Freshman Composition
~ The Writing Process ~

P. Aaron Potter
Potter's Field

Caveat Scriptor: The following tips and guidelines for freshman composition classes are provided by P. Aaron Potter, an instructor of English at the University of California, Riverside, for the benefit of his composition students.  Other composition students or instructors are welcome to make use of this material with the understanding that while much of it reflects generally accepted writing practice, it is also indicative of the personal tastes of the author and should in no way be considered an authoritative document.  This is advice I give to my students on how to succeed at writing in my class -- your mileage may vary.  All material is solely a product of P. Aaron Potter and does not reflect the official policy or opinions of the Department of English, the University of California, the government of the United States, or the United Federation of Planets.

The Writing Process:
In general, the writing process may be broken down into pre-writing activities, the writing process itself, and post-writing activities such as revision and proofreading.  Any decent writer's manual, such as the St. Martin's Guide to Writing or Lunsford's The Everyday Writer (both available at the UCR bookstore) will suggest a breakdown of the writing process.  The following is the way I look at writing:

1. Creation -- Figuring out what to write about
2. Research -- Collating information on your topic
3. Outline Draft -- Organizing your essay
4. Composition -- Getting it all down on paper
5. Pause -- The most important part of writing
6. Revision -- Re-approaching and improving your essay
7. (Repeat previous 2 steps) -- Until it's right
8. Post-writing -- Bibliographies, title-pages, and other extras
9. Proofreading -- The final once-over