The academic writing process can be summarized by five distinctive stages. First, the discovery and investigation stages require writers to engage with sources. Critical thinking is essential, as a descriptive approach to the sources is inefficient. Instead, writers must outline an analysis of the selected information (University of Lynchburg, n.d). Critical thinking occurs throughout active reading when a writer is able to discern useful sources from those that are irrelevant to the topic of their work. Second, the second stage includes the prewriting tasks of academic work such as outlining, freewriting, brainstorming, and clustering information (Staffordshire University, 2022). Further critical thinking is required as a writer will have to consider additional factors such as the intended audience, the purpose of the work, and the current gaps in academic literature that the work addresses.
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Third, drafting can be seen as the first stage of the official writing phase. This stage must adhere to the selected thesis, it is vital for the writer to engage in critical thinking by monitoring that the work is on topic and does not drift away to unrelated themes (Boylan, n.d). Main ideas and concepts become vitally important during this stage as their relation to the work are tested. Fourth, revision is the stage that is most likely to benefit from critical thinking. Adequate revision requires both global and local modifications. Global changes refer to revisions that assure that the flow of the work is good, and that progression is proper (University of Edinburgh, 2021). Local revision target sentence structure, idea coherence, and transitions. Fifth, the work is subjected to the editing phase which involves a thorough examination and the spotting of weaknesses (University of Leeds, n.d.). A critical thinker should be able to observe any existing faults in the work before assuming it to be complete.
Boylan, K. (n.d.). The writing process. Pressbooks.
University of Edinburgh. (2021, Sep 9). Critical thinking. University of Edinburgh.
University of Leeds. (n.d.). Critical thinking. University of Leeds.
University of Lynchburg. (n.d.). The writing process. University of Lynchburg.
Staffordshire University. (2022, Apr 1). Critical thinking: Things you need to know. Staffordshire University Library and Learning Services.