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POWER - Plan, Organize, Write, Edit, Revise


Description: POWER is an acronym for Plan, Organize, Write, Revise, and Edit and represents the steps in the writing process.

Plan—the initial stage of writing includes pre-writing (e.g. brainstorming, listing or journaling).

This stage may be especially important in assignments such as research where students must synthesize information from a variety of sources. Planning a research paper would include gathering sources and taking notes.

Organize—this stage of the writing process requires determining how to arrange ideas. Organization is essential to writing and can helps writers highlight main ideas, pace the writing and engage the reader.

Organization includes creating strong introductions and conclusions, structuring the body of the writing, transitioning appropriately and provides a roadmap or organizational pattern that gives the reader a clear path and makes the writing easy to follow.

If a student is writing a research paper, this stage would include determining the main ideas and arranging notecards according to headings and subheadings.

Write—this stage of the process is the heart of it all! Students should use material from the pre-writing and planning stage to guide the writing of the first draft. At this stage, students should not focus heavily on grammar and mechanics, but rather on getting ideas on the paper. This is the initial stage where ideas are formed.

Edit—this stage of the process is where students check writing conventions or proof read their paper. Conventions (often referred to as grammar and mechanics) include spelling, punctuation, capitalization, paragraph development, sentence fluency and grammar. Conventions effect the readability of a paper. Students may edit before or after revision and it is beneficial to do so twice in the process including a final quick edit prior to handing in a final draft. Students need to edit after the final revision.

Revise—this stage of the process includes “revisiting” or “re-seeing” the  writing. Revision is not the same as editing where students mainly check for errors with grammar and mechanics. Revising involves adding, deleting and changing content to develop ideas. Writers, in this stage, want to verify that the writing has a clear purpose, that paragraphs are developed, that the writing is smooth and easy to read and that questions are not left unanswered. At this stage of writing, students may spend time playing with word choice, adding figurative language or developing a strong introduction.

In this stage it is beneficial for students to receive feedback that will guide development.


• It is helpful for writers to edit by reading aloud as it is often easier to hear mistakes that we do not see when writing.

• It is best to take breaks between some of these stages in order to get a fresh look a the writing. Coming back to a piece of writing, perhaps a day later, allows writers to look at the piece as fresh and new.

• Students should be encouraged to get another reader or two and consider the reader’s questions or recommendations in the revision process. Students will develop their own revision skills the more that they employ this practice; however, second opinions are valuable in developing writing.

Targeted Skills:

• Organizing and developing information & ideas

• Developing editing and revising skills

• Improving writing fluency and skill

When to Use the Strategy:

• In all stages of writing

• When crafting research papers, essays and creative writing assignments

How to Use, Differentiate or Adapt:

The POWER strategy should be used in all formal writing assignments including essays, short stories and research papers. Planning, organizing, writing, revising and editing (POWER) is a recursive process. Recursive means using a rule or procedure that it can be applied repeatedly. POWER doesn’t necessarily have to be applied in a linear fashion. For instance a student may use the entire POWER process to complete an analytical essay; however, the student may go back to the organizing and revising stages or editing stage multiple times in a different order than when applied the first time.

POWER is easy to differentiate or adapt and it should be tailored to the students needs. The first stage can take many forms including a free-write, an outline, a discussion, or a “rough rough” draft. As writers develop, they begin to understand what works best for them; however, it is important to stretch as a writer and occasionally try something in a new or different than usual. Some writing, such as journal entries, will not go through the entire process of POWER!



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