Big6 Writing Process Organizer

Author: Barbara Jansen


1_taskdef_web.jpgBig6 #1: Task Definition

1. Prewriting is the first step of the writing process. What does your teacher want you to do? Make sure you understand the requirements of the writing assignment. Ask your teacher to explain the assignment if it seems vague or confusing. Restate the assignment to your teacher in your own words and ask if you are correct. Write the assignment here in your own words:

2. What information do you need to include in your writing assignment? Write a list of questions to which you need to “find answers.”






3. Put a check mark beside any questions on the list that require you to find information in an outside source such as a library book or an online database.

2_infoseek_web.jpgBig6#2: Information Seeking Strategies

1. List all of the possible sources of information that will help you answer the questions you checked in Big6 #1 Task Definition. Consider library books, encyclopedias, and web sites to which your library subscribes (ask your librarian!), people who are experts in your subject, observation of your subject, free web sites and surveys.

Make a list here:





2. Put a check mark beside each item to which you have access and are able to use. If you need help, ask your librarian.

3_location_web.jpgBig6 #3: Location & Access

1. Figure out where you will find these sources. Write the location of each source beside each item on the list in Big6 #2 Information Seeking Strategies. If it is a web site, list the web address. Try to use those online databases to which your school subscribes. Ask your librarian about these to save time. If your source is a person, figure out how you will contact him or her and make a note of this.

2. Find the sources. You may need to get and use some sources one at a time. If so, come back to this step after you locate and use each source.

3. Once you have the source in hand, you must find the information within the source. If you need help, ask your librarian, teacher, or parent.

4_useofinfo_web.jpgBig6 #4: Use of Information

1. Read, view, or listen to the sources you located during Big6 #3 Location & Access. Take notes to answer the questions you wrote in Big6 #1 Task Definition.

2. Take notes on note cards, a data chart, a word processing document, or notebook paper. Try to paraphrase or summarize ideas instead of just copying information word-for-word from your sources. Be sure to cite (give credit to) your sources.

5_synthesis_web.jpgBig6 #5: Synthesis

Now it is time to complete the writing process. You should talk to your teacher or librarian if you need help with this.

1. Prewriting: You have already completed the note taking part of this step. Brainstorm other ideas you will include in your paper. Write your ideas on note cards, a data chart, a word processing document, or notebook paper. (You may want to use the same type of organizer that you used for your note taking in Big6 #4 Use of Information.)

2. Drafting: Write the first draft of your paper. Include the notes you took from your sources. Give credit to all the appropriate sources.

3. Conferencing: Ask your teacher for a content conference. Prepare at least two questions you would like answered about your paper. Focus on the content of your work rather than the grammar and spelling at this step.

4. Revising: During this part of the process, you will re-enter your writing. This is an opportunity for you to “re see” (reVISION) your writing in a different way. Your paper should be more than just a summary of other people’s ideas or what you found on the Internet. It should represent mostly your ideas and conclusions. It should be a thoughtful response to the assignment. Make changes to improve your work.

You may want to combine short sentences and begin to look at your use of grammar. Revising makes good writing even better.

Think about scheduling another content conference with your teacher after you revise your paper. Again, have one or two questions ready to ask about your paper.

5. Editing: This may be the most important part of the writing process. Your teacher or other trusted adult should give you ideas about ways to improve your grammar and spelling, if needed. You need to correct all errors. You may choose to have a peer edit your paper. Choose someone who is a good writer!

6. Publishing: Use a word processor to publish your final paper. Include footnotes or parenthetical references, a bibliography, and any other parts of the paper as assigned. The bibliography should be arranged in alphabetical order by author’s last name. Ask your teacher or librarian for information about how to write a bibliography.

Does your assignment include a product to go with your paper? If so, now is the time to make the product.

**Even though there are several steps to the writing process, it is very important to ask for feedback. You may repeat any step at any time during the process.

6_evaluation_web.jpgBig6 #6: Evaluation

Before you show your paper (and product) to an audience, be sure it is as perfect as you can make it. You should be proud to put your name on your paper.

You should be able to answer “yes” to these questions before you turn in your paper:

1. Is your final paper a thoughtful response to the assignment?

2. Does your final paper represent your ideas and conclusions?

3. Is your paper more than just a summary of other people’s ideas?

4. If you paraphrased or summarized information found in books or magazines, on the Internet, or from other people, did you cite the source at point of use in your paper (using a footnote or parenthetical reference)?

5. Did you give credit to all of your sources in a bibliography?

6. Did you do everything in the assignment?

7. Does your bibliography follow the MLA format? Find out if your teacher requires a format other than MLA.

8. Is your paper word processed (or very neatly typed or hand-written if you do not have access to a computer)?

9. Is your paper complete and does it include a title page with heading information (title, your name, your teacher’s name, date, etc.)

10. If your teacher requests these, did you include your notes, copies of each draft, and an annotated bibliography?

11. Would you be proud for anyone to read this paper?

12. Do you understand each step of the Big6 and writing processes? If not, who can you ask for help?

1. Carroll, Joyce Armstrong and Edward E. Wilson. Acts of Teaching: How to Teach Writing. Englewood, CO: Teacher Idea Press, 1993.
2. McGhee, Marla W. Assistant Professor. Educational Administration & Psychological Services Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas. Telephone interview. November 7, 2002.