Chapter Two

Composing

The Writing Process

Analyzing the writing situation: identify the reason and purpose for writing, the situation in which the document is used, and the audience. Choosing/discovering content: find the information to achieve your purpose and meet the readers’ needs.

Situation and Content Analysis Worksheet
What is your subject or topic? What is the purpose of the document you will write? Who are your readers? Why are you writing? Why is the document required? What is the situation that led to the need for this document? What topics do you need/are required to cover? What do your readers need to know? What do they need to do? What structure do you plan to use? Are there any required report sections? What information resources do you have? Which ones do you need? What types of visuals are you considering using? How will these improve your content?

The Writing Process

Drafting and revising: write the rough draft and revise for meaning. Revision: revise in terms of logic, completeness, style, and visuals. Document design: decide how to arrange and display information—headings, font, color, placement of visuals, etc.

The Writing Process
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Arranging content: use a standard organizational approach or choose your own. Editing: perform a mechanics edit, a documentation edit, and an edit for document integrity (document as a whole).

Using Computers in the Writing Process

Analyzing the writing situation: open/name a file and write notes about your readers and purpose. Arranging content: use computers to sort material electronically.

Using Computers in the Writing Process

Drafting and revising:  When beginning the draft, open a file and save with the name of your document.  You may wish to use “free writing” to begin the document.  Keyboard ideas or sections.  Arrange, delete, and add ideas as necessary.

Using Computers in the Writing Process

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As you insert material from sources, use ( ) or [ ] to remind you of the source. During this stage, revise only for meaning. Correct mechanical problems your software marks only if this doesn’t slow your ability to key in ideas.

Using Computers in the Writing Process

Document design:  Use the software capabilities to choose effective font(s), typeface(s), and color(s), and to position visuals on the page.  Choose design elements carefully so as to encourage readers to skim and then begin digesting your message

Using Computers in the Writing Process

Editing: when your software highlights a problem with a sentence, check the sentence carefully. Start and stop process: often a workplace necessity.  Use by choice for long documents so as to avoid errors.

Using Computers in the Writing Process

Stop when you finish drafting, then return for revising/editing. When leaving a task, make notes about what you need to do next time you open the file.