Purdue Online Writing Lab College of Liberal Arts
OWL logo

Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.



Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.


Writing is a Process

Often, when we think about writing, we think about the document itself, the words on the page, the finished product, the thing that gets a grade. As a result of this mindset, writers often procrastinate on their projects, then binge-write them — maybe even the night before they're due. This writing process includes very few steps: write, proofread, submit. While this may work well for short pieces such as reflections on class readings, a truncated process will not work well for longer, more sustained writing like journal articles or dissertations. 

Especially at the graduate level, it is important to realize that research and writing are not two separate things; they interconnect. Writing should be understood as a process that includes everything from early conversations about an idea, reading a field's literature, and analyzing data, to putting words on a page, revising and editing, re-thinking the project, and so on. The process is recursive, with writers returning to different portions of the process as needed. This vidcast explains in more detail how this expanded understanding of process might work. It includes a look at how process operates at the document, idea, and identity levels, and it suggests some habits that graduate writers can form to support the writing process throughout their academic careers. 

Note: Closed-captioning and a full transcript are available for this vidcast.