Analyzing Writing-as-a-Product

*Global-level issues are italicized; local-level issues are in normal typeface

Category

Elements

Rhetorical

Audience; purpose; genre; occasion; media; persona of writer

Logic

Originality; clarity of thesis; logical transitions; cohesion of claims; fallacies; analogy; documentation; types of evidence; integration of claims and evidence; rebutting arguments

Structure

Thesis controlling structure; coherence of plan/outline; paragraphing; transitions; relation of first and last paragraphs; use of sources & evidence

Expression

Tone; diction; syntax (sentence length, variety, structure, rhythm); active vs. passive voice; wordiness; nominalizations; correlation of idea and sentence type

Mechanics

Grammar; punctuation; documentation style; spelling; special formats;

 

 

Analyzing Writing as a Process
This model views writing as ongoing, either in a linear progression or in a circular (recursive) fashion. There are several alternatives:

An Overview of the Writing Process

*N.B.: Please remember this is a distillation and that these stages are recursive, not linear.

 

Stage

Strategies & Tasks

Pre-writing

Research, reading, note-taking, web-pasting (yes, be realistic), freewriting, talking to classmates & friends, online chats, class discussions, journals, planning activities, invention strategies

Drafting

Forming a thesis statement; plan or outline; assembling & pruning evidence/source material; writing a rough draft; finding additional material

Revision

Revising thesis statement; testing conclusion against opening; integrating claims and evidence better; eliminating extraneous material; adding needed support, clarification, or claims; reorganizing sections; changing prose to clarify subpoints; eliminating fallacies, unsupported claims; improving logical transitions; adding in-text and end-of-text citations

Editing

Correcting grammatical errors; clarifying confused passages; correcting documentation style errors; improving layout (e.g., indenting block quotes); correcting spelling; correcting punctuation; checking for diction errors or solecisms; reading for rhythm, tone; checking for excessive passive voice

Proofreading

Final reading for spelling, punctuation, and documentation style errors