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A written summary of a paper, article, or report that is placed before the introductory paragraph (required by the American Psychological Association (APA) style).

Academic discourse:

The common language and ways of communicating within an academic community (usually secondary or post-secondary).

Academic Writing: Click for Definition

Active Reading: Click for Definition (See also: Critical Reading)

Active Voice: See Voices

Analogy (See Rhetorical approaches, Comparison): Click for Definition


To analyze is to break down an idea, concept, or text into its component parts, to see how the parts work together, and to gain a better understanding of the whole. Sometimes an analysis will focus on one part more than others, for example, analysis of a short story’s main character. A written analysis offers an interpretation or argument about the subject or findings from research or experimentation relating to the subject.

Annotated bibliography:

A bibliography that contains a brief summary or comment about each source listed. The general purpose is to provide the reader with a description and evaluation of each source cited.


Annotating refers to the act of making notations in response to an established text, and can be part of an active reading, writing, or citing process. Annotations can be questions, paraphrases, summaries, descriptions, evaluations, or commentaries. In some circumstances, as in annotated bibliographies, specific structures and styles of annotation are determined by the citation expectations of certain disciplines.


An argument is an explanation of a particular opinion, position, or point of view on a topic. Arguments are often crafted with the aim of persuading an audience. Three common types are 1) Classical argument, based on Aristotle’s book On Rhetoric, which outlines five parts for an argument: a hook or introduction; a narrative that provides context; a statement of the main claim (thesis); reasons supporting the main claim, and refutation of reasons against it; a conclusion, which may ask the audience to take action. 2) A Toulmin argument consists of six parts: claim, grounds, warrant, qualifier, rebuttal, and backing. 3) Rogerian argument strives to find a middle ground between opposing perspectives on a topic or issue (“Historical perspectives on argumentation”).


The people who will hear or read what a writer has written. The people a writer wants to read their writing or imagines might read it. When writing, a writer will often consider the perspectives and knowledge of their intended audience; this is known as audience awareness.


Bibliography usually refers to a list at the end of a text that includes the sources consulted in the preparation of the text. Bibliographies on specific topics are also created as stand-alone texts.


Brainstorming is a strategy that writers use to quickly generate information, usually in list form. The list might be potential topics or ideas or words. Items generated may or may not be used when writing, but brainstorming can be a productive way to begin a writing process or consider multiple options at the prewriting stage.

Central question, inquiry question, research question:

The stated or implied main question that a writer will be exploring in a piece of nonfiction writing. The overall answer to this question (whether stated or implied) is the thesis.


The act or product of citing information from a source used when writing or speaking. A citation documents the title and other pertinent information about the source, such as publication details. Different disciplines use different styles of citing; the most common are MLA (Modern Language Association), APA (American Psychological Association), and Chicago. For college students, it is important to find out from the professor which style is appropriate for your piece of writing. For publishing, the writer should follow the style used by the target publication. Using an online citation machine or app can make citing much easier.

Citation types:

  • In-text citations include brief, parenthetical information—such as author, date of publication, and location or platform from which the source material came. The formats of in-text citations vary slightly among documentation styles (for example, APA, Chicago, MLA).
  • End citations are presented as a list of sources and their publication/origin information alphabetically ordered by the first word in each citation. The format of these lists differs among styles (APA, Chicago, and MLA).
  • APA uses the term References, which is a list of sources that were cited in the text. With Chicago style, an author has an option to use footnotes on each page, end notes at the end of a chapter, book, or article), and/or a Bibliography, (a list of all sources cited in the text that may also include sources consulted for information but not cited in the text. MLA requires a Works Cited list at the end of the document or manuscript that includes only sources that were cited in the text as well.


To cite means to mention an idea and/or information and refer to the source from which it came. Another term for this is to document.

Claim: (See also Thesis)

An arguable idea or opinion; a statement of such an idea or opinion (noun). To state an arguable idea or opinion (verb).


Whereas unity means that all the parts of a writing relate to its topic or focus, coherence is the extent to which the parts of a writing hold together and add to the meaning of the writing as a whole. This can mean that each part flows smoothly into the next, from beginning to end; this is often achieved through the use of transitions. But coherence can also be achieved by repeating or echoing key ideas, patterns, motifs, or images.


Connotation is a feeling or association that a word has, in addition to its explicit or literal meaning (the denotation). A connotation is often described as being either positive or negative.


The circumstances surrounding any act of communication. Context may include the time, place, and factors such as environmental, historical, cultural, social, political, or economic conditions or expectations. For example, writing an analytical essay for a college literature class differs from writing an analytical article for a business presentation; writing a short story in 19th-century London differs from writing a short story in 21st-century Beijing.


A rule, style, or standard process (for writing or publishing) that is agreed upon by a particular group, such as the American Psychological Association (APA) or the Modern Language Association (MLA).

Creative writing:

Creative writing traditionally refers to fiction (short stories, drama, novels) and poetry. However, the phrase can refer to other kinds of writing, such as creative nonfiction, in which a writer, in their own truthful and reflective voice, retells an actual event or series of events they have experienced, crafting the narrative as a story that has a plot and other elements found in literary fiction, or using an innovative structure. Creative writing is also an academic discipline at many colleges. Broadly, it can be said that all writing comes out of a creative process and is therefore, to some degree, creative.


  • Verb:To evaluate or review an artistic or literary work.
  • Noun: The process or act of giving careful feedback or evaluation, or a genre of writing that does this, such as a book or movie review, or an art or writing group’s response to a colleague’s work.


Denotation refers to the literal or primary meaning of a word, separate from any feelings or ideas suggested by the word (the connotation).


Developing/development happens when a writer builds and expands on their initial idea(s) for a piece of writing by adding more ideas, explanation, supporting details, examples, information, etc., to it.


Dictation is the transcription of spoken words into written text. It can be used as a strategy for generating writing. Speech-to-text software apps, such as Dragon, can translate spoken into typed language and captured in a computer file.


Word choice when speaking or writing. This can make a difference in the precision and tone of a piece of writing, as words have specific meanings (denotations and connotations).


The common language and ways of communicating within a specific context or group, such as an academic discipline, business, or other organization. Thus, discourse communities consist of the people who participate in these conversations, which can be local, national, or global. Examples: Medical professionals working at a hospital, the American Medical Association; the teachers at a school, a teachers’ union in a county; the students in a classroom; an online discussion group or people who follow and comment on a blog or podcast; a family; a social, religious, political, or professional organization. The type of discourse used can reflect shared understandings, values, terminology (a specialized lexis, or collection of vocabulary), expectations for levels of formality, etc. For example, academic discourse implies a greater level of formality than language that might be used in a social media chat group.


  • (Noun) A piece of paper or computer file; a piece of writing.
  • (Verb) To cite a source when writing or speaking.

Documentation—see Citation.


The process of composing sentences and paragraphs for a piece of writing; getting ideas and details out on paper (or computer, etc.). Drafting can be considered part of generating. This term also implies that writing tasks may be composed through a series of different drafts, each improving on the previous one (becoming more focused, clear, and coherent). Anne Lamott famously discusses the importance of allowing oneself to write “Shitty First Drafts,” which are similar to Peter Drucker’s “zero” drafts (Murray 195).


Editing is sometimes used interchangeably with the term revising but is more likely used to refer to changes made to a composition at the sentence and word level, or to correcting any mistakes to grammar, usage, or mechanics. (An example of the gray area between revising and editing might be changing words in a sentence. This could change the meaning of the sentence or the entire work, leading to a clearer or new focus and a need for other changes to support the shift of meaning that results.)


Error is a deviation from accepted standards of grammar, spelling, punctuation, or mechanics/formatting (such as a citation or block quotation). There are various theories about error (causes, effects, types, and what to do about them) and when/if they need to be corrected in a piece of writing, particularly for students who are learning to write. Universal Design of Instruction guidelines, which consider factors such as learning profiles, ESL and bilingual education, and other priorities, call for instructors to be tolerant of error; this could mean, for example, focusing on content and meaning when giving feedback on a first draft, rather than marking small errors. See Proofreading.


A nonfiction composition that may describe, explore, clarify, or analyze a subject. This word comes from a French word, essayer, meaning to try or attempt. An essay can be a narrative about a real event or experience, or it can be an explanation of a topic (also called expository writing or analysis) or it can include both narrative and expository writing. An essay offers the author’s own discussion or argument about a topic, and there are many different types of essays. An essay can be a formal or informal composition. For example, an essay can be written by a student as a homework assignment or by a scholar or professional writer to be published in a magazine, journal, or anthology.

Essay structure and development:

See also Unity and Coherence.

In general, an essay will center on an issue or topic, which may be formulated into a central question; the answer to the central question will be the thesis. (The central question, the thesis, or both can either be implied or stated explicitly). The writer supports and explains the thesis or leads up to it by including evidence. To make the ideas and information accessible and understandable, the writer creates a structure, that is, a form and order in which to present them.

Ethos: See Rhetorical appeals: Ethos


Evidence refers to information that supports or backs up the thesis or claim stated in a speech or piece of writing. Some examples of evidence would be facts, examples, statistics, expert testimony, experimental data, survey results, quotations, and personal observation or experience. Creating informative diagrams or charts to present specific data or facts is a way of incorporating supporting evidence.

Exigence: (See also Rhetorical appeals: Kairos.)

Exigence is what motivates a person to respond to a situation, problem, statement, action, or event by speaking or writing about it.


Fiction is a genre of writing that includes imaginative compositions, for example, short stories and novels, that need not be based on real characters, places, or events.

First order/second order thinking:

Writing educator Peter Elbow uses these terms to highlight two very different activities, which he believes are both central to a good thinking (and writing) process. First order thinking he describes as “intuitive and creative,” and “exploratory but uncensored.” While thinking and prewriting or drafting in this manner, people feel freer to explore tangents, set aside rules or preconceptions, and pursue possibilities that may or may not work out. Second order thinking, on the other hand, “is a way to check our thinking, to be more aware, to steer instead of being steered.” (Elbow 37–40). With second order thinking, we evaluate and assess our writing as we strive for accuracy and logical connections through revision. Elbow emphasizes that good thinkers and writers need to engage in both kinds of thinking, but that it is nearly impossible to do both at the same time.

Five-paragraph essay:

The five-paragraph essay is a type of essay often taught in high school. It provides a formula for constructing an essay with five parts: an introductory paragraph ending with a thesis statement (which typically introduces three subtopics/main ideas that the body paragraphs will explore); three body paragraphs—each on a different subtopic/main idea—that offer evidence in support of the thesis; and a concluding paragraph. Oral presentations may use a similar structure. College writers might do well to consider this a basic essay structure that they will move beyond and build upon. A more dynamic metaphor suggests that “a good essay” can be viewed as “a vehicle for thought that moves from a clear point of departure, in a certain direction, toward a destination” (Hjortshoj 122).


Framing is a metaphor for describing the lens, or perspective, from which writers look at and present their arguments. For example, two advocates of legalizing marijuana might frame the issue differently. One might support it as a criminal justice issue; another might see it as primarily a public health issue


Freewriting is a technique in which a writer writes continuously for a set period of time without regard to spelling, grammar, or topic. This type of prewriting or generative writing may record a free association of ideas. The process and the raw material produced through freewriting can often be used to discover or narrow a topic and as the basis for a more focused composition. When a writing topic is already known or assigned, the writer can do what is often called focused freewriting. Practicing freewriting is often recommended for writers experiencing anxiety or difficulty getting started on a writing task.


Generating means coming up with ideas and language for writing. Strategies for doing this can include talking and making notes, brainstorming,notetaking from a source, freewriting, mapping, etc.


Categories of texts, although the concept of genre is also used to classify many kinds of communication or creative production (such as speeches, painting, music, film, etc.). Genres develop over time and take the form they do to respond to the needs of recurring rhetorical situations. Genres are defined by variations in subject matter, discipline, context, conventions, structure, audience, purpose, style, and tone, among other factors. Common genres of literature are poems, short stories, novels, plays, and essays. To mention just one other community that has its own genres, the field of business writing uses such genres as memos, proposals, reports, and executive summaries.


An attention-getter or creative device (such as a question, anecdote, or exclamation) that starts a presentation, story, article, or essay.


An idea or explanation about something that is based on known facts but has not yet been proven. See thesis.

Information Literacy:

The American Library Association defines “information literacy” as being able to “recognize when information is needed” and “locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.” This may include doing library research, conducting a literature review, or writing an annotated bibliography. To be literate with information requires the ability to quote, paraphrase, analyze, synthesize, and cite sources properly.

Literature review:

A summary (one or more paragraphs) of what other researchers have written on a specific topic, theme, or theory. The author of a lit review identifies a gap in thinking, research, or understanding in the existing body of literature on the topic. This may be one or more paragraphs and is usually near the start of a formal academic paper.

Logos: See Rhetorical appeals: Logos


Mapping is a visual way of generating and organizing ideas and information for writing, often presented as circles or squares containing words or phrases and connected by lines. Mapping can be drawn by hand or created using an app/software such as X-Mind or Inspiration.

Multimodal, multimedia:

Both of these words describe an act or artifact of communication that includes two or more modes of expression (linguistic—vocal or written, visual, aural, gestural, and/or spatial) or media (text, sound or audio, visual image, 3-dimensional object, gesture or movement, computer-based media, etc.).


Nonfiction is communication based in factual reality or opinion. Nonfiction writing is a broad genre that includes essays, personal journal entries, articles, biographies, memoirs, historical accounts, textbooks, etc.

Organization: Click for Definition


Organizing is an activity that speakers and writers engage in to achieve an effective arrangement, pattern, or progression of ideas and information in their presentation or written piece. Organizing occurs when a writer makes decisions about what will go into each section or paragraph. Organizing is often part of planning, but it can be an ongoing part of the writing process; a writer may organize and reorganize at any time. Strategies for organizing include outlining, mapping, cutting-and-pasting, and color-coding. Organization tools can include computer software, such as Kurzweil, X-Mind, and Inspiration, pencil and paper, note cards, white boards, highlighters, post-it notes, etc.


Outlining is a strategy that speakers or writers can use to produce a written or typed record representing the different sections of a speech or paper, what information or ideas will go into each section, and in what order the sections will be presented. Outlines can be simple or elaborate, but they usually indicate what will be said in the beginning, middle, and end of the piece of writing. A writer may outline at any point in a writing process, before, during, or after drafting. An outline that is done post-drafting is sometimes called a “reverse outline.”


In the context of writing, a paper is a written or typed text; it is sometimes used interchangeably with the word “essay” but could mean a report, study, article, etc. It can be a piece of writing done by a student for a course, or by a scholar-teacher, a researcher, or some other professional or public official for a peer audience or the wider public.


Paraphrasing is done when a speaker or writer restates another author or speaker’s idea or key information without using the exact words of the author. A paraphrase is roughly the same length as the original statement (sentence). Paraphrasing can help writers simplify the original wording, demonstrate understanding, and maintain their own voice while incorporating ideas of others within their piece of writing.

Passive Voice: See Voices

Pathos: See Rhetorical appeals: Pathos

Peer-reviewed journal:

A publication by and for scholars or experts in a particular field or discipline. The articles submitted to such a journal are scrutinized by peer experts before being accepted and published. Each discipline or publication uses certain formats and conventions; for example, an abstract, an introduction, presentation of information, a discussion (analysis), a conclusion, and list of sources (references, works cited, or bibliography) that were consulted and cited.


Persuasion means convincing an audience of the validity and truth of your claim (thesis) about a topic. This can mean successfully changing their thinking (perspective, opinion, belief) and/or their actions (moving them to behave differently or take specific action). To Aristotle, rhetoric was the art of persuasion; in other words, persuasion was the main purpose of rhetoric.


Planning means figuring out how to proceed with a writing task. This often includes prewriting and organizing ideas. When planning, a writer may think about and jot down a purpose for writing, who the audience is, what background information they will need, a central question and/or working thesis, an outline, a list of sources, etc. Planning can also involve estimating the amount of time that certain writing activities will take, creating a work schedule, and setting productivity goals.

Point of view (first-, second-, third-person):

The perspective from which an author writes.

  • First-person point of view uses I or we,
  • Second-person point of view uses you, and
  • Third-person point of view uses he, she, it, they, or a name.


Prewriting is a term that can encompass any generating, organizing, or planning activities done in preparation for drafting a piece of writing, such as brainstorming, freewriting, outlining, notetaking, mapping, drawing, talking and discussing, etc.

Primary (original) research:

Primary (original) research involves one or more individuals posing a question, setting up a method for experiencing, observing, or carrying out a test or other procedure that will yield information or data; collecting and analyzing the information to reach a conclusion that answers their initial question. Examples include an interview or scientific study.

Primary source: See Sources


Proofreading usually refers to the process of reviewing a piece of writing to find and correct errors. Such corrections do not change the meaning of what is written and could entail replacing a word that was used by mistake for a similar word that was intended, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and formatting. A writer can proofread at any point in a writing process, but experts often recommend that proofreading mostly be saved for the last step, after their piece of writing has its final structure, meaning, and wording.


What a writer aims to accomplish with a piece of writing or a speech. There are four general purposes for any rhetorical act: to express oneself, to inform, to persuade, or to entertain. Other purposes may include to reflect, think, explore, or learn.

Professional writing (See chart, Academic writing compared to other kinds of writing)


Quoting means that a writer or speaker is copying (or repeating) another author or speaker’s exact wording and placing quotation marks “” around it (in a speech, saying “quote” and “end quote”); or, if it is a long quotation in writing (as with an entire paragraph), presenting it in block style, leaving off the “” marks. Quotations should fit grammatically and logically within the writer’s text and be introduced and cited properly.


Recursive means occurring again. Although a writing process is commonly presented as a series of steps, a writer will often loop back and repeat previous steps. Instead of thinking of a writing process as moving through a series of steps, it may be helpful to think of a writing process as recursive—in other words, involving various, integrated activities (such as brainstorming, organizing, drafting, revising, editing, proofreading) that writers can engage in repeatedly, as desired.

References: See Citations: References


A response is a piece of informal or formal writing (for example, blog, letter, speech, or essay,) in which a writer communicates their personal thoughts and perspectives on someone else’s act of communication, for example, statement, speech, essay, article, piece of art, musical composition, film, idea, etc. Responses express the subjective views and experiences of the writer supported by direct reference to the original work. By responding, the writer is joining the conversation about the original work, and therefore is adding to its meaning. The writer should distinguish between the intent of the original piece and their own personal response as they view the original piece through the lens of their own experiences, values, and ideas. Related terms are critique and review, which tend to refer to more formal and evaluative writing.

Revision (or revising):

Making changes to a written draft. There are various ways of differentiating between “big picture” revising of a draft (“global” issues, “higher-order concerns,” or HOC) and “detail-oriented” copy editing (“local” issues, “lower-order concerns,” or LOC). This general distinction is useful, although it can be hard to be precise about when one is revising versus editing. Revising generally refers to making changes to a composition at the level of ideas and themes, or to moving, adding, or deleting sentences or paragraphs. Often, writers will be advised to revise “big picture” elements of content and structure before focusing on editing sentences.

Rhetoric: Click for Definition

Rhetorical analysis: Click for Definition

Rhetorical approaches or strategies: Click for Definition

  • Definition includes:
    • Narration (narrating)
    • Description (describing)
    • Illustration (illustrating)
    • Comparison (comparing/contrasting)
    • Process analysis (analyzing a process)
    • Definition (defining)
    • Classification (classifying)
    • Cause and effect analysis

Rhetorical Situation: Click for Definition

Rhetorical Triangle: Click for Definition

Rhetorical Appeals: Click for Definition

Secondary source: See Sources

Signal phrase:

A short phrase within a sentence that introduces the source of a quotation, paraphrase, or summary. Here are several examples: 1. Mayor Williams asserted, “We are making good progress on renovating the town hall and should have the job completed by summer.” 2. According to the Centers for Disease Control, wearing face masks is critically important for reducing the spread of the virus within a community.


A person, text, media production, or other artifact that can be consulted for ideas or information.

Primary source is a first-hand artifact or account, such as a text, picture, or set of data, that one or more persons consult for information about a topic they are studying/ researching. Examples include autobiographical writing, travel logs, reports, or literary or artistic works.

Secondary source is an artifact, such as a literature review, annotated bibliography, essay, article, or book produced by a writer who has read or examined primary sources but not carried out primary (original) research.

Structure: See Organization


A summary is a short restatement of the main ideas of a text that was written by another author; it may also include key details or examples. The length depends on the purpose of the summary and can range from a sentence to several pages. Summarizing also involves paraphrasing and may include selective quoting. When doing academic research, you might come upon the terms precis or abstract, which are essentially summaries of academic essays or articles.

Support: See Evidence


To synthesize is to combine ideas or elements from multiple sources to create something new, usually a new thesis or argument. Most writing assignments or projects that draw on multiple sources require synthesis, which often involves re-organization of material. Synthesizing is not just summarizing sources one at a time.


Strictly speaking, a text consists of “Written or printed words, typically forming a connected piece of work.” Or “The main body of a book or other piece of writing, as distinct from other material such as notes, appendices, and illustrations.” (“Text”) Note that many linguistic “texts” (books, articles, poems) are accompanied by forms of visual rhetoric, including diagrams, charts, graphs, illustrations, photographs, etc. Some of these are woven into the fabric of the overall work; some contain words, letters, or numerals; and others are purely images. In addition to visual rhetoric, there are gestural, aural, and spatial forms of rhetoric that also convey /communicate meaning. Online texts may include hyperlinks the reader can follow to other online sources, including illustrations, audio, and video.


Text-to-speech readers are software applications that read texts aloud from a digital device (PC, laptop, smart phone); they can be especially helpful for individuals with dyslexia and other reading or attentional issues.


An overall idea or central meaning that can come out of a story or poem. The term theme is similar to thesis but used more often to refer to fiction or poetry (i.e., creative writing).


“A formal statement of the rules on which a subject of study is based or of ideas that are suggested to explain a fact or event or, more generally, an opinion or explanation” (Cambridge Dictionary online). Stephen Hawking explains, “A theory is a good theory if it satisfies two requirements: It must accurately describe a large class of observations on the basis of a model that contains only a few arbitrary elements, and it must make definite predictions about the results of future observations.”


The word thesis can be used to mean a formal, often original, written composition, for example, a senior thesis. Alternately, thesis can refer to the central, controlling idea of a piece of nonfiction, prose writing. The thesis can be the answer to a central question. A thesis may be directly stated (explicit) or may not be directly stated (implicit). Sometimes a thesis is described as having two parts: the writer’s topic and the writer’s slant, opinion, or claim about the topic. Other terms with similar meanings to thesis are central claim, hypothesis or conclusion.

Thesis statement:

A one-sentence direct statement of the thesis idea that encapsulates the main point of the speech or text. The thesis statement may indicate to the reader a direction that the piece of writing will take in exploring or proving this main point. The thesis can be the answer to the central question of the speech or piece of writing. A thesis is not a question or a topic or a statement of obvious fact. Often a thesis statement is arguable, that is, open to discussion or debate. Thus, the speaker or writer will have to provide reasons and evidence that support the thesis. Traditional advice for writers has been that an explicit thesis statement be placed at the beginning of an essay, often at the end of the introductory paragraph. However, good essays often bend or break this rule, so it can be helpful to ask professors their views on this. The concept of a working thesis reflects the belief that writing is a process and writers may not know exactly what they intend to say until they have spent time writing drafts and clarifying their ideas. A working thesis is a first attempt at articulating a central idea, but it may be revised and clarified during the process of writing.


Tone refers to the writer’s attitude toward their subject, whether it is serious, humorous, skeptical, ironic, etc. Tone of voice in speaking is like tone in writing.


A word, phrase, or sentence that links ideas and details in a piece of writing. Transitions help the reader follow the writer’s logic while reading from one sentence and/or paragraph to the next. That is, they help the reader understand the flow of the writer’s ideas and details. Transitions can be found in lists of formulaic words and phrases, such as “however,” “therefore," “by contrast,” “similarly,” "to summarize," etc. But transitions can also be full, unique sentences created by a writer to link other sentences or paragraphs.


The degree to which a speech or piece of writing is all about (focused on) the same overall idea, i.e., thesis (or theme). There is an idea or thesis to which all the information and parts connect. Each part is relevant to the whole.

Visual rhetoric:

See also Multimodal/multimedia communication. Visual rhetoric is the art of effective communication through images, typography, and texts. Rhetorical analysis of visuals calls for consideration of the rhetorical triangle and the rhetorical situation, as well as an understanding of how images are created and perceived.


Literally, to voice means to produce or utter a sound. Metaphorically, voice can be the unique way a person speaks or writes, their style or use of language, which gives a sense of their character or personality being present in the physical location, or in the written text, where speaker and audience interact. Voice in speaking and writing can also refer more narrowly to the way verbs are used in a sentence. For example, the following sentence is in active voice, emphasizing the actor (person or thing doing the action): His aunt gave him a book. By contrast, the following version of the sentence uses passive voice and thus, emphasizes the book: The book was given to him by his aunt.

Works Cited: See End Citations

Writer’s block:

Writer’s block can be defined as “an inability to begin or continue writing for reasons other than a lack of basic skills or commitment” (Rose 3). Perhaps more useful is the term writing blocks “to describe the multiple processes that can interfere with writing production” (Lewis and Alden 138). For instance, “initiation” (simply starting a project) and “activation” (getting down to work) can be difficult; therefore, students benefit when process strategies for initiating and activating writing are explicitly built into writing assignments.

Writing process:

Writing process often refers to the steps a writer takes to produce a written document. There are many prescriptive models for how to write, but it is more useful to take a descriptive approach to explaining the multiple steps and activities that can make up a writing process. Writing is flexible, recursive, strategic, and individualized. Processes vary by writer, task, and context; there is no “right” way to produce writing. For example, some writers tend to engage in planning first and then follow their plan while drafting. They may also do other kinds of prewriting, such as brainstorming or freewriting. Other writers just dive into drafting and are generating, developing, and organizing while they write. In either case, using a multi-draft process that includes revising can ensure the best results. Some writers use dictation software or an app to record their ideas and language.

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