Highline Community College

 Bldg 26  Rm 319i

Highline Writing Center

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The Writing Spiral

The Writing Spiral symbolizes what the most important aspects of a paper are. We use this concept in our sessions in order to have a clear focus on the parts of the paper that need the most attention:

*Image from Integralworld, 2011
 Assignment Guidelines:
       Assignment guidelines are at the top of the spiral because they are the most important. If you don't answer the prompt question, then the whole focus of the essay isn't on point.

       Having a clear and concise thesis in an academic essay is second most important on the spiral because it focuses your paper and clearly presents your purpose and the overall point you are making and supporting in your essay.

       Focus and unity in any type of paper helps send out a clear message. It allows the reader to stay with you from the beginning to the end of a topic. Without focus and unity, the reader cannot see the purpose and direction of a paper.

Supporting Points & Evidence:
       Without supporting points, your argument and claim aren't as strong. Having strong supporting points helps to build your argument, and having evidence backs up those points. In your writing, consider using multiple sources and types of evidence such as personal examples, articles, books, and professional resources.  Types of evidence will vary depending on the purpose, context, and audience of the paper.

       Organization allows your paper to flow from point to point. It helps present your arguments clearly and in an order the reader would comprehend and possibly be persuaded by..

       Citing all quotes, summaries, and paraphrases from your sources is crucial.  It gives credit where it's due and provides a pathway for your reader's further research.  It's important to learn how to formate your citations correctly. For help on APA citations, click here. For help with MLA citations, click here.

       Grammar is the last item on the spiral, not because it's not important, but because it becomes important only after higher level concerns are addressed.  Once the purpose, focus, support, organization, and documentation are clear, editing for grammar and surface errors becomes more relevant and important. 

For more information, contact us:
Building 26, Room 319i
(206) 878-3710 ext. 4364
Rosemary Adang, Director