1. Free writing
2. Brainstorming/ Listing
3. Clustering/ Mapping
4. Journalistic questions
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Pre-Writing Strategies
• First stage of the writing process
• Helps us discover our initial ideas about a
subject and put them on paper, though not
usually in organized form
Common Pre-Writing Strategies
4. Journalistic Questions
• Jotting down all ideas on a particular topic on
paper even before researching about it
• Does not require complete sentences, proper
spelling, or correct punctuation and grammar
• About 10 to 15 minutes to write everything
that comes to mind even if it doesn’t
necessarily make sense yet.
Example (Freewriting of a student who needs to write a
paper about the environment):
I have to write a paper about the environment. I have no idea
where to start! I know there are many problems with the
environment, but I don’t know much about this topic. Maybe
I could take a look at my biology book to come up with some
ideas. I know my biology professor is also really into the
environment, so maybe I could ask for his help. I remember
he was talking about hybrid cars in class the other day and
how much better those are for the environment. What is a
hybrid car? I know it uses some sort of alternative fuel and
they are becoming very popular. Maybe that is something I
could write about…
• Capturing all thoughts, ideas, and fragments
in one’s head and writing them down on
• Similar to freewriting, but:
Freewriting = paragraph
Brainstorming = list
Example (Brainstorming of a student who needs to
write a paper about the environment):
a. Placing the general subject in a circle in the
middle of a blank sheet of paper
b. Draw other lines or circles that shoot out
from the original topic.
c. Grouping the ideas that seem to go together
Example (Clustering of a student who needs to write a
paper on the value of a college education)
4. Journalistic Questions
• Asking and answering who, what, when,
where, why, and how questions about the
• Especially useful when describing a event or
writing an information report/essay
Example (Questions of a student who needs to write a report
on the political conflict in the Middle East):
• Who is involved in the conflict?
• What issues most clearly divide those engaged in this
• When did the troubles in the Middle East begin, and how
have they developed over time?
• Where does the conflict seem most heated or violent?
• Why have those living in this area found it so difficult to
resolve the situation?
• How might this conflict be resolved?
• Save all of your prewriting work.
• Your prewriting will look very different from
your final work.