In order to develop an essay, you may need to bring in additional experiences, observations, and thoughts-information that reflects not only your specific experiences, but also the general human experience. An essay always uses your own personal insights and thoughts as its basis, but it also broadens out so that those thoughts have relevance for others. (dave barry's syndicated newspaper columns provide a good example. I'm thinking of one essay in particular that described his experience with a new wood toilet, the kind that doesn't use much water and thus doesn't flush very well. He used his own experience as the basis for a broader reflection on problems with modern technology and problems with legislation, things that most adults can relate to in some way.). So, how do you work with your prewriting to make that shift from self to subject? Review it to identify the various main ideas that are embedded in the prewriting. Write the ideas in thesis form. That is, make an assertion that explains your own insight or idea about the topic, and write that assertion in complete sentence form.
The point of prewriting is to record an array of thoughts so that you have a pool to draw from for your essay. You may have recorded a mish-mash of information and ideas. I know that I think of my prewriting as a splatter. My prewriting tends to be the stuff that's in my head that I just have to spill out on paper (okay, so i have messy stuff going on in my head). The task then becomes to sort through that stuff, choosing some pieces and discarding others, so that I'm moving from a hodgepodge of information to a focus that I can develop and support for an essay. In essence, to work with prewriting, you need to move from self to subject. As important as each piece of prewriting is in helping you identify ideas for writing, a prewriting entry alone may not provide enough information to write a whole essay. Prewriting is confined only to your own experiences, observations, and thoughts.
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You want to work quickly without rushing. Review your initial map by thinking about how each idea connects to the main word. Connect concepts, and organize the ideas by level of importance or where they fight fall in your essay or paper. Continue prewriting by reworking and organizing the map until you can generate a working review outline from. Prewriting strategy #4: using listing and outlining. By creating an outline or list as a prewriting exercise, you are putting ideas that relate to your essay topic into a more organized structure. You can do this as your main prewiring strategy, or you can use what you developed in one of the other strategies.
For listing, create a list of areas within your topic while using parallel structure for consistency. Create a hierarchy of what is in your list by creating levels and sublevels based on importance. Make sure to keep areas that are of equal importance listed at the same level. From the list you create, you can create a working outline on which to base your next steps. Regardless of the prewriting strategy you use, use this process to narrow and define your topic and prepare you for writing your essay. At the end of the prewriting phase, you should be able to develop a working outline from which you create your first draft.
Do not stop and examine what you write. Write freely and quickly to write down everything that comes to mind. When your allotted time is up, go back to look at your initial summary sentence for your essay topic. Change the summary based on any key ideas or thoughts that might have shifted, narrowed or defined your topic even more. Take your prewriting thoughts and put them into a working outline. Prewriting strategy #3: making a mental map.
Making a mental map as a way to engage in prewriting involves using a piece of blank paper or a chalk board. Start by writing down the most important word or phrase you associate with your topic. Draw a circle around it to which you can make connecting lines. Think of ideas that can branch off. Draw as many connections as possible, connecting ideas with lines to create a map while also leaving plenty of white space to grow your map. Erase, and rework the map as necessary throughout this prewriting process, but avoid spending too much time thinking on any one topic.
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Ask questions, and answer them if you can. The main idea is to write for the full amount of restaurant time without worrying about grammar and word choice; just put your shakespeare ideas down to pick from and organize afterword. Once you are done brainstorming, look over the information you wrote down, and look for main ideas that stand out or words or ideas that you can develop into individual aspects of your topic to develop into a working outline. Prewriting strategy #2: focusing your freewriting. Like with brainstorming, freewriting requires you to set about 5-15 minutes for the prewriting process. Prior to beginning, summarize your topic into one sentence. Once the clock starts for your freewriting session, do not stop writing.
narrows and defines your topic. There are several ways you can approach prewriting. The goal, however, is the same with each approach: to hone in on the specifics of your topic, and discover the structure and presentation of how you want your essay or paper to look. Prewriting gets you organized, but before employing any of the below strategies, focus mentally by clearing your mind and removing distractions. Prewriting strategy #1: brainstorming, give yourself anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes to write freely. Before you start this prewriting exercise, write or type one sentence that summarizes your topic. Keep any research you have already conducted in mind, and start freewriting. Write down everything that comes to mind about your topic.
There are many different prewriting techniques, and they appeal to different types of thinkers. It is not necessary to use the same prewriting technique all the time; different types of writing, in fact, may benefit more from one of the particular prewriting techniques listing below. Freewriting Writing about the topic continuously and without self-censorship or concern for spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Clustering (Mapping) Using a diagram to arrange and connect points related to the topic. Questioning Producing a series of questions related to the topic. Brainstorming Noting points brought up by discussing the topic with others. Listing Creating a simple vertical list of ideas related to the topic. Outlining Employing an informal version of the traditional writing outline.
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There are a number of different ways the steps summary of the writing process can be defined and sequenced. I prefer the arrangement shown below because it can easily be recalled with the mnemonic device. Prewriting generating ideas about the topic. Organizing Arranging ideas, drafting putting ideas into sentences and paragraphs. Revising rewriting for logic, clarity, and cohesion. Editing Proofreading and correcting spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors. Prewriting is the essential first step to the writing process. The goal of prewriting is to generate ideaslots of ideasand access unconscious material. Thus it is important that the critical mind be turned off during this stage of the writing process.