished! Once all these steps are completed, the student has successfully completed writing an essay! Good Luck!!!
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