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Process Writing Approach in Teaching Writing Descriptive Texts: Drafting

The next stage after prewriting process is drafting. The following explanation depicts the drafting process in teaching descriptive text.


It is an activity intended to compose rough drafts based on the ideas resulted from prewriting activities. According to Johnson (2008) and Sorenson (2010), drafting is the student’s first attempt to capture ideas on paper. While Smalley, et. al (2001) states  “drafting is the actual writing of the paragraph”. In addition, Bowkett (2009: 191) states that a draft is a rough copy of a document. The idea behind this is that what comes out first time is nowhere near complete and that there is still a lot of more thinking to do about it. Berne (2009) adds that it may be easier to help students see what first drafts are not. They are not finished pieces of writing. They are not documents that are evaluated for a grade. They are not end points to be agonized over. They are not pieces of writing that need to be correct.

After the students have generated their ideas about their topics, they focus their ideas on a main point and develop a rough plan for the descriptive paragraph they are going to write. Then, they come to the actual writing of the paragraph. During, this stage, the students are focused on the fluency of writing and are not preoccupied with grammatical accuracy or the neatness of the draft (Seow, 2002: Smalley, 2000).

Drafting is considered as an important strategy in the process writing. After having generated ideas, students need to write them down, and a teacher has them draft their ideas in a number of ways. One way is to have students do component writing, in which they write different components of their descriptive text within a certain period of time. Another way is to have a student do one-sitting writing. The last way is through leisurely writing, in which students begin a draft in class and are asked to finish it at their leisure at home.

In drafting a descriptive text, a teacher gives a modeling by showing a family diagram with an uncompleted descriptive paragraph. Along with the students, the teacher fills the blanks of the descriptive paragraph based the family diagram. After it is completed, the teacher can ask the students to make their own family diagram and to explain it in a descriptive paragraph (see Wardiman, et.al., 2008). This activity can make the students free from the little worse of facing a first blank page. By choosing to write what the students find the easiest or most inviting, they avoid the initial trepidation by immediately getting down to drafting (Bowden, 2008).

Remember that freeing the students to write first draft without overfocusing on correctness or craft is the first step toward helping to move them from writing what they know to writing to find out what they know (Berne, 2009). It is a rare student who can produce a polished finished piece of writing in the first draft (Library of Congress Cataloging, 2008). A teacher needs to assure that the students are able to see that any piece of writing does not have to be perfect from the start but can be polished and improved many times. They are guided and supported as they move through the complete process of drafting, revising, editing, and publishing (Westwood, 2008)


Berne, J. 2009. The Writing-Rich High School Classroom. London: The Gilford Press.

Bowden. J. 2008. Writing A Report: How To Prepare, Write and Present Really Effective Reports. United Kingdom: How To Books.

Bowkett, S. 2009. Countdown to Creative Writing. London: Routledge.

Johnson, A.P. 2008. Teaching Reading and Writing: A Guidebook for Tutoring and Remediating Students. Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield Education.

Library of Congress Cataloging. 2009. Eight Grade Reading Comprehension and Writing Skill Book. New York: Learning Express

Seow, A. The Writing Process and Process Writing . In J. C. Richards & W. A. Renandya (Eds). 2002. Methodology in Language Teaching: An Anthology of Current Practice (pp. 315-320). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Smalley, R. L., Mary, K. and Kozyrev, J. R. 2001. Refining Composition Skill: Rhetoric and Grammar. Boston: Heinle & Heinle Publishers.

Sorenson, S. 2010. Webster’s New World: Students’ Writing Handbook. Canada: Wiley.

Wardiman, A. Masduki B.J. and Sukirman D. 2008. English in Focus for Grade IX Junior High School (SMP/MTs). Jakarta: Pusat Perbukuan Departemen Pendidikan Nasional.

Westwood, P. 2008. What Teachers Need to Know about Reading and Writing Difficulties. Victoria, Australia: ACER Press.

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