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College Writing

Use this guide to improve your writing skills. Find help for selecting topics, searching for and documenting evidence, writing essays, and more. You may also find this guide helpful for crafting speeches. 

About Writing

Use this guide to improve your writing skills.

Writing is the tangible result of thinking. And learning how to think—how to develop your own ideas and concepts—is the purpose of a college education.

Even though the end result of writing is a product, writing itself is a process through which you ask questions; create, develop, hone, and organize ideas; argue a point; search for evidence to support your ideas…and so on. The point here is that writing really involves creative and critical thinking processes. Like any creative process, it often starts in a jumble as you develop, sort, and sift through ideas. But it doesn’t need to stay in disarray. Your writing will gain direction as you start examining those ideas. It just doesn’t happen all at once. Writing is a process that happens over time. And like any process, there are certain steps or stages.

These are some of the major stages in a strong writing process:

  1. Thinking about your assignment
  2. Developing ideas (often called prewriting)
  3. Narrowing a topic
  4. Gathering information
  5. Ordering and drafting
  6. Revising and editing

Source: The Excelsior Online Writing Lab (OWL). 

Additional Writing Resources

Rhetorical Analysis

Rhetorical analysis is a form of criticism or close reading that employs the principles of rhetoric to examine the interactions between a text, an author, and an audience. It's also called rhetorical criticism or pragmatic criticism.

Related Guides

St. Louis Community College Libraries

Florissant Valley Campus Library
3400 Pershall Rd.
Ferguson, MO 63135-1408
Phone: 314-513-4514

Forest Park Campus Library
5600 Oakland
St. Louis, MO 63110-1316
Phone: 314-644-9210

Meramec Campus Library
11333 Big Bend Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-5720
Phone: 314-984-7797

Wildwood Campus Library
2645 Generations Drive
Wildwood, MO 63040-1168
Phone: 636-422-2000