The Stages of the Writing Process

Writing is a form of communication that allows students to put their feelings and ideas on paper, to organize their knowledge and beliefs into convincing arguments, and to convey meaning through well-constructed text. In its most advanced form, written expression can be as vivid as a work of art.

Process writing as a classroom activity incorporates the four basic writing stages:

  • Planning
  • Drafting
  • Revising
  • Editing

Let’s explore each one of them

#1 Planning 

Pre-writing is any type of activity that encourages learners to write. Before you start writing, consider the following things:

  • Make your understand the type of essay you are about to write.
  • Decide the topic you will write about and narrow it down.
  • Consider your audience.
  • List some sources that cover information about your topic.
  • Learn as much as you can about the topic you are going to write about.

The following activities will help you gather as many ideas as you can, ideas that will be used in the drafting stage.

Group Brainstorming

Group member share ideas about a particular topic and spontaneity is the most important factor since there are no right or wrong answers.

All ideas are welcome in this stage

Rapid Free Writing

Students write as much as they can about a topic during 1 or 2 minutes. Student write freely and quickly singles words and phrases about a specific topic

Wh- Questions

Students generate who, why, what, where, when and how questions about a topic. Students can gather information from different sources to answer the questions they generate.

#2 Drafting

Once enough ideas are gathered during the planning stage, the first attempt at writing is drafting.

In this stage, authors of a piece of writing are focused on writing fluency rather than focusing on accuracy or the neatness of the draft.

Writers usually take into account the readers since that can dictate a certain  style to be used. 

before moving to the revision stage, learner usually receive feedback from instructors. This feedback can oral or in writing.

#3 Revising

When students revise, they revise their draft based on the feedback given in the responding stage.

They reexamined what was written and see how effective they were at communicating their ideas.

Revising is not only checking for language errors, it is done to improve the global content and organization of ideas.

You can do the following things during this stage:

  • Rearrange words, sentences or paragraphs
  • Take out or add parts
  • Do more research if you think you need to
  • Replace overused words
  • Read your text aloud to make sure it flows smoothly

#4 Editing

A good writer must learn how to evaluate their own language through checking their own text looking for errors. 

Learner can also interchange text with peers, it is common for writers to ask friends and colleagues to check texts for spelling, etc

Don’t submit your writing before checking these points:

  • Correct Spelling
  • Capitalization
  • Punctuation
  • Unclear words that need to be changed
  • Appropriate style or formatting

Manuel Campos, English Professor

Manuel Campos

I am Jose Manuel, English professor and creator of, a blog whose mission is to share lessons for those who want to learn and improve their English