Try It: Prewriting

Prewriting Activity

To Do

  1. Photo of four hands holding red pencils at each corner of the photo, so that a square is formed in the central negative spaceSelect one of the prewriting activities in this outcome. Set a timer for 10 minutes, and try this activity for that time. Write down whatever comes out.
  2. Reflect on what you’ve written. What jumps out to you as most important? Circle or underline that.
  3. Draft a working thesis statement. For this essay, you will need to identify why you withdrew from your English class initially, and what you will do differently when you return next term. Your working thesis statement, therefore, will answer both of these questions the best way you can, at this point.

Worked Example

Follow along as Julio completes these assignments on the way towards a final draft of his Personal Analysis Essay. Here is what he wrote for this activity:


I hate that I had to stop going to school this month. I thought I could handle it all, and it just turned out I couldn’t. I’ve been working real jobs since I was in high school, and I never had any problems with keeping it all together before. I had girlfriends and everything. When I saw Eduardo get that job working as a production assistant, I thought, hey, I can do that. It sounds kinda boring sometimes but he meets cool people. Sure, it’s been a little while since high school. But he’s no smarter than me, and he’s sure got a better job than I do now.

Turns out I’m totally out of practice. For a couple of weeks I just thought I’d give up. Especially since my girlfriend was giving me such grief about it. But she’s gone now for other reasons, and that’s good. I think keeping up with her was a big part of why I was struggling. Just too much time. I think if school started again right now, and I only had my job and those three classes, no problem.

Working thesis statement

I withdrew from English 020 because I didn’t use my time well, or anticipate how much time school would take. Next semester I’ll plan ahead better, and not have so many demands on my time overall.