Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The First Step: Pre-Writing

Writing anything takes place through a process, whether we realize this or not. Some may follow different patterns at different times while they write, but over the next few months, we'll be talking about some tips for you to possibly use during your own writing process.

There's no way around it: when you've got something to write, you've got to start somewhere. Below are some strategies you can use to start pre-writing for your next project.

We've probably all heard this term before. When brainstorming, try making a list of key words, phrases, and questions about your topic. Ask yourself: What do I want to talk about? What else do I need to know? What do I want my readers to get from this? This is a great way to help generate content for your work. 

Whether you type or handwrite your ideas, getting them out into words is what's important. Don't worry about proper grammar or complete sentences here--write down any information that is connected to your topic that you feel is important, and let the ideas flow. You can always organize them later. While brainstorming generally looks like a list when complete, freewriting takes on more of a loose paragraph form. 

Talking It Out
While some may like to pre-write alone, it can be very helpful to talk to others about your ideas. Tell a friend or classmate what your writing is about, and ask them what they think. Talking to someone else about your topic can develop more ideas than you might expect. And don't forget, EIU's Writing Center is always a great place to talk!

Visit Purdue OWL Online for more information about getting started with your writing. 


  1. Great points. All too often people don't take advantage of the Writing Center for talking about their ideas. Sessions can be used as a form of verbal brainstorming/peer review, and those conferences can be a lot of fun because you're just generating ideas.

    Some people describe freewriting and "talking it out" in this way: "Free your mind, and the ideas will follow."

  2. Very good article, all these factors you mentioned are very important to start writing.