What is a Recursive Writing Process?

This is the process that describes how students revisit their last writing step and make necessary corrections after discovering new facts to perfect their writing. When it comes to recursive writing, the learners revise what they have written according to their own tastes. Have you ever used a grade calculator? Recursive writing means students don’t just sit down and follow the steps of the writing process from beginning to finish. It enables them to learn how to write.

Some key benefits of a recursive writing process include:

It helps to move forward: When they revisit an earlier stage, they metaphorically press a pause button. Have you ever used a high school GPA calculator? This allows them some time to figure out what they want to write. This is an invaluable part of the writing process.

It can get students unstuck when writing: Even the most accomplished and successful writers find the entire process slightly intimidating at times. They can move forward without the pressure of thinking that the first draft they compose needs to be perfect because they know that revisiting is baked into the process.

It makes the difficult parts of writing easier: A recursive writing process makes learning to write easier. When writers are willing to discard ideas or words that aren’t working, then revisit and discover new options that make more sense, the entire piece gets better. In this way, revisiting also helps them gain confidence in their own rhetorical skills.

It puts writers in control of their writing: When writers realize that something isn’t working in their writing and they allow themselves to press pause, they’re also giving themselves time to take a break from their work and come back later with new ideas and fresh eyes. This practice lets them take control over the quality of their writing.

Students can use the following strategies to improve a recursive writing process.

Clarifying the purpose: Students should ensure everything in their draft points back to the purpose they want to achieve.

Gathering more information: Most writers unintentionally leave important information out of initial drafts. As students reread, they should consider what else their audience will need to know to find their message effective.

Concluding Thoughts

The recursive writing process involves the review of the last writing step in lieu of new facts that perfects the writing. For the student, this step reduces the pressure of having to follow the writing process from beginning to end, as they can take a pause to review what is already on page. The writing process is already intimidating even to professional writers, so this step allows the writer to take a breather and regroup. If there is new information or revisions to be made, this step allows the writer to discard what is not working and make the necessary corrections. Recursive writing is also a great tool in helping a writer when they’re stuck. By looking through the writing with fresh eyes, the writer is able to find a way forward without the pressure of making the document perfect.

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