My purpose: ____________________________________________ My audience: ____________________________________________ When selecting a topic, you may want to consider something that interests you or something based on your own life and personal experiences.
Even everyday observations can lead to interesting topics.
Although many more prewriting strategies exist, this chapter covers six: using experience and observations, freewriting, asking questions, brainstorming, mapping, and searching the Internet.
Using the strategies in this chapter can help you overcome the fear of the blank page and confidently begin the writing process.
As you continue to follow the writing process, you will see how Mariah uses critical reading skills to assess her own prewriting exercises.
Freewriting is an exercise in which you write freely about any topic for a set amount of time (usually three to five minutes).After you choose a topic, critical reading is essential to the development of a topic.While reading almost any document, you evaluate the author’s point of view by thinking about the main idea and the support.The steps in the writing process may seem time consuming at first, but following these steps will save you time in the future.The more you plan in the beginning by reading and using prewriting strategies, the less time you may spend writing and editing later because your ideas will develop more swiftly.Prewriting strategies depend on your critical reading skills.Reading prewriting exercises (and outlines and drafts later in the writing process) will further develop your topic and ideas.When faced with a blank page, however, experienced writers remind themselves that writing, like other everyday activities, is a process.Every process, from writing to cooking to bike riding to learning to use a new cell phone will get significantly easier with practice.Later you will learn more prewriting strategies that will narrow the focus of the topic.In addition to understanding that writing is a process, writers also understand that choosing a good general topic for an assignment is an essential step.