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Chapter 8. Write This Way > Blueprint for Success: Planning - Pg. 82

Write This Way · Write the first draft(s). Revising and editing · Add necessary material. · Check length and format. · Correct errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization. · Cut unnecessary information. · Get feedback from readers. · Move parts around. · Rewrite awkward or inaccurate statements. Proofreading · · · · Correct typographical errors. Make sure no words are missing. Look for all sorts of bloopers. Make your writing letter-perfect. 82 4. 5. Writer's Block Don't get obsessive about the writing process: The steps don't have to be followed in this exact order. As you draft, you might find yourself doubling back and doing more research, for example. You may also skip some steps, depending on your audience, purpose, and time constraints. Blueprint for Success: Planning Question: Answer: What did the fish say when he hit the concrete wall? "Dam." Planning ahead pays off, whether you're swimming or writing. When you're swimming, always check for dams. When you're writing, always consider the big three elements: 1. 2. 3. Purpose: Your reason for writing. As you've already learned, there are four main purposes for writing: to tell a story, prove a point, explain, or describe. Audience: Your readers. As explained in Chapter 3, "Pack the Essentials," your audience determines your tone and diction. Topic: Your subject. Always be sure that you clearly understand the subject before you write. The matter of choosing a subject is covered in "Topic Time," later in this chapter. In most writing situations, you'll be able to treat these three factors in this order, starting with purpose and ending with topic. Other times, however, you may have to consider them in a different sequence. For example, if you're writing in a school or office setting, you may be given the topic. In that case, the topic becomes your first consideration because it can't be changed. When in doubt, start with the element that's unalterable.