How to Do Semantic Webbing

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Semantic webbing is a method that students can use to organize information from a reading passage or other source as part of the prewriting process. Another term for a semantic web is a graphic organizer; the purpose is to give students a visual sense of the organization of their ideas to help them outline those ideas in their writing. There are several types of semantic webs, including one that describes a character.

  • Pen or pencil
  • Paper

1 Make a circle

Make a circle in the middle of the piece of paper and write the name of the character you want to describe. If you're writing about Willy Wonka, write his name in that circle.

2 Draw lines

Draw lines radiating out from this circle and draw circles at the end of each. You will need one line for each characteristic you want to use; anywhere between four and eight will work for most essays.

3 Insert a trait of your character

Insert a trait of your character in each of those circles. In the case of Willy Wonka, words such as "creative," "whimsical," "compassionate," "odd" and others might go in those circles.

4 Draw two

Draw two lines radiating out from each of those outer circles, and add circles at the end of those lines.

5 Support the trait

Insert details that support the trait to which the circles attach. For example, around "brilliant," you might put details such as "invented the Great Glass Elevator" and "perceived that Charlie should run the factory."

6 Follow your thinking thinking around the web

Follow your thinking around the web as you organize and write your essay.

Leslie Renico's grant-writing career began in 2006 and her grants have brought in millions of dollars for nonprofits serving the poor and providing medical care for the needy. Renico has appeared on television and her articles have appeared in various online publications. She graduated from Saginaw Valley State University with a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice in 1997.