Prewriting activities help you generate and refine paper-topic ideas. Most writers begin with only a vague or superficial idea of what they want to write about. There are a wide variety of prewriting activities that can help you move forward from your first-impulse writing ideas to a well-defined topic that addresses the requirements of the assignment, audience need, and appropriately assesses the scope of coverage. These activities can be combined and customized to fit your personal working style and the needs of the assignment.
It helps you put your thought out onto the paper on what you want to write about. Writers usually begin with a clear idea of audience, content and the importance of their communication; sometimes, one of these needs to be clarified for the best communication.
Choosing a topic[ edit ] One important task in prewriting is choosing a topic and then narrowing it to a length that can be covered in the space allowed. Another way to find a topic is to freewritea method first popularized by Peter Elbow.
When freewriting, you write any and every idea that comes to mind. This could also be a written prewriting activity by clustering methods of your current knowledge of a broad topic, with the idea that you are looking for a narrow topic to write about.
Often freewriting is timed. Several other methods of choosing a topic overlap with another broad concern of prewriting, that of researching or gathering information. Reading  is effective in both choosing and narrowing a topic and in gathering information to include in the writing.
As a writer reads other works, it expands ideas, opens possibilities and points toward options for topics and narrates specific content for the eventual writing. One traditional method of tracking the content read is to create annotated note cards with one chunk of information per card.
Writers also need to document music, photos, web sites, interviews, and any other source used to prevent plagiarism. Besides reading what others also make original observations relating to a topic. This requires on-site visits, experimentation with something, or finding original or primary historical documents.
Writers interact with the setting or materials and make observations about their experience. For strong writing, particular attention should be given to sensory details what the writer hears, tastes, touches, smells and feels.
While gathering material, often writers pay particular attention to the vocabulary used in discussing the topic. This would include slang, specific terminology, translations of terms, and typical phrases used.
The writer often looks up definitions, synonyms and finds ways that different people use the terminology. Lists, journals, teacher-student conference, drawing illustrations, using imagination, restating a problem in multiple ways, watching videos, inventorying interests  — these are some of the other methods for gathering information.
Discussing information[ edit ] After reading and observing, often writers need to discuss material.
They might brainstorm with a group or topics or how to narrow a topic. Or, they might discuss events, ideas, and interpretations with just one other person.
Oral storytelling might enter again, as the writer turns it into a narrative, or just tries out ways of using the new terminology. Sometimes writers draw or use information as basis for artwork as a way to understand the material better.
For example, a personal narrative of five pages could be narrowed to an incident that occurred in a thirty-minute time period. This restricted time period means the writer must slow down and tell the event moment by moment with many details.
By contrast, a five-page essay about a three-day trip would only skim the surface of the experience. The writer must consider again the goals of communication — content, audience, importance of information — but add to this a consideration of the format for the writing. He or she should consider how much space is allowed for the communication and how What can be effectively communicated within that space?
Outlining in a hierarchical structure is one of the typical strategies, and usually includes three or more levels in the hierarchy.Prewriting: Clustering by Melanie Dawson & Joe Essid (printable version here) Clustering is a type of pre-writing that allows a writer to explore many ideas as soon as they occur to them.
Like brainstorming or free associating, clustering allows a writer to begin without clear ideas. The term “pre-writing” conjures up a lot of strange activities and practices.
You’ve probably tried many different prewriting strategies in the past, and may have a . Prewriting Strategies Worksheet Prewriting is the process of planning and outlining information so that you can write effectively regarding your topic.
This worksheet includes prewriting strategies such as clustering/mind mapping, brainstorming, freewriting, and questioning. Prewriting is the first stage of the writing process, typically followed by drafting, revision, editing and publishing.
   Prewriting can consist of a combination of outlining, diagramming, storyboarding, clustering (for a technique similar to clustering, see mindmapping).
Help your students get a head start before they write with any of these six methods for prewriting. Brainstorming.
Brainstorming is an activity with which most people are familiar. The object in brainstorming is to compile as large a list as possible of potential examples for a given topic. Cluster Mapping. Cluster mapping.
Prewriting is the process of generating ideas for a writing assignment. Coming up with - and writing down - useful ideas for an essay before writing it are important for a strong, focused essay.