Understanding the writing process

Excerpt from Harness the Business Writing Process

The writing process, as outlined in the last post, consists of five elements. Here is a closer look at each one. 


  • establish your primary purpose (why you are writing)
  • assess your readers (or audience) and their expectations and awareness of the issue(s) about which you are writing
  • determine the detail into which you must go to achieve your purpose
  • select the appropriate medium for delivering your words


  • determine if the research will be internal, external or a combination
  • find appropriate sources of information
  • take notes and document external sources


  • select an appropriate method of development so that your writing unfolds in a logical manner
  • prepare an outline, breaking down your document into manageable chunks
  • consider your layout, design and visuals (illustrations, graphs, charts)


  • write from outline point to point, using each point like the opening line in a directed freefall; expand each point into sentences and/or paragraphs
  • write with spell check and grammar check turned off
  • complete a first draft, or a full section of longer documents, before revising
  • write the introductions and conclusions of longer documents last


  • revise with the reader and subject matter in mind to ensure the tone is appropriate for both
  • revise to ensure your document is clear, concise and focused and supports your purpose
  • check spelling and grammar
  • peer edit if possible

Paul Lima is a freelance writer and business writing trainer. You can read more about him online.




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