You have likely learned about the importance of understanding writing as a process in previous writing courses. You are familiar with steps such as prewriting, outlining, drafting, getting feedback through peer review, revising, and editing. You know that you need to repeat these steps often. And it is true that good writing is rewriting. This chapter aims to build upon this knowledge to deepen your understanding of writing processes and their value when developing and articulating ideas. It will also provide strategies for thinking about writing processes in new ways.
These strategies will be especially important as you enter internships, jobs, and other contexts where you will be writing in new genres for a wide range of audiences and working to produce high-quality professional documents. You will learn to employ and adapt practices, including inquiry and collaboration, that writers use in academic, professional, and public situations. This chapter will help you understand how to use a range of sophisticated revision strategies to achieve your document’s and the project’s goals in these contexts.
The sections in this chapter provide new perspectives on the writing process.
“Writing Purposefully” explains how to begin the writing process by asking questions like: What do I want to do and for whom? It explains how to use such questions about purpose and audience to guide you in making choices that will shape your project or document, such as choosing the appropriate evidence, tone, format, and related elements. This section will help you think about what your goals are and how to begin to achieve them.
“Making Effective Writerly Decisions” shows you how moving through the writing process involves making a series of informed choices depending on your purpose, audience, genre, and related concepts. This section will help you become independent writers who are empowered to craft arguments that will best achieve your goals no matter what the context.
“Using Collaborative Writing to Solve Problems” explains how working in a writing team can strengthen your writing throughout the writing process. Indeed, it highlights the importance of getting feedback and thinking through your writing choices with a group. It also explains why collaborative writing is so pervasive at the workplace and provides strategies for managing the collaborative writing process effectively.
“Generating Ideas with Visuals” offers a variety of invention exercises, using visual strategies to help you generate ideas, to “see” the relationships between those ideas, and to develop content as you use writing to address problems that matter.