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X. The Writing Process: From Ideas to Clear Writing and Back Again

Mar 28, 2011 by Caroline Eisner

Unlike many subjects, writing is a recursive act. It goes on and on. When you are almost finished, you polish your prose, correct your grammar, check for any mechanical errors, and the next morning, as you are about to turn it in, you look at it one more time, and say to yourself, “Oh, I wish I had remembered to include that source, or paraphrased that quotation, oh, and where’s that comma?” In other words, writing is one big back and forth, until you decide it is polished enough.

The graphic below summarizes the elements of good academic writing that have been the subject of this blog series: starting with your own good ideas; getting clear on the audience, purpose, and genre of the writing; using sources judiciously; and writing clear and direct prose. The writing process is recursive. Revisions are essential to refine your ideas and develop your argument. As you learn the rules of academic writing, you will join the ranks of scholars and enter the conversation of ideas.


 

Thank you for following this blog. I hope that the advice throughout this blog has and will prove useful as you begin writing projects or even if you are in the middle of a project. There really isn’t any middle, just writing, revising, re-writing, checking sources, thinking about audience, peer-review, and then more re-writing, revising, and then the day you turn it in to your readers. Phew, that day will come! Good luck.


 

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