What Is the Five-Step Writing Process?

The five-step writing process is a technique used to teach students how to break down the process of writing an essay into multiple steps. The steps are pre-writing, drafting, revising, proofreading and publishing.

The first step in the five-step writing process is pre-writing. Pre-writing includes brainstorming and researching. Students are often taught to use drawings, word webs or graphic organizers for this step, or they may be instructed to simply jot down any ideas they have related to the topic.

Drafting refers to writing the essay. The key to this step is avoiding the temptation to correct mistakes, instead focusing on getting words on the page.

The third step is revising. In this step, writers strengthen their draft by adding more detail in places where it is lacking and removing detail they deem to be irrelevant or not necessary.

Step four is proofreading. Writers carefully read over what they have written and check for correct spelling, punctuation and grammar.

The final step is publishing. This term refers to sharing what one has written with others. For example, publishing an essay could mean printing a copy to turn in to a teacher, or it could mean uploading an electronic copy to a school website.