13 Writing Process

Arley Cruthers

Activity Guidelines

Suggested Course Level

Lower level undergraduate course

Activity Purpose

  • Students will become familiar with their own writing process and will recognize stumbling blocks in their own writing process.
  • By examining the writing process of famous writers, students will see that writing processes are unique, varied and complex.

Materials Required

  • Handout
  • Quotes from famous writers
  • Paper
  • Markers

Activity Instructions

  1. Find quotes from 4-5 famous writers about their writing process. This website contains many of them: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-daily-routines-of-12_b_8510996 .
  2. Add the quotes into the attached handout.
  3. Ask students to read the quotes and identify the different parts of the writing process, then estimate how much time was spent on each.
  4. Then, ask students to use this information to create a map of the writer’s process. Students can use different marker colours to represent different parts of the writing process.
  5. Put the completed maps up on the wall, then have students observe the differences.
  6. Ask each group to briefly discuss their author’s writing process.
  7. For the next stage, ask students to think of the last major writing project they created, then draw a map of their writing process.
  8. Ask students to label major events, including how they felt (a sample image is attached).

Debrief Questions / Activities

  • What surprised you about the author’s writing process?
  • What did your author spend the majority of their time on?
  • What conditions did the author need to write successfully?
  • What can you apply from your author’s writing process to your own writing process?
  • What did you learn from drawing your writing process?
  • Is the writing process you drew typical, or do you vary it?
  • If you identified a barrier or a negative emotion, what part of the writing process was it in?
  • How do you think you can remove that stumbling block?
  • Is there anything you would like to try to change about your writing process?

Activity Variations

  • Just do the first part of the activity or just have students draw their writing process.
  • If you have time, ask students to “edit” their writing process or write a new writing process that they’d like to try.

Additional Resources / Supplementary Resources

Tags: writing process, individual, small group, creating a product or document, self-reflection


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