Composition and Rhetoric
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Community College / Lower Division, College / Upper Division
Ohio Open Ed Collaborative
  • Tme0012
  • Writing as a Process
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    Education Standards

    Writing as a Process: Course Map & Recommended Readings


    How to Use This Guide

    This document is intended to highlight resources that can be used to address the topic of Writing as a Process in a First-Year Writing Course. All resources are Open Access and can be downloaded or added to a Course Management System via hyperlink.

      Introduction & Learning Objectives


      This portion of the course is intended to recommend the best open educational resources related to process writing, including identifying the steps in the writing process, understanding that the process is flexible, generating ideas for development of a topic, narrowing the topic in order to identify a thesis, drafting the essay and handling writer’s block, organizing the draft, engaging a peer review process, creating successively improved drafts, using revision and editing to improve the drafts, and assessing the effectiveness of the writing process.

      These skills will overlap with other learning objectives (e.g. Critical Thinking, Conducting Research, etc.), and instructors will likely want to use these resources and design activities in conjunction with other learning objectives. Further, this module assumes that instructors have chosen their own primary readings (academic journal articles, examples of student research papers) as examples to which the strategies outlined in these resources may be applied. It should be noted that the skills involved in the writing process are not only applicable to the academic writing presented in a first-year writing course, but to a broad cross section of the rhetorical patterns employed in many cultures and languages.

      Learning Objectives

      This module is designed to address the following learning objectives:

      1. Identify the steps in the writing process
      2. Understand that the process is flexible
      3. Generate ideas for development of a topic
      4. Narrow the topic to identify the working thesis
      5. Create an outline
      6. Draft the essay while handling writer’s block
      7. Organize and reorganize the draft
      8. Engage the peer review process
      9. Create successively improved drafts
      10. Use revision and editing to improve drafts
      11. Create a working outline
      12. Assess the effectiveness of the writing process
      13. Revise the process as needed.

      Recommended Resources

      About Writing: A Guide by Robin Jeffrey 

      • This is an electronic textbook published by Open Oregon Educational Resources which can be read online or downloaded in a variety of formats. The text provides two chapters that highlight the writing process: The chapter on “Composing” includes explanations of how to read and analyze an assignment sheet, how to write and revise a thesis, how to structure and compose a working outline, and what steps are involved in planning a document. Each section of the chapter poses questions that lead the student through the writing process with short, direct instructions. The chapter on “Revising” includes strategies for analyzing and revising with a revision checklist for students. The section of this chapter on peer review provides questions, examples, and checklists that address issues students would typically raise in a discussion of revision techniques, keeping this chapter student centered and focused on issues of student concern.    

      College Success 

      • This is an electronic textbook published by University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing which can be read online or downloaded in a variety of formats. Chapter 8, “Writing for Classes,” includes a pre-quiz for students that opens eyes to the writing process. Section 8.2 includes pre-writing, revision, and editing along with checklists and checkpoint exercises with a summary of key takeaways. Chapter activities and outside activities reinforce the benefits of the writing process.

      The Word on College Reading and Writing by Babin, Burnell, and Pesznecker

      • This is an electronic textbook published available through the Creative Commons which can be read online or downloaded in a variety of formats. Written by five college reading and writing instructors, this interactive, multimedia text draws from decades of experience teaching students who are entering the college reading and writing environment for the very first time. Sections on prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing contain multiple examples and exercises, complete with visuals, diagrams, and student samples. The charts with pros and cons of different techniques guide students to find the process methods that will work for them or work for particular types of writing. The formatting of this text will appeal to students.

      Supplemental Content

      Excelsior OWL

      • The visual format of this website appeals to students. The navigation guide appears both in the left-hand navigation pane and in the center of the screen, and the site provides comprehensive coverage. This site includes visuals and diagrams for the writing process.

      Purdue OWL

      • This site has its navigation guide on the left-hand side of the page. The information is accurate, including samples and exercises; and most students are familiar with this site due to its extensive use among English instructors.

      UNC Writing Center Handouts 

      • This site includes printable handouts on a variety of topics related to the writing process, some of which are brainstorming, getting feedback, reorganizing drafts, revising drafts, thesis statements, etc. Students will find these individual handouts portable and useful.

      Class Activities in About Writing

      About Writing incorporates checklists on a number of steps in the writing process for each section of a chapter. These checklists are useful for students working alone or outside of class, but collaboration using checklists can generate discussion of specific issues within student drafts (Learning Objectives 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10,11, 12, and 13).

      1. In the Composing chapter, Assessing the Writing Process includes questions to guide students on determining the parameters of an assignment. Test your Thesis provides a checklist of questions to determine whether the thesis is appropriate for the particular assignment. The “Outline Sample” section of the chapter guides students in planning a document and constructing an outline (Learning Objectives 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 11).
      2. In the “Revising” chapter, strategies for analyzing and revising once a draft is completed guide the writer through initial revision. How to be a Constructive Peer Reviewerprovides a checklist of questions to stimulate student analysis of drafts (Learning Objectives 10, 12, and 13).

      Please see Instructor Facing Content. 

      Class Activities in College Success

      College Success employs a variety of activities on the writing process, including self-assessments, modeling activities, quizzes, and checklists. This text encourages writers to collaborate and to reach outside the classroom for community experience. Chapter 8, Writing for Classes,” focuses on the writing process (Learning Objectives 1 through 13).

      1. The chapter begins with self-assessments (Learning Objectives 1 and 2): “Where Are You Now” assesses present knowledge and attitudes; “Where Do You Want To Go” assesses level of confidence and attitude about writing;“How To Get There” provides a list of chapter topics to direct students.
      2. Section 8.2 of the chapter, How Can I Become a Better Writer, walks students through a checklist of revision and editing strategies, guiding students in determining the differences between revision and editing. A checkpoint exercise formatted as a True-False Quiz provides this guidance (Learning Objectives 8 through 13).
      3. Section 8.4 of the chapter, Chapter Activities,” begins with an essay quiz chapter review. Students are given a list of topics and are guided through generating a practice essay, including an outline. An exercise entitled “Outside the Book” focuses on assignments that incorporate the broader community outside of an English class and provides extensive guidance in moving through the writing process. This section concludes with an “Action List on Writing Process” that asks students to identify their weaknesses and set goals for writing improvement (Learning Objectives 3 through 7).

      Please see Instructor Facing Content. 

      Class Activities in Word on College Reading and Writing

      Word on College Reading and Writing by Babin, Burnell, and Pesznecker emphasizes collaboration in the writing process. Exercises in this book are more extensive and ask students to practice writing elements within an essay (Learning Objectives 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9).

      1. In “Part 2: Writing” the chapter on Prewriting-Generating Ideas has an exercise to check on students’ ability to conduct basic research. The visuals of different prewriting strategies enable students to practice each of these techniques (Learning Objectives 1, 2, and 3).
      2. The chapter on Draftingis the most extensive. The exercise on identifying and developing topics and topic sentences recommends a collaborative group check each other’s work. Another exercise directs students to choose from a list of generated topics to practice various prewriting strategies, evaluating which works more effectively for given topics and student styles. This is followed by exercises on introductions and conclusions. The students first evaluate paragraphs provided in the text, and then these exercises ask students to write both introductions and conclusions to be evaluated by the collaborative group (Learning Objectives 4, 5, 6, and 7).
      3. The Revising chapter exercise uses students’ own experiences with writer’s block. The collaborative group then generates resolution ideas, discussing which appear to be most effective for particular writers (Learning Objectives 6, 7, 8, and 9).

      Since so much of this text involves students generating their own writing samples, the authors have provided possible responses at the end of the text.

      Please see Instructor Facing Content