5 Best Prewriting Strategies

It is easy to  write if you do some prewriting exercises to get started. The main objective of Prewriting Strategies is to warm up your brain before you write.

These are some of the best Prewriting Strategies to get your students started with writing 

Prewriting Strategy #1 Brainstorming / Listing

Brainstorming is a good way to generate a lot of  ideas on a subject. The main purpose of a brainstorming activity is to come up with a list of as many ideas as possible without worrying too much about how you will use them.

If you are brainstorming ideas in groups, one group can act as scribe while other team member generate ideas.

To brainstorm, follow these steps:

  1. Begin generating ideas about a broad topic.
  2. Write as many ideas as you can in ten minutes or so.
  3. Group the ideas that go together.
  4. Cross the ideas that don’t belong.

Prewriting Strategy #2 Clustering or Mapping

if you prefer to work with information visually, clustering might the ideal strategy for you

Clustering  is a technique to generate ideas  and show the connection between ideas using circles and lines.

To use the clustering technique, follow these steps

  1. Write the main in the center of a piece of paper and draw a circle around it
  2. Write as many ideas as you can in circles around the main cirle
  3. Connect the ideas to main cirle using lines
  4. Write more ideas and repeat this process as you see necessary.

Prewriting Strategy #3 Free Writing

Free-writing is a process of generating a lot of information by writing non-stop. 

Free-writing  is characterized by writers writing:

  1. as many ideas as they can
  2. as fast as they can
  3. Writing without worrying about mistakes

To use the free-writing strategy, follow these steps

  1. Write the topic of your choice at the top of the page.
  2. Start writing as much as you can and as fast as you can during ten minutes or so without worry about mistakes
  3. Read your freewriting and see if the ideas you developed can be used for a paragraph.

Prewriting Strategy #4  Journalist’s Questions

When you are writing, you have to consider these six questions to explore your topic.

These are the questions that journalist ask themselves when writing a story.

  • Who?
  • What?
  • Where?
  1. When?
  2. Why?
  3. How?

These questions can generate a lot of information about a topic very quickly but you need to learn how to ask the right questions.

Prewriting Strategy #5 Outlining

Creating an outline is a task that most learners avoid despite outlines being useful to write a consistent piece of writing.

An outline allows a writer to:

  • categorize the main points
  • organize the paragraphs into an order that makes sense
  • make sure that each paragraph can be fully developed.

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Manuel Campos, English Professor

Manuel Campos

I am Jose Manuel, English professor and creator of EnglishPost.org, a blog whose mission is to share lessons for those who want to learn and improve their English