5 Step Writing Process for Kids

Give kids the confidence to write well by outlining a five-step process.
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The writing process might seem daunting for some kids; how can you take a thousand swirling ideas in your head and turn them into a cohesive paper ready for publication? By simplifying the writing process into five steps, children gain a clearer idea of how to start and where to finish, much like how a map provides routes. Outlining the five steps takes the guesswork out of what to do first, in the middle and last, but instead gives children the tools for a way to go about writing, thus eliminating confusion or anxiety.

Teach your child about pre-writing, which is the first step of the writing process. Pre-writing might involve techniques like brainstorming, free writing or asking questions. This step is much like an inverted triangle -- you start with a wide assortment of topics and gradually narrow down to one idea you want to write about.

Determine the audience or style of the paper, which is another component of the pre-writing process. Tailoring the work towards a given assignment or reader is vital, so it is important to at least keep these variables in mind as your child narrows down his topic. Pre-writing also involves research if necessary to the assignment.

Tell your kid to just start writing, which is the second step of the writing process. Drafting means getting your ideas down on the paper without worrying too much about sentence structure or grammar. During this stage, your child should write a tentative thesis statement, which serves as the basis for the entire paper. This stage also involves putting information from resources into your child’s own words.

Instruct your child to read her paper out loud with you. Ask her if it makes sense or point out areas that you don’t understand. This instruction starts part three of the writing process, which is called revision. During this stage, your kid might rearrange some thoughts for clearer or more effective paragraphs. Her thesis statement might also change or become more polished. She might also focus on sentence structure or word choice to make the paper better than her first draft.

Proofread the paper with your child. Make sure all sentences are complete and there are no spelling errors. Check for correct punctuation and change words that are not used correctly. This process, called editing, is the fourth step of the writing process.

Print your child’s final draft to prepare for assignment submission or to share with family and friends. Publishing is the final step of the writing process, which can also involve some celebrating for completing an organized and well-executed paper.

Cara Batema is a musician, teacher and writer who specializes in early childhood, special needs and psychology. Since 2010, Batema has been an active writer in the fields of education, parenting, science and health. She holds a bachelor's degree in music therapy and creative writing.