Parent Page - The Writing Process


Writing for a purpose

In fourth grade, writing is incorporated into every subject. Fourth-graders write daily for different purposes and audiences - from essays and short answers (1-2 paragraphs) to sentence writing and journaling.

Students will work to master the following skills:  responding to a prompt, adding details and elaboration, and using age-appropriate vocabulary. They will practice writing conventions, including punctuation marks, paragraphing and verb tenses.

Different types of writing fourth-graders learn:

  • Descriptive writing that creates a clear and vivid picture of a person, place or thing
  • Expository nonfiction writing that explains an event, concept or idea using facts and examples
  • Narrative writing about an event in a personal way
  • Persuasive writing that encourages an audience to share the writer's beliefs, opinions or point of view The writing process

The writing process includes: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and publishing.


  • This is the first stage of the writing process in which the writer gathers information. Prewriting activities may include filling out a graphic organizer such as a map of their thoughts, a Venn diagram comparing two ideas, a drawing, free writing or brainstorming. During this stage, the writer should be thinking of whom he is writing for (the target audience). The writer should be sure the writing and the audience is a good "fit."


  • The writer then develops his topic on paper or the computer. At this stage the focus is on the content of the writing and not the mechanics. The writer begins to organize his thoughts and develop the structure of the paper. He begins to think about the "hook" that will engage the reader and develops a conclusion that ties everything together.

  • Next the writer makes changes to the draft to improve the writing and make it clear. This may include additions or deletions, changes in the sentence structure or organization. At this stage it is helpful to have input from a peer or the teacher.


  • In the editing stage the writer pays attention to mechanics such as spelling, punctuation, grammar and handwriting. It is helpful to have a peer or teacher edit the work.

  • The final draft is then shared with the desired audience, such as classmates or parents. Bringing value to the written piece.