Pasadena City College, Home of the PCC Lancers

WAC / Engineering & Technology

The Writing Process

The Writing Process

The writing process can be broken down into 5 steps.  Following these steps will give you a game plan when writing a paper.

1: Start Here

2: Draft(s)

3: Revise


5: Finish

Brainstorm, outline, and organize your thoughts, ideas and notes.

Write a draft.

Rewrite your

draft(s) at least a couple times.


Revise your draft in order to improve and clarify your ideas.

Edit and proofread draft for spelling, grammar, punctuation.

Turn in your final draft with name, date and title.

1.  Brainstorming and outlining

  • Brainstorming is a pre-writing process that lets you get out any ideas related to the topic you will write about. 
  • When you brainstorm you take a piece of paper and you begin to write any ideas related to the topic. 
  • Click brainstorming templates to download and print brainstorming templates.

2.  Drafts and revisions:

  • Drafts are the first attempts at writing your paper after you have brainstormed and outlined your ideas. 
  • A first drafts allows you to put together your ideas into essay form. 
  • A second (and third) draft allows you to order all your information, quotes, and references in a logical way.

3.  Revisions:

  • Revising helps you improve, clarify and make coherent your paper. 
  • It allows you to fix any weak points in your arguments, examples, details or ideas.

4. Edit and Proofread:

  • Editing and proofreading are checking for mistakes such as spelling, capitalization, grammar, punctuation, tense and word usage.   

5. Finish:

  • When you are finished with steps 1-4 you are ready to turn in your paper. 
  • Don’t forget vital information such as your name, class and date.