During the intensive write up of the first version of my PhD thesis in 2013 I developed a structure for a writing process. For me, writing is a directional loop process. With each loop I polish the text and images at different levels from the most general one to the most detailed. It requires going back and rereading/rewriting the text – hence the loops. I liked working with five loops (or stages):
1. Fast first draft. Can be dirty, ungrammatical and with information gaps.
2. Facts. Making sure the data, information and references are complete, correct and relevant.
3. Truing. I borrowed this term from sewing terminology. It means checking whether two adjoining pieces of fabric match in shape, size and length. So in writing ‘truing’ is checking whether the text matches throughout all the sections. For example, are questions and hypotheses posed in an intro answered in results and discussion?
4. Flow. Are the ideas presented in a clear and logical order?
5. Combing. Making the text and figures neat. Correct grammar, spelling and wording.