The basic writing cycle So far in this handbook we have discussed the planning of research writing in terms of its structure (Chapter 6) and the ways in which productive writing routines can be developed (Chapter 7). The delicate balance between clarity, coherence and academic style has also been explored (in Chapters 8 and 9). Structure, clarity, coherence and (to a lesser extent) style are all important elements of first draft writing, which is arguably the most demanding task for any research writer. In contrast, many would argue that text editing is a smoother and more enjoyable process. The author James Michener shares this point of view and is often quoted as claiming to be less able as a writer than as a rewriter. I find writing the first draft of any academic text to be a painful, messy and time-consuming process. The primary aim is to commit all of the content and the argumentation to screen or paper in a structured and coherent manner. Once a significant amount of content has been written down in some form, the process of reallocating sections of text can begin. You can, for example, plan Chapter 3 but then realize that it lacks a certain amount of substance; it can be reallocated as a section or subsection within Chapter 4. You may scrutinize your plan for Chapter 5 and conclude that the text will be straightforward to write; it then grows steadily in size to such an extent that you have to consider dividing it into two or three new chapters, or sections that will fit into existing chapters.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
- Completing a First Draft
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number