What is the Recursive Writing Process?

Recursive Writing Process

Recursive Writing Process

The writer is constantly improving his/her work. While you’re writing, you are going to constantly be trying to make that paper better that you’re writing. The normal steps in the writing process are: Prewriting, writing or drafting, editing, proofreading, and finally presenting. Now, you may not read your paper aloud, but when you present it to someone else to read, then that is the presentation stage.

In prewriting, you’re going to be doing all of your outlining, you’re going to list any ideas you have, you’re going to get as much information down as you can. Then, in writing, you’re going to be actually writing out complete sentences in paragraphs form so that you can kind of decide how you want to arrange your paper. In editing, you can move paragraphs around if you felt like maybe your third paragraph should move to the first paragraph, however you wanted to do that.

Any sentences that you thought, “Oh, I could add some more to this. I could put more information here. I could take this out and put it in a different paragraph.” Any kind of revisions like that are in editing. In proofreading, you’re looking for correct spelling, correct grammar, and making sure that your sentences are punctuated correctly, you don’t have any run-ons or fragments.

Presenting, again, is either saying, “Okay, I’m ready for you to read this,” or reading it aloud, or, if you wrote a play, having them act it out, or if you were writing a screenplay for a movie having someone read that out. The presentation stage is basically just saying, “Okay, what I wrote is complete. I’m ready for someone else to experience it.” However, authors do not follow the steps exactly, because writing is a complex activity.

When you are writing, you may be in the writing stage, writing out those paragraphs, writing complete sentences, getting everything organized the way you want, and you may catch a spelling mistake. Spelling mistakes are supposed to be caught and corrected in the proofreading stage. Why would you wait to correct a spelling mistake until later? If you catch it now, fix it now. It’s okay that you’re doing it out of order.

You will go through all of these stages during your writing process to make sure that you catch any problems that you’ve missed, but if you happen to see something you want to fix and you’re in the writing stage, or you see spelling mistake and you’re in the editing stage, that’s okay. If you’re already back here in proofreading and you say, “Hmm, the more I read this, I really think that I should move paragraph 3 up to paragraph 2, and 2 down to 3.

I really think they’d be better if I reversed the order.” You can still do that, even though you’re not in the editing stage anymore. That’s fine. If you’re in prewriting and you’re already writing sentences, that’s fine, too. Writing is complex and everyone’s not going to go in the normal order of steps whenever they’re writing. Now, you do want to make sure that you go through each step, because you don’t want to miss something in your paper and present something that isn’t 100% ready to be presented.

This is the recursive writing process. “Recursive writing” means generally following those normal steps, but improving the piece constantly. The main goal is to improve your writing to make it the best that it can be. You’re going to be generally following the normal steps up here, but improving the piece constantly, no matter what stage you are on. If you are on writing and you need to do some proofreading, or you’re on proofreading and need to do some editing, it’s okay to move around between the stages, because writing is a complex activity.

When you’re writing, don’t think that you have to go in this order and you can’t correct anything out of order or revise anything if you’re past the revision stage. Make sure that you’re always trying to make your writing the best it can be.

Provided by: Mometrix Test Preparation

Last updated: 07/17/2018


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