SAHS Academics > English Department Web Site > Philosophy & Mission Statement > Writing--Composing Text
The process of composition involves selecting words and language structures to clearly and concisely convey thoughts. Commonly, we find ourselves at a loss for words. We may say, “I know what I mean, but I can't say it." This is because, as linguistic theory tells us, thoughts are not words; thought are not even the objects to which they refer. Thoughts in fact exist in a context that is unique to each individual. How, one might ask, can anyone know what anyone else means?
The process of composing text--whether it is a written product or something intended to be spoken--involves 1) Identifying purpose, 2) analyzing audience, 3) clarifying thoughts, and 4) finding precise language and language structures to hold those thoughts. Obviously, composing is a very complex job, and often cannot adequately be done in a single try. A process-centered approach to composition encourages students to brainstorm, draft, revise, edit, and make their work public.
The competent writer/ speaker must independently make decisions though the process of composing to clearly convey thoughts for a specific purpose to an audience. Sound instruction in language arts gives students practice in making these composition decisions.