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The writing process

Working on a text involves going through a creative process. Such processes have different phases: sometimes your writing will flow well and be enjoyable, while at other times you may feel that you do not make progress, and that you are chained to your desk. Feelings of doubt and insecurity may arise while and because the work is in progress. At the same time, unexpected things may provide inspiration. Enjoy yourself – and remind yourself that creative processes are always something of an up-and-down experience!

The writing process consists of various phases involving searches for information, reading, interpretation and the developing of a research question. In the initial phase you will need to make broad searches to orientate yourself in the field. As your writing progresses you may need to make new searches – this time more specific ones, focused on your research question.

Feelings of undefined anxiety or uncertainty regarding your text are often a signal that the structure of your text is still unresolved. As soon as you manage to identify the problem you will find that things get easier and your ideas will fall into place. You will know when you have found the right structure, because it will no longer be possible to shuffle around the different elements of your text.

Inexperienced writers often think that they cannot start writing until they have every detail figured out and know precisely what they are going to write. They think that good writing involves placing one perfectly crafted sentence after another. As a result, they wait far too long before getting started. In reality most writers need to re-write their text several times. Writing well requires work.

  • Start writing!
  • Talk to you fellow students, who probably share your experience
  • Form writing groups, to keep up everybody´s individual writing process

Discuss your task with fellow students. Photo, UiB.

Bean, J. C. (1996) Engaging ideas : the professor’s guide to integrating writing, critical thinking, and active learning in the classroom. San Francisco, Calif.: Jossey-Bass.


Last updated: March 11, 2014

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