Step 1:  Prewriting




        To investigate and practice pre-writing techniques and strategies




        To demonstrate more effective pre-writing and planning through the use of systematic pre-writing methods



  1. Print this essay topic list.  Do not read it right now!  You can use these topics to practice elements of the writing process, including pre-writing.

  2. If you have done a practice writing recently:  How much time and effort did you spend thinking about, and writing notes on, your topic BEFORE you actually began to write your piece?

  3. If you have not done a practice writing recently:  In a 30 minute block of time, complete a sample writing on the first topic on the list.  Note how much time and effort you spent thinking about, and writing notes on, your topic BEFORE you actually began to write your piece.

New Instruction:

  1. Read the following article on the benefits and types of pre-writing activities

  2. To practice these techniques, complete at least four exercises (free-writing, brainstorming, mind mapping, lists/outline) at the bottom of this page.  Use a writing topic (or topics) from the list.  Be sure to read all directions for each technique before practicing it. Guides/rough_drafts.htm

 Feedback and Review:


Use the pre-writing technique you find most helpful for two classroom writings.  Afterwards, show your notes to your instructor for feedback and discussion.  

        How did using these techniques affect your writing experience? 

        How will your writing change when you begin with more pre-writing exercise?


Transfer of Knowledge or Skills:


1.      Notice when you use pre-writing strategies in everyday life, for example, grocery lists, notes to family members, etc.

2.      Practice using these strategies for writing formal letters and for planning discussions, meetings, etc. 

3.      How does being thoughtful and organized BEFORE these activities change the outcome?


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