Whatever the purpose of the piece that you are writing, there are certain stages, or checkpoints, in the writing process which it helps to bear in mind to make sure that you stay on track.

In this blog, we have highlighted 5 key stages of the writing process and given details on what should be done at each of these stages. This will help to ensure that you have all of the information you need before you start writing, and can usually streamline the writing process.

1.      Brainstorming

The primary stage of the writing process with any form of writing is the brainstorming of ideas. Whether it is a novel, a business report, or an academic essay, it is important to get all of your ideas into some kind of visual format, rather than just inside your head.

Writing out ideas for different chapters of the report, essay or novel will help you to link up themes and think of related topics or details to include when it gets around to the writing of the piece.

2.      Planning and Research

Once you have brainstormed the various elements of the piece you are creating, the next stage of the writing process is the planning and research.

You can plan where different chapters will appear and see if they make sense where they are. It is likely that some degree of research will be required so that you can provide accurate details, whether it be the setting for a novel, information on a profession or sourcing published data for your project.

List the required research, and once you have identified everything that needs researching, go ahead and do it. Be sure to note down important information and where you found it. This will help if you need to revisit it or for referencing purposes in reports or essays.

If you have a deadline, be sure to factor in enough time for your research so that you can get enough information, but also so that you don’t get sucked into an abyss of never-ending research.

3.      Drafting

It may take time for you to get to this stage, but if you have planned accordingly, then that is fine. Often, the more effort that is put into the planning phase, the easier the drafting stage becomes.

At this point in the writing process, you will be actually writing up the piece. Remember to structure it properly with paragraphs, page numbers, a contents page and reference list depending on the type of document you are writing.

Make sure that, particularly when writing for formal business or academic purposes, you write up your research in your own words. It is fine to use information from other sources and refer to it, just make sure it is referenced properly.

This is a rough draft, but the more thought that goes into it as you write, the less time it is expected that you will need to spend editing. Dedicate a certain amount of time per day or per week to writing, if you think this will help you to focus.

Once you have finished the first draft and included everything that you want to say, re-read it and check that everything flows in an order that makes sense.

Check and double-check that you have included the right information in the right places, and that someone other than yourself as the author would be able to understand it.

4.      Editing

The fine-tuning of your work is the next stage of the writing process.

You can be confident that all of your ideas and research are included in the right place thanks to your thorough drafting.

Now, read it again, aloud if possible. This can make it easier to identify errors in the flow or structure.

If you feel like some elements could do with further clarification, this is the time when you can do that extra research to make it crystal clear.

Having read the entire document multiple times now, you may have discovered that some areas are repetitive. It’s then your call to decide whether to remove the repeated sections or to rephrase them if they are still important in every section or chapter of the piece of writing.

5.      Proofreading

When you are happy with the content, structure, flow and all of the points made, it may then be time for the final stage of the writing process: proofreading.

Spelling, punctuation, grammar, syntax, capitalisations or incorrect uses of words can be rectified at this stage. Proofreading is paramount, particularly when presenting research or if you are expecting people to pay money for your work. It should be in perfect condition without any errors.

You could check out our blog on how to proofread effectively if you would like some guidance.

Once you have taken a look through it yourself, it may then be best to hire a professional proofreader. A fresh set of eyes on this document that you could have spent months or even years preparing, may be able to spot errors quicker because they are less emotionally attached to it.

At Express Proofreading, our team of professional proofreaders are fully trained to identify and rectify issues found in your work, no matter how long or short the piece of writing is.

We can be prompt with reviewing and returning the document, so if you are on a tight schedule, please let us know and we will endeavour to meet your needs. Get in touch today for an instant quote, whether you require our services immediately or are simply planning ahead.