The process of writing is rarely straightforward. When we write an essay, we have to revise and edit our text many times to arrive at a version that will resonate with our audience. To do this, we have to meet all the necessary conditions. And we have to revise it again and again until all the conditions are met. The conditions are clarity, coherence, diction, comprehensibility. With many iterations, which can also be called versions, we get the chance to better adapt our message to the needs of our target audience.
Iterative writing is very useful in many different cases, whether it is in academia, where we need to make sure that our research community or perhaps our students get a comprehensive picture of the topic we are trying to convey to them. It may be in marketing, where we create different iterations as we explain different features of the product to make sure our buyers understand the full potential of our product. Or we may be writing for a general or professional audience and are very concerned that they really understand what we are trying to convey to them. In a word, we teach ourselves and our audience more through iterative writing.
Writing as an iterative process
The goal of the iterative process is to improve our writing skills, ensure that the target audience acquires the knowledge we are trying to impart to them, and use that knowledge to reflect on what we have tried to explain.
To be effective, we need to understand the iterative nature of the writing process.
Writers usually write using the principle of sequential writing process. Sequential writing process means that you plan, draft, revise, edit and publish your text. For this reason, we will explain the iterative writing process through the prism of the sequential process, focusing mainly on the first four steps.
The iterative part is repeating these steps over and over until we get all the different written versions we need. This process may seem time consuming, but with the right approach it can also be quick and fun. Read on to learn how you can do it in just a few minutes.
The steps of the writing process
First, we need to plan our writing. We need to research the topic, gather information, and organize our thoughts and materials.
Second, we need to create an outline. We outline the topic and weave in the ideas we came up with in the first step. We combine the various ideas into a single unit and do not pay too much attention to grammatical errors.
Third, we need to review and revise the text. This is where we decide which parts of our text, ideas, etc. – we want to leave in our draft and which we want to delete. We start paragraph by paragraph and continue with sentences until all the parts of our writing are coherently connected.
Next, we edit the text. This is usually the most important part of the writing process – it literally determines our chances of success. We might need to explain something more clearly, or add more details. Sometimes we rewrite entire sentences or paragraphs. Sometimes we even return to the previous stage and refocus on reviewing and revising the last version of the text. Editing is usually the most demanding part and is often done in iterations.
We cannot really hire a human editor for this job, because we need ideas quickly – basically in real time. Also, we want to improve our text in iterations and no one except us knows more details than we do. If the help was available in real time, our text would gradually converge to high quality writing with clear and effective messages.
There is a solution to obtain intelligent assistance in real time – the smart editor! Read on to learn more about it.
At this point, we would normally consider our writing ready for final proofreading. But with iterative writing, we try to cover as many angles as possible, so we repeat the process. We do this by going back over our writing. By looking at our topic from a different angle, we gain valuable new ideas and deeper insight into ourselves. We incorporate these new ideas into our new draft and create another iteration in which we cover the topic in more detail and from a different angle.
Different iterations can be used for different occasions or simultaneously for different audiences. It depends on our goals and needs – and also on the nature of our target audience.
There are two other phases, usually less interesting. In the proofreading phase, we read our text again. This time we check our spelling and grammar and think about word usage. Again, with smart editing tools, this is no longer difficult. Finally, we correct the errors we discovered earlier and make various minor changes and corrections.
Our target audience is the most important asset, along with the quality of our iterations. We need to keep them in mind all the time. Different audiences are interested in different things. We absolutely have to think about who we are writing for and what they already know, and then use language they understand.
If we are writing for an academic audience, we may need to pay close attention to detail and take a more analytical approach. The different writing styles can be adapted to the different levels of knowledge of our audience, and can also serve as our own workbook that we use to deepen our knowledge of the subject.
When we are marketing, we need to consider the different situations our buyers are in and when they need our product or the different features our product offers.
It is also important that we do not forget the general public, which can consist of both professionals and individuals. A simple example of writing professionals is writing cover letters where we need different iterations for different jobs. Or if we are private individuals writing invitations for a birthday party and need different versions for adults and others for children.
Adapt to our audience
It is important to remember that iterative writing is an adaptation that guides a writer’s stylistic and content decisions as they write. We may be writing for different audiences at the same time, or we may be writing for only one audience. And here we must adapt our language to the interests, skill levels, attitudes, and beliefs of our audience.
Using a tool for iterative writing
The best tools for iterative writing are the ones that save you time. There are digital tools that help you write different versions of a text, and others that automatically edit your text to save you extra time.
The best solution is to combine the best of both worlds and get a smart editing tool that also helps with iterative writing.
InstaText: a natural tool for iterative writing
InstaText is the first intelligent tool that has iterative writing built in naturally. The re-edit button in the middle represents the idea that texts can be improved in iterations to get the message across in the most effective way. InstaText maximizes readability and comprehensibility, improving and enriching the content in the process.
InstaText edits and corrects our texts using sophisticated artificial intelligence technology, making our communication understandable and easy to follow.
In addition to the overall ease of use of this tool, we can get new text iterations by re-editing and re-improving our texts, paragraphs or sentences. Usually, it is best to use paragraphs for this purpose when you create a draft. This way, you get many different drafts or iterations that you can merge into one final draft with minimal effort.
“I am a translator and proofreader by profession and have tried many editing tools. It’s not an exaggeration to say that all the other apps I’ve used so far don’t come close to InstaText. It is literally innovative and revolutionary and has taken the editing game to a new level, leaving other competitors in the dust.”
— Dr. Ghodrat Hassani, Researcher in Translation Studies
“This tool is outstanding, exceeded my expectations. I’m used to using Grammarly but InstaText is a more thorough tool and comes up with much better suggestions for rewrites. A game changer for editing.”
— Stephan Skovlund, Business Consultant
“I work in marketing, where I also do a lot of content creation, so InstaText and I have become good friends. It helps me polish my English texts every day at work. Not only is it a proofreading tool, but it also makes the text sound better. The AI behind it works great. I used to use Grammarly, but InstaText does a better job for me.”
— Barbara Viskovic, Marketing and Public Relations Specialist
Photos by InstaText, Anna Alexes, Andrea Piacquadio, Vanessa Garcia, and Pavel Danilyuk.