4. The Three Phases of Writing

All learned skills require practice. Learning to write takes time. It takes concentration. As a tutor, you will need to help your student become comfortable with the idea of writing and then the act of writing itself.

Writing as a process can be broken into three phases: pre-writing, writing, and post-writing or revising.

Pre-Writing: The First Phase

Pre-writing activities will help your student to get ready to perform the task of writing. Pre-writing consists of gathering ideas and thinking of the order in which they should appear so the reader can follow the thought process of the writer. In pre-writing tasks, tutors will help the learner to:
  • Think about the subject and activate their prior knowledge just as with reading activities.
  • Outline and organize ideas.
  • Focus on the reader and the purpose for writing.

Required Assignment

Use a mind map or other graphic organizer to organize your thoughts for a topic of your choice. Now go to "comments" and share which graphic organizer you chose and why.

Optional Link (Click here to find out more about graphic organizers.)

84 comments:

Program Coordinator said...

I would use a chain of events graphic organizer. This step-by-step type of graphic is easier for a student to understand, especially when first learning to read or write.

Queen Of My Castle said...

I think this phase goes back to my key phrase. Preparation is the key to success!

tutorgirl said...

I would also use an EVENTS CHAIN Graphic Organizer to illustrate the 3 phases of Writing.
1. Pre-Writing
2. Writing
3> Post Writing/Revise

I also like the Continuous Scale for timelines and the cycle for nature. They are the simplest for me to understand.

Biltz said...

I personally like the mind map. It is easy to just add ideas as you think of them and may help a nervous learner with "free flow". You can always take this tool one step further and priortize the ideas once you have the map. This helps with actually organizing the writing.

J Caddell said...

The subject of my story is the handling of animals in area pounds or shelters. The lack of real heath concerns and care for their future adoption into loving homes.
My approach would be to contact local vets as well as commissioners and responsible for budgets to run local shelters as well as state reps who could have an influence in changing current laws. The purpose of to bring the plight of animals and their health to the focus of those who could see a change and then through advertising and speaking to all involved make a change which would contribute to their health and adoption rates.

Jesse said...

I personally like to use the mind map and/or outline format to create and organize my thoughts prior to writing. Both can be done on a piece of paper or on a computer and they encourage free-flowing ideas. I like to use a mind map and then turn it into an outline.

BOC said...

I like the mind map for generating free flowing ideas. But I then prefer to turn it into an outline as it seems more organized to me.

lillian said...

i like to organize my writing by starting with a list which gets added to and changed as needed.

Pat said...

I like to outline the major points then go back and fill in the blanks with the explaination

Jenny said...

I chose a step-by-step chart because I think the first writing my learners will do will be instructional. This really forced my concentration on each step of task (how to make a PBJ).

Gerri said...

I think any of them would be useful. I suppose it would depend on what your student seems to like. I think for starters the simplest one would work best. You have to guess most students would not have seen any of these. I do like the "main idea" table
it reminds me of an outline. The KWL chart is good too.

jack said...

I prefer step by step organization such as Series of Events Chain and Problem/solution outline.

Ms. Ovette said...

I used a Semantic Map to organize ideas for a short story. This format really helped me not to lose sight of the connection secondary characters and plot lines have to the primary character and overall storyline.

kjlinc said...

I tend to like to put the topic of interest in the center and ideas about it coming out from it, ending up looking like a sun with rays coming off of it.

Rob said...

I like a wheel outline, so that my outline and ideas are not confined by a hierarchical approach because often what looks like a tangent now can become a main idea later. I don't always do a good job of putting this on paper, but I at least try to do it in my head.

Sally M said...

Depending on what I am writing about I use diffferent methods. One method is I make a list of the things I am thinking about and then I use the circles to help me connect ideas together.

David H. said...

Unless I know precisely what direction I am taking, I do a great deal of free writing about my subject. When I'm done I circle and draw lines to link similar ideas. It's kind of like a mind map in progress. It works well for me because I am used to the chaos of writing. But it may not work as well for someone who is just learning. Perhaps a graphic organize is more clearer and specific. But I'll use whatever works!

Kristin said...

Typical brainstorming maps always work well in outlining what you plan to write in my experience. I'll use my own brainstormer to help my learner.

Lia Keston said...

I used the mind map because it allows for brainstorming - a little more "stream of consciousness" type of approach. You can always refine the mind map into something more concrete for instructional purposes.

Charlie said...

I prefer outline form because it allows not only for the flow of ideas, but also for effective organization of the piece that is being written.

Anne said...

I used the network tree when I was figuring out what to do for my public speaking assignment a few weeks ago. I liked it because I knew what I wanted for a main topic, but couldn't decide which subcategories to cover in my speech.

Marian said...

I used a mind map for the subject of baking a cake. There was more to it than I would have thought. This method makes it easy for the later learning activity of picking one aspect and expanding it.

IJM said...

I used a mind map and really liked it; I thought it was a flexible organization technique, albeit a bit messy the first go-around. I like that spread out mapping rather than columns and boxes, but I think it'd take me one or two tries to get a good representation of my mental organization going. I agree with BOC on turning it into an outline after-the-fact.

Anita said...

During the early days of computer programming, a flow chart was used to establish a logical approach to a problem. I tend to use this method to tackle my projects - whether I'm planning an event or creating a written explanation of something.

Kareemah said...

I chose the following for my subject, with its respective components and chose the spider graph, as it gave me room around a central idea to organize the relevant material that would eventually develop the theme.

Subject: Asberger’s or High Functioning Autism

Who: biographies of people, children and adults
What: medical, clinical definitions, symptoms, characteristics
Where: brain processing, sensory processing
Why: causes, factors; known or unknown

Jo L said...

I enjoy mind mapping AND recognize that the graphic organizer may work better for some other learners. All depends -- one seems more linear and the other more intuitive. so, that will be the indicator.

Ms. Educator said...

I like the Beginning, Middle, End graphic organizer. I think they are very simple; non-complex. It allows the learner to organize their thoughts in a way that they're comfortable with, and then begin to write them down. This type of graphic organizing allows the reader of a story to break it down into three simple steps.

Olivia said...

As a visual learner, I used a Venn diagram to explore the idea of what major I should choose (and whether I may want to double-major). I listed everything I know about English on the left-hand circle (especially pro's and cons), and did the same in the right-hand circle for international relations, then wrote what they had in common in the middle. Looking at that middle section gave me a sense of how much overlap there would be between the two - in other words, how tricky it would be to study both.

karenzpt said...

I think the KWL chart is easiest for me to understand; I find some of the other organizers confusing. I think this would be a really good and basic way of helping a person who has difficulty formulating their thoughts--both written and verbal.

JeremyK said...

It depends on whether it's for me or the student. For the student, I recommend Chain of Events, because it is simple and straight forward. For me personally, I like Mind Map. I think that once the student masters Chain of Events, he/she can be encouraged to move on to the more complex Mind Map. In my view, this seems like the natural progression.

rsvmi52 said...

If this is a subject I am writing then it would depend on the topic and the reults trying to acheive. For a student I would encourage the "Series of Events Chain" graphic.

Lynn said...

I actually prefer to use an outline as my thinking can be very disorganized and an outline forces discipline on me. It's also REALLY important to think about the needs of the audience you are targeting - I have to do that at work all the time.

neg said...

I would use the Steps in a Process followed by the outline. I am most familar with these and feel I can offer the most help to the learner in these areas.

SNelson said...

I prefer the chain of events because it helps me to stay in line and focus on one idea at a time.

Danielle said...

I learned how to use mind maps in college. They are very effective and fun to make! Also, using acronyms like giving you writing a "pat" is quite useful too.

Carissa Priebe said...

a mind map makes the most sense to me, for my writing organization... outlines are good too, maybe for a more detailed and intricate writing venture

Martha said...

I used a Semantic Map because all stories start with a central or main idea. One can then brainstorm (activate prior knowledge)about concepts and facts that spring from the main idea. Finally organize the all the ideas into an outline of main ideas and information that supports each idea.

Lynne B said...

I would use a free-flowing mind map with any ideas which come to mind. Then set priorities by the reason for writing and the end-result which I hope to achieve. This would help me organize and establish a pattern.

Megan N said...

I chose the bubble organizer, as I call it! One bubble in the middle and lots on the outside, all connected by lines. This was the graphic organizer I learned first, and I have been using it ever since. When I have a choice it is easy to follow the lines to the next bubble.

Kenneth Zen Bodhi said...
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Teiji Epling said...

When I think of the writing process I immediately think of the perhaps generic but always useful construction of the typical essay: A topic paragraph with the thesis, 3 body paragraphs each concerning a different point of the thesis, and a final concluding paragraph to wrap everything up. I think this is a great way to not only argue a point, but also to organize one's thought for writing about pretty much any topic.

Josh Lipovetsky said...

I used a regular mind-map, and I called it "Successful Tutor". I included elements like Reading, Writing and Attitude.

Under reading, I wrote: Phonemic Awareness, Decoding, Fluency, Vocab, Comprehension.

Under writing, I wrote: Pre, During, Post.

Under Attitude, I wrote things like empathy, compassion, love/care, and appreciating the impact that reading will have in the life of the learner.

Megan said...

My favorite method of organization is an outline. Creating an outline helps me to keep on the topic/thesis and to provide supporting information for the thesis. It provides an excellent framework for writing.

Mindy Mauldin said...

I would use the Human Interaction Outline to illustrate Mikhail Bakhtin's discursive function, which basically is a theory about what is going on in people's heads as they are talking and listening to each other. I would choose this graphic organizer because what each person is thinking and saying effects their own words, their own thoughts, the other person's words, and the other person's thoughts.

North Hills Member said...

Tree/map, chain and sketch have all worked well for me for various writeups on engineering projects. Tree/map and chain particularly loan themselves to adding a "Plan B" and "Plan C" for a step that is not likely to go well.

Genevieve McCall said...

For me the type of graphic organizer really depends on the task at hand. I've had a lot of success with Venn Diagrams, and love the connection it draws in my mind.

John Lynch said...

I prefer to use an outline:

I. Introduction to sport parachuting, brief history, modern parachutes.

II. Free fall, importance of body position, control. Relative work, free flying.

III. Deployment and canopy control. Canopy RW, landing.

IV. Emergency procedures, types of malfunctions, reserve parachutes.

V. Conclusion

Rosa Solano said...
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Rosa Solano said...

I chose a cerebral chart or a network tree because they are easy to follow. You are also able to look at the big picture and see where the connections are between topics.

domthom92090 said...

I enjoy using this tool. In elementary school it was taught as basic brainstorming. This is in that family, it's more of an organized brainstorming session. I too believe it allows the learner to practice free-flow thinking. Then shows them how to organize it. Putting it down on paper so they can see it can actually help the learner understand what and how it's being done versus sitting there and just "Thinking" about what order it's supposed to be in.

Dan said...

I use mind maps and outlines. If I am in a more creative and artistic mood, I use mind maps since they organize the material in a less conventional way. However, the outline works well when I am in a more conventional mood.

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Ajfae said...

Outlines, and cerebral charts are easiest for me to follow. Before, during, after. Beginning, middle and end.
Audrey

JoAnn Wells said...

Mind maps are useful to just get the ideas to flow...then a more organized method is desirable.

JoAnn Wells said...
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Tana said...

Mind map. This seems more preferable to me because it allows or more random thought to be branched out so the ideas are not disrupted by form, but rather just shouted out on paper.

Tiffany H. said...

As for the graphic organizer technique, I would use the chain of events method. This method focuses on the processes, sequences, causes and effects, and chronology. This method will help the student to organize their ideas for reading and writing.

Cambria said...

I like an events chain to organize my thoughts

Michelle Walker said...

I like using the web graphic organizer.

Rebekka said...

I like to begin writing by using free association to get out every thought I have about the topic. Then I use either a mind map or an outline (like I did for this assignment) to organize my thoughts. This helps me to improve good ideas or discard those that don't work so well.

Courtney Houser said...

I personally would choose an events chain graphic organizer because it lists all events in order and makes everything easier to read and understand.

Jennifer Smith said...

I like tree maps. I think they are great for brainstorming and linking a central idea with individual concepts.

Allison Smith said...

I chose to use a spider map because I have been using them since the fourth grade and I love them! It makes a great precursor to an outline because you basically create your topics for each paragraph and a few details to add into those paragraphs when you add branches to the web.

Roger Innes said...

I have always used what I would call an old fashion outline with subsections. Not sure that would be appropriate in a teaching situation but I have used it for years to develop arguments in cases or for writing stories. In this lesson I used a spider chart which seemed to work. I also think it would be better for the student since it is easy and visual.

Melanie Beard said...

I like to begin by making a list of details I want to include in the writing piece and then expand on those.

Janet said...

I used the chain of events organizer. This gives the story some structure right from the beginning. I would use the Mind Map if I was having a hard time coming up with ideas. This is more of a brainstorming facilitator and would get the ideas flowing.

Stefanie Craig said...

The graphic organizer I used was the Venn Diagram in order to compare and contrast two topics. I also enjoy using the Mind Map organizer when trying to brainstorm ideas. I feel like the Mind Map helps with creativity and sparking other ideas.

Lucie-Gabrielle Jolicoeur said...

When I write novels, especially in the middle when the story lines merge and separate, I tend to use a cross between the spider map and the fishbone map. While this does spark creativity, the writing often gets away from me and takes a path of its own, which for a novelist is a good thing, but a nuisance when writing letters... short ones anyway.

Katie Redmiles said...

I use a combination of a flow chart of plot points and a list of key moments to include. The flow chart helps the most with creating the story in an organized way.

Michael O said...

I used a chain of events organizer, including bullet points below each event for important details. This provided me with a clear structure, while also reminding me of secondary plot points.

mayjason84 said...

I picked the cerebral chart because I am a free spirit when it come to creative writing. I feel that this chart allows me free rain to put my ideas into any order I want without rules getting in the way.

Wallace West said...

After I get the topic I like to write everything I know about the subject based off of personal experiences and hear say while its fresh in my mind. Then I think about what I want my readers to know, then I outline to help it makes since or give it direction.

Regina Cook said...

I selected the Network Tree because of its hierarchal structure. However, I never pre-write this way. I find that organizing too early can undermine my thought processes and be grounds for writer's block! I prefer to freely write all of my thoughts first in list format.

Pamela Lee said...

Because I am not familiar with graphics, I would prefer the common outline as I learned in school (many, many years ago).

However, looking at the options, I believe I could use Series of Events or the KWLH effectively.

MSTATEN said...

Due to my writing style I chose to use the web. It doesn't require for you to put the information in order initially. Its easier for me to just get all the facts out and organize later.

Jacob Doyle said...

I chose the mind map because it seems like the easiest ways to follow trains of thought or related concepts.

Maria Olaya said...

I like to sort my ideas in a a flow chart because it allows me to put my ideas down also allowing me to sort them in the order I desire.

Missuz Jonez said...

I prefer to use something similar to what they call a spider map. I like to free flow any and all ideas and first thoughts, then edit and then organize what I've kept in a standard outline listing format.

Kristi Lisech said...

I've always liked cluster/word webs best for organizing thoughts in simple graphic forms, however I was taught outlining in school so that's my default organizing method for writing large projects.

Joe said...

I used a Learning Styles Graphic because I am a Visual/Spatial Learner.

I like using an Outline, Brainstorming, and Doing Circle Graphs.

Also like Stream-of-Consciousness, Automatic Writing, and I like leaving notes on post-it notes.

Tina Boster said...

The graphic that I used was a web. I like to begin with an idea and then brainstorm ideas along the topic. After I do the web, I prefer to then transfer my ideas to an outline.

Aaron Maldonado said...

I used a word web because its easy for me to make a quick outline through the use of it.

kim said...

I like the K.W.L. method because it makes sense to me for beginners and it motivates the learner to use her/his life experiences.

Jada Steward said...

I have never been a fan of graphic organizers, as they tend to confuse me more than help me (although I absolutely see the benefit of such organization techniques for literacy students). For me, list making tends to be the most beneficial organizational tool. I have lists which branch off into other lists, which I suppose could be some form of graphic organizer, although I don't know what the name for my style would be.