The Writing Process

Writing is misunderstood. Too often, we buy into the romantic myth that writers are solitary geniuses who sit alone in a candlelit room and drink coffee (or something stronger) until the words flow magically from brain to page. What makes this myth so troubling is that it positions writing as this act of natural talent that some people can do and others cannot. The reality, however, is that while some people have more natural ability to write than others, persistence and practice allow most students to write at an acceptable college level. 

At Champlain College, you’ll be asked to see writing as a process. When you’re asked to do college-level writing, this means you’ll be asked to take drafting, revision, and editing seriously. Your courses will teach you the skills and habits of mind necessary to produce work you’re proud of. Depending on your major, you may produce creative work. In your Core courses, you’ll definitely be writing academic essays. No matter what type of writing assignment you face, we—your professors—will ask you to think hard about things like audience, purpose, and context because the point of the writing you’ll do at Champlain is not solely to pass a class. It’s designed to help you communicate your ideas to the world in effective ways throughout your personal, professional, and civic lives.  

Let’s face it—the following scenario ought to sound familiar for anyone who has spent time in school: It’s 9 p.m. on the night before a big paper is due. Getting started is hard because the subject matter is boring and your weekend was fun. You’re feeling guilty about procrastination as you’re taunted by a blinking cursor on a blank white page. We’ve all been there—even your professors, whether or not they admit to it. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way.

The writing you’ll be asked to do in your classes at Champlain will help ward off this all-too-familiar scenario. From idea invention activities at the beginning of a writing project to typo-finding exercises at the end, you’ll find what you’re being asked to do with writing is more than just the polished finished product that you hand in for a grade. Instead, an intentional emphasis on the writing process is what we think makes good writers good. You’ll read, you’ll write, you’ll read some more and then write some more. It’s work, but it’s good work. And it’s definitely not magic.  

Think of the contents of this website as a backpack that will assist you along the way throughout this process. The site may not give you everything you need, but it will be a straightforward resource designed to demystify the writing process and make the work you’re doing more understandable.  Good luck. You’ve got this.

More Approaching Writing
Documenting Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism
Your Writing “Voice”
Paragraph Focus: Patterns