The basic steps in writing are Prewriting, Planning, Drafting, Revising and Proofreading (Arlov, 2004, p. 4). Before you can even begin to write about any topic, you first have to gather information pertinent to the subject. This is called the Prewriting stage where you gather relevant ideas from a large number of sources which include newspapers, books, periodicals, journals, and television, among others; and taking notes, and brainstorming with other people. Once all the necessary information has been gathered, the next stage is the Planning stage where you cluster all the data and select only the ones that are most relevant to the topic.
By the end of this stage, you should have a basic outline of what you will write about. Afterwards, the next stage is the Drafting stage where your ideas are put into words, sentences, and paragraphs; and complete a rough the draft of the topic. Here you being to explain and support your ideas. The Revising stage, on the other hand, is the stage where you craft your essay in such a way that it will be understood by the readers. Here, you basically complete your essay, checking if all your ideas are cohesive, clearly presented, and reliable.
The last stage is the Proofreading stage where you generally check your essay for possible grammatical errors, misspelled words, or other mistakes that may have been overlooked in the first draft (Arlov, 2004, pp. 4-6). These steps are vital in any form of writing. Even if only one of the steps is omitted, the over-all quality of the essay could be highly affected. For example, if you gather inadequate information needed your topic or if you fail to thoroughly plan your ideas before writing them, the essay could end up as half-baked.
On the other hand, if you fail to clearly present and support your ideas in your essay, the readers may not understand what you are trying to convey and may not appreciate it. Lastly, if you fail to go over the final draft of the essay, it could contain a lot of grammatical and mechanical errors, which could have been avoided otherwise.
Arlov, P. (2004) Wordsmith: A Guide to College Writing. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Online Writing and Communication Center (2001). The Writing Process. Retrieved, October 8, 2007 from http://web. mit. edu/writing/Writing_Process/writingprocess. html