Prewriting is everything you do before you begin to draft the paper. Look over an assignment handout, choose and narrow your topic, and assess your audience and purpose. Research is also an important aspect of prewriting.
Before You Start Writing That Paper... A Guide to Prewriting Techniques
- Are you writing a paper and don't know where to start? Even with a clear prompt, a grasp on the material, and lots of ideas, getting started on any paper can be a challenge. All writers face the dilemma of looking at a blank computer screen without having any idea of how to translate their thoughts into a coherent and carefully articulated essay. You may know all about drafting and editing, but how do you get to that first draft? What comes between a blank computer screen and that polished final paper anyway?
- This handout discusses techniques that will help you start writing a paper and continue writing through the challenges of the revising process. Brainstorming can help you choose a topic, develop an approach to a topic, or deepen your understanding of the topic’s potential.
- This page has a list of resources for creating your first draft of your paper.
- This webpage has a list of resources for beginning the writing process, including brainstorming, creating outlines, confronting anxiety, and more.
Pre-Writing Activities and Drafting Your Essay
- This handout covers major topics relating to writing about fiction. This covers prewriting, close reading, thesis development, drafting, and common pitfalls to avoid.
- This handout discusses the situational nature of writer’s block and other writing anxiety and suggests things you can try to feel more confident and optimistic about yourself as a writer.
Writing Task OWL Resource List
- What kind of writing task do you need to complete? The list below will help you pinpoint the OWL’s resources that will be most helpful for you according to the kind of writing you need to accomplish.