Five Prewriting Strategies for Essay Writing

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Prewriting can be defined as organizing and formulating ideas before writing. It is the starting phase of the writing process and it is at this stage that a writer explores and puts their idea on paper. This process will help a writer create an organized outline containing potential topics or ideas that will be the body of her work. Learning prewriting strategies will assist the writer in fine-tuning the process.

1 Brainstorming

Picking a topic that inspires and interests you as a writer positively influences the overall quality of the end product. Make a list of topics that you can comfortably write about and number them for easier reference. Leave spaces between the individual topics and add any other relevant ideas that arise and create a coherent outline. Choose the appropriate subject by selecting a topic which has generated the most ideas.

2 Free Writing

This is a type of brainstorming that involves jotting down all the thoughts you have on a specific topic. Write everything that you think about the topic for at least 10 minutes, without worrying about the sentence structures, grammar or punctuation. Note down the reason why you chose this topic and what is so interesting about it. Free writing provides the writer with an opportunity of focusing on the actual content of the paper without worrying about producing a polished piece.

3 Clustering

Cluster your written ideas visually using graphic designs in creating a logic structure. Draw a circle containing the main idea in the middle and then sketch other smaller circles containing the supporting issues that relate to the main topic. Connect these smaller circles with the main one using a line. Grouping similar ideas together helps you in formulating an organized and cohesive outline. A writer may also use a chain-events graphic organizer by outlining in details the steps of the story or the actions of a certain character.

4 Questioning

Analyze the topic carefully and formulate a variety of questions that relate with the main subject. This generates specific ideas that will guide you during writing. Formulate simple questions and break them down in form of “who,” “where,” “when,” “what” and “how;” for example, “What is the theme of your writing?”

5 Answering

By comprehensively answering all the asked questions, you cover the essential information required for the topic. These answers guide the writer in completing a rough draft of the work.