The Writing Process: Speed Writing, Paragraph Writing , Letter Writing (Personal/Formal/Business/Official), Email Writing, etc.

The process of writing includes some steps. When you want to write a letter to your friends, relatives or to the Headmaster of your school, you should follow that process. Again, if you want to write a paragraph, composition or a story, you should know about the process. This process will help you to write freely.

Now look at the three main stages of writing process:

- Preparing to write
- Drafting
- Revising

The writing process also depends on:

—  Why you are writing (purpose)
—  Who are going to read it (e.g. friend,
parents, Headmaster, Principal)
—  What are you writing about (content)
—  Where you are, how much time you
have to write, etc. (situation)

In brief, the process of any piece of writing depends on:
■   purpose
■  readers
■   content
■   situation

Let us now, move to the steps in details:

Preparing to write

We need some preparations to write. When we write, we think of the purpose, content and situation of writing. Preparations may also differ. For example, your letter to your friend is different from the letter to your parents. Again, when you are very busy, you send a very short message. But when you are not so busy, you could write a longer text.


Gathering Idea:
Gathering idea or information is essential for your writing. Brainstorming can help you gather your idea.

It means you 'storm' your brain or search your brain for ideas. 

Take 5 minutes if you do it alone and take more time if you work with a partner or in a group. This is a very speedy process. So, here you:

>   Write down very quickly.
>   Write down everything that comes to your mind. Don't think if they are useful or not.
>   Write down the main points only.
>   You could write down the points in words or phrases. Never think that you must write sentences.

Now, think about ideas for a paragraph about bees. Look at the following images:

Here you can visualize the following images:

Thus the following points can come into your head from brainstorming:

The next step is Speed Writing

This is a kind of activity for writing freely.
>   Take 5/6 minutes.
>   Write as much as possible on a topic.
>   Write whatever comes into your head.
>   Continue writing, don't stop until the time is up.
>   Don't worry about correction, spelling or neatness at this stage.

Asking 'Wh' Questions

To collect information, at this stage you can ask yourself 'WH' questions. But, here again, it depends on content. For example, you can ask questions about 'Bees' like:
>   What are they?
>   What do they do?
>   Where do they live?
>   What do they live on?
>   What do we get from them?
>   How else do they help us?

But here you are writing as much as possible. So, don't think much about grammatical rules, structures, spelling, and punctuation. Look at the sample speed writing on 'Bees'.

Bees are insects.
They are hardworking and quick.
They are flying from flowers to flowers. They make honey. We take honey.
It is very tasty and sweet.
They live in bee hives.
They take honey and save honey.
Many people collect and sell honey. Collecting honey is not easy.

The next step of your writing is 'planning'.


After brainstorming, asking 'WH' questions to yourself and speed writing, you have got your topic, sufficient ideas, and information in mind in your notes. Now it is time to make a plan for your writing.
Planning includes:
➢  The length of the writing >  Number of paragraphs
➢ How should I introduce the topic?
➢  Which information should go first, second and the rest?
➢  How should I conclude?


The actual writing begins with 'drafting'. In drafting, you will carry out your planning. Drafting needs revision. So you can allow space after every line.

Below is a sample drafting of a paragraph on bees.

Bees are insects. They fly flower to flower to collect honey.  They live in bee hives. They deposit honey there. There are some people, who collect honey from bee hives. They sell honey. We eat honey. It is very tasty, sweet and good for health. Collecting honey is not easy. People get stung by bees ......


It is the last stage before we produce the actual writing. You can revise while drafting or after you have finished drafting. When you revise, you must consider:
>   if it is appropriate for the reader.
>   if it clearly states your purpose.
>   if it is well-organized.
>   if it contains all things you wanted to write.

Understanding the Organization of Writing

A paragraph is a group of sentences about one topic. There are three parts of a paragraph. These are:
>  The Introduction
>  The Middle
>  The Conclusion

Their position is sequential. Below is the diagram of a paragraph.



Introduction/Topic Sentence
The introduction of a paragraph contains an introductory sentence. It is called a topic sentence. Generally a paragraph begins with it. The topic sentence introduces your topic.

To write a good topic sentence:

>  State the topic clearly so that the reader can understand what you are
going to write about.
> Your topic sentence should be attractive.


The middle of a paragraph contains supporting ideas. Here you narrate, explain and thus support what you said in the introduction. It should contain the details of your description.

To write the middle:
➢ Narrate everything you want to write about your topic.
➢ If needed, classify your ideas.
➢ Put them clearly one after another and make a link between them.


It is the last part of your paragraph. Here you make a final say about your topic. To write a conclusion — avoid repetition and sum up your ideas.

Below is a sample paragraph with different parts:   (Mobile Phone)



>  We write letters to our friends and relatives to know about them.
>  We write for sending and receiving information.
>  We write letters to different institutes, organizations for seeking specific information, admission and also for jobs.

•   Personal
•   Formal/business/official


Below are some purposes of a personal letter
•   to thank
•   to apologize
•   to invite
•   to make an arrangement
•  to request
•   to reply to another letter

Different Parts of a Personal Letter

The five parts of a personal letter
•   Heading
•   Greeting/ Salutation
•   Body
•   Complimentary closing
•   Signature

1. The Heading - this includes the recipient's address and the date (in some cases, it's OK to just write the date)

2. The Greeting/ Salutation - the act or an instance of welcoming (Dear ,)

3. The Body - the main text of your letter

4. The Complimentary closing - the closing includes a short capitalized expression, such as "Sincerely," or "Love,"

5. Signature - name and signature

Below is a sample of personal letter. Look at it carefully to identify different parts and the way they are presented in a letter.

Instruction: Suppose you have been ill for a few days. Therefore, you missed some classes. Now, you write a letter to your friend telling him to provide information and materials you missed during the time.

Here is another example of a personal letter. Now discuss in pairs or groups and identify different parts of this letter. Also notice the language of the letter and tell your friends or teacher if it is easy or difficult.

Do you think that it is possible for you to write the same type of letter on another topic in this way? You can write another letter and show your friends or teacher.

Instruction: Suppose you have witnessed a street accident recently. The accident was very terrible and you still cannot forget it. Now write a letter to your friend describing that street accident.

Formal Letters

We write a formal letter to request for something or asking for something or getting some information.

Different parts of a formal letter
There are seven parts of a formal letter. These are:

•   Date

•   Address

•   Salutation

•   Introduction

•   Body

•   Closing

•   Signature

1. Date
The date is put at the top of the page for any business communication. It is an official record of correspondence that may be kept for future reference.

2. Address
The address of the person receiving the correspondence includes formal name, street address, city, state and postal code.

3. Salutation
The salutation is the formal way of addressing a person. Common salutations are Dear or Dear Mr. Hasan, Dear Sir/Madam, etc.

4. Introduction
The first few sentences of a letter are introductory in nature. The introductory section introduces the subject of the letter.

5. Body
The body of the letter shares most of the information. It also contains some supporting ideas.

6. Closing
The closing of the letter summarizes what the letter was about.

7. Signature
It contains the writer's name, address, etc.

Instruction: Suppose there is a Computer Training Institute in your locality. You have noticed the advertisement of admission into a 'Basic Course'. You want to attend the course. Now write a letter to the Coordinator requesting him to send you an admission form.

Example of a Formal Letter

Here is another example of a formal letter. Now discuss in pairs or groups and identify different parts of this letter. You may also notice how the main point is presented in the letter.  Do you think that it is possible for you to write "-- another letter on the same type of problem you notice?

Now -

Instruction: Suppose your school stands on the river Mogra. The river is beautiful. The river is used in many ways. However, some people often throw wastes into the river and pollute its water. Throwing waste, chemicals and fertilizers into river can be causes of many diseases.

Now, discuss in groups about the causes and effects of water pollution. You can also discuss it with your teacher. After the discussion, write a letter to the Headmaster of your school requesting him to organize a rally to create public awareness about water pollution.

November 8, 2014

The Headmaster
Sunrise Model High School Netrokona

Dear Sir,
We are the students of class eight of your school. You know that our school stands on the Mogra. It is a beautiful river. But it is getting polluted every day by the people. They throw different types of waste into it and pollute its water. Some people are so careless that they throw even chemical wastes into it. We need to do something to save the river from pollution.
We, therefore, request you to organize a rally to create awareness among people about water pollution. We hope people will understand the problem and try to protect our Mogra.

Yours obediently
The students of class VIII
Sunrise Model High School Netrokona

Writing email

E-mail is a valuable mode of communication. It is now widely used in academic, business and social settings. Thus, depending on your purposes, the text of the email may be different.

Basic types

Email could be both formal and informal. The formal emails are used to communicate in academic, official and business settings. On the other hand, the  informal  emails  are  used  to communicate  in  social  setting  like communicating with friends, guests and so on.

Features of email
•   It is generally brief.
•   The salutation should be formal and informal depending on contexts.
•   You do not need to write 'the date'
•   You do not need to write the 'address of the receiver' but you have to
use the recipient's email ID.
• You do not need to write your complete address.
• You need not bother about signature.

Formal email

Formal emails are used in academic, official and business communication. When you are writing a formal email, you must remember the following things:
• You should write the email ID carefully.
• You should write the subject of your email briefly.
• Your language should be formal.
• Avoid contracted forms like 'it's, haven't' rather you should write 'it is,
have not', etc.
•  Mention the purpose of writing very clearly.
• The salutation should be formal as 'Dear Head Master' , 'Dear Sir,
'Dear Madam, 'Dear Mr. Choudhury', etc.
• Should have a formal closing such as 'your sincerely, your obedient',
• You may attach other files if needed.

Instruction: Suppose there is an ICT Club in your school. You want to be a member of that club. Now write an email to the Headmaster of your school for the membership.

Informal email

Informal emails are mostly used in social communication like communicating with friends, parents, relatives, classmates. It is also used for inviting a huge number of people to join a festival, gathering, etc. Informal emails can be different types depending of the purposes. 

However, the most common features of informal emails are:

•   You should write the email address carefully.
•   Just write the subject of your email.
•   Your language should not be formal.
•   Generally contracted forms like 'it's, haven't' are widely used here.
•   Mention the purpose of writing briefly.
•   The salutation should be informal as 'Hello' , 'Dear Karim, 'Hello
everyone ', etc.
•   The closing is informal like your son, your friend, love, regards etc.
•   You may or may not (depending on situation) write your name.
•   You may attach files if needed.

Now -

Instruction: Suppose you are writing an email to your friend for borrowing a book.

Example of an informal email:
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