Composing a strong essay starts from prewriting steps
Prewriting, as its name suggests is the first stage of the writing process. As a tool it is a very successful and beneficial process to enable gathering ideas prior to writing a first draft.
Make sure that you know exactly what the assignment entails. Are the instructions explicit or do you need further information or clarification?
Now you need to make some decisions.
- What are you going to write about? Within the confines of the assignment remit, what interests you?
- What is the purpose of this writing? Do you need to inform?; amuse? explain? describe? persuade?
- What type of writing are you going to do? an essay? report? poem? review?
- Who will be reading your work? your tutor? peers?
Once you have worked through the questions you will have a clearer idea of your project and can start the planning stage of your writing. The planning stage can be supported by any of the following activities
You are then ready to start organizing your ideas and notes in to a logical order (use a note book, not scraps of paper - it will save time as you won’t be searching around for lost notes). Its is a good idea to use a chart or table to organise all the information you have collected. Once you have completed that, you are ready to start building an outline and your first draft
Six Prewriting Steps:
- What are you going to write? How can you answer the question? What will you use as an introductory sentence and what facts support this sentence? How are you going to make this more interesting to hold your audience? Do you need more facts and where can you find them?
- Using the notebook that you are dedicating to this topic, make notes to remind you of your decisions and how you will write your project.
- Research and collect facts that you need explicitly for the topic make a note of where you found them (book, document etc.)
- Write your own ideas on the topic and why the topic may be important to your readers.
- focus on the main point that you want to share. There may be more than one point. Try to be disciplined and write one point to one paragraph.
- Development of the main focus of your topic, and decide on the best way to present this to your reader - what facts do you have (in your notebook) to support this focus, and what order are you going to use to present your focus. Make notes on your thought processes to guide you to your first draft.