Understanding process-based writing

Thinking before writing

As its name suggests, the process approach to writing involves a series of steps. This approach privileges the journey; the meaning of any text is created during the act of writing itself, not before.

Some of the main features of process-based writing:

  • In order to develop meaning fully, multiple drafts are necessary. Writing is a means of acquiring knowledge, learning, and developping critical thinking.
  • The writing process can be divided into stages that include but are not limited to composition, revision, and editing and the meaning of the text evolves through these steps.
  • Writing is a non-linear process, and its stages often overlap.
  • Focus on the journey.


  • Can empower writers by encouraging them to understand and refine their writing strategies and techniques.
  • Fosters collaboration as writers actively seek feedback from readers and judiciously use that feedback in their revisions.
  • Makes the overall task less daunting by dividing it in small units.


  • More time-consuming.
  • Less visual approach.
  • May be incapacitating for some writers as they don’t know where the process will take them.