Writing Process

The Four Stages for Composing a Successful Research Paper

Why Compose in Stages?

Writing is complicated.  In order to make it easier, we break it down into stages — at each stage, the goal is to complete "simple" tasks that will build together into something greater than the sum of their parts.  The goal isn't simply to "write" — instead, we gather information and then arrange it so that outside readers can see and understand our thoughts.

Stage 1

Gathering Information

Pair of glasses sitting on an open book.

Stage 2

Assembling a Logical Order

Light bulb on a chalkboard with thought bubbles.
Image by TeroVesalainen 

Stage 3

Sketching with Words

Pencil and sharpener on notebook open to a blank page.
Image by Free-Photos

Stage 4

Polishing Your Work

Group of writers seated around a table.