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com140_week1_reading2 - Fundamentals of Writing Part Two...

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Fundamentals of Writing, Part Two: What To Do When You Are Ready to Write Prewriting: Types of Prewriting Techniques After you complete the initial steps in the planning process, you can now pick up a pen or go to your keyboard to start prewriting. Prewriting is an informal way of writing down initial thoughts about your writing subject. There are many different types of prewriting techniques, including the following: Freewriting : You have a topic to write about, and you have answered the five questions in the planning stage, but when you sit down to prewrite, nothing comes to mind. The best advice is just start freewriting. Ask yourself the 5 w’ s and 1 h : Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? Or, write about anything you can think of for a period of time (say, 10 minutes) or to a certain length (perhaps one entire page) to start your thoughts flowing. Connect a word to a previous word or to another word it suggests, or take off on a tangent that comes to mind. Keep at it—without stopping to reread, edit, or judge—even if you have to write the same word over and over. Freewriting has been described as using a fire hose to wash out the ideas in your head. This type of prewriting technique can give you access to insights and ideas you didn’t realize you had. Brainstorming : Brainstorming is similar to freewriting, but it is more compressed and focused. This technique also involves writing without stopping. The goal is to generate ideas about your assignment’s subject without any thought to organization. The tricky part is not stopping to correct the paper or to take a break. Just keep writing for the time allotted or until the page is full. Clustering or Mind-Mapping : This technique shows the relationship between ideas through drawing. You begin with your general topic in the middle of a page and draw a circle around it. From there, you draw lines—or branches—to show connections to more specific, supporting ideas. Listing : This technique involves making a list of your ideas. These ideas are usually short notes on your thoughts and may appear similar to an outline. Examples of Prewriting Suppose you are in a writing class, and your instructor has just asked you to write a paper explaining how to build a Web site. Your prewriting techniques might look similar to the following examples: Freewriting
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Brainstorming Clustering or Mind-Mapping Buy a domain name (determine domain name first). Then decide on the type of Web site you want to build. View other people’s Web sites to get ideas. The biggest part is actually designing the site. Take a Web site design class or buy a software program that is easy to manage. Or you can also just use the sites on the Internet that provide tools for you. Some of them cost money, and the ones that are free use ads or won’t let you have a unique domain name. Start easy: build only a few pages. Make site attractive to others and easy to use. When finished, edit your site. Then test it. Finally, publish it.
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