Multi-draft composing: An iterative model for academic argument writing


Academic writing, Composition, Process, Multi-draft, Iterative, ESL


Post-secondary writing teachers in composition and English as a second language (ESL) writing programs are likely familiar with multi-draft composing. Both composition and ESL writing programs share nearly identical multi-draft models despite the very unique and different cultures of each group. We argue that multi-draft composing as it is currently used within second language writing programs can be overwhelming for ESL writers. In this study, we introduce the iterative multi-draft model, a revised and more manageable version of the traditional multi-draft model that can be used specifically with ESL writers to help them master essential writing skills in academic argumentation. A study of 42 compositions written by 14 students over the course of one semester in a North American pre-university intensive English program demonstrates that the new model can be effective. Although no significant improvement was seen in word choice and academic referencing, the iterative model produced a statistical effect on writing scores in three writing skill subcategories (content, organization, and grammar). Additionally, the iterative multi-draft model led to higher writing scores when compared to a traditional multi-draft model. Student perspectives on the model further indicate its relative strengths and weaknesses.

Original Publication Citation

Eckstein, G., McCollum, R., & Chariton, J. (2011). Multi-draft composing: An iterative model for academic argument writing. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 10(3), 162-172.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Elsevier Ltd







University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor