Competent writers are able to manage their writing tasks efficiently. Knowledge of the writing process and reflection on one's own writing cans contribute to developing the necessary competence in academic writing.

Some theory to start with...

Academic writing involves several overlapping phases. The length of the phases varies individually, but they end in the order given. Thus, the discovery phase can last until shortly before the end of the revision phase, but no longer.

Reading, writing and speaking are basic activities of academic text production that serve different purposes. Thus, writing can be used to gain new insights. Texts written for the purpose of gaining new knowledge are usually NOT part of the text to be submitted. Each phase has its own characteristics. Each one makes specific demands on the writer. How writers react to these demands varies greatly from individual to individual. What is easy for one person is a challenge for another. The fact is: many roads lead to the goal. We support you in finding your own way!

(red star) The assumption is: If you can determine your position in the process (phase and time), you can specifically choose the action that is necessary for working on the next subtask in the writing project. Therefore, first check where you stand in the process, then click on the relevant section to access the section stored there.

Each phase has its own characteristics and contains typical actions. Which actions are appropriate for you in a situation depends on your previous knowledge and your type of writer.

The cascade model maps the process of academic and scientific text production by describing phases and actions. Depending on the type of writing, the representation varies. For example, a publication phase for student theses is generally superfluous (but there are exceptions here too!). Those who write a monograph as part of their doctorate go through a differently structured process than in the case of a cumulative doctorate. This is why you can download three variants as pdf files here (but just in German – we work on a translation):

  • The "Cascade Model of Scientific Text Production, Type: Article/Monograph" contains a summary of the characterisations of phases and actions (pdf Cascade model>Article DIN A4).
  • The "Cascade model of scientific text production, type: academic writing" corresponds to the descriptions of the type "article/monograph" except for the publication phase.
  • The "Cascade model of scientific text production, type: cumulative dissertation" visualises the processes that are run through in this type of text production (pdf Cascade model>cumulative dissertation DIN A4).

Kaskadenmodell wissenschaftlicher Textproduktion

Institutional speech act domaine

Academic text production


Discovery phase

Data collection and analysis phase

Text production phase

Revision phase

Completion phase

Examination phase

Publication phase




Knowledge generating actions

Reading texts by other authors

Epistemic-heuristic writing

Data collecting and preparing

Data analysing

Product-oriented actions

Formulating one's own text

Reading texts by other authors

Reading one's own text


… with Supervisors

… with Peers


Knorr, Dagmar (2016): Modell „Phasen und Handlungen akademischer Textproduktion“. Eine Visualisierung zur Beschreibung von Textproduktionsprojekten. In: Ballweg, Sandra (Hrsg.): Schreibzentrumsarbeit: Theorie, Empirie, Praxis. Frankfurt/Main u. a.: Lang [Wissen – Kompetenz – Text; 11], 251–273

(info) How to cite this page

Knorr, Dagmar (2020): The Writing Process. Wiki "Schreiben im Studium | Academic Writing". Leuphana University Lüneburg. <>

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