As you prepare to write your first paper, here is a review of some of the ways you can use to generate ideas and to help you find a strong focus as well as strong, sensory details that make a narrative come to life. Watch the videos and think about which might work best for you and use it to help you with your first paper. These techniques also work, of course, when you’re brainstorming ideas for expository essays. Prewriting is the first step of the writing process and the best way you have to prevent the dreaded writer’s block.
1. Review Brainstorming
Brainstorming is a technique of listing as many ideas as possible about your writing topic. The greatest rule of brainstorming is to keep the process as broad and open as possible. This video suggests several things that you DON’T want to do.
2. Review Mindmapping
Mindmapping is similar to brainstorming, but it is much more visual. It allows you to create connections between ideas. It can be a useful step after brainstorming, or it may match your style better if brainstorming seems too random. This video provides a good overview:
3. Review Freewriting
Freewriting is a process of simply writing. It helps you get started and can expand your thinking. Watch this video to learn more about this technique:
4. Choose one of the prewriting techniques (Brainstorming, Mindmapping, Freewriting, or something else?) that best fits your style and use it to help generate ideas for your next paper.