Prewriting: Prewriting is the initial step of forming your ideas and gathering information. Here is where you search for appropriate topics, do research if needed, and write down your ideas. At this stage much of your effort goes into brainstorming or free writing. Don’t worry about forming paragraphs or even complete sentences, simply write down everything that comes to mind. When your topic becomes clear, it is time to move on to the next step. By the end of prewriting you may even have a thesis statement and flexible outline.

What Tutors Say

“I often struggle with the process of writing, particularly invention and then organization. Ideas are like different pieces of a puzzle, and it’s like turning each one over, learning exactly what it looks like, finding where it fits, and then putting it together.”

– Kathleen

“In my own writing, I have found prewriting to be necessary to a quality finished paper. However, I have always found the traditional point-by-point outlining method hard to do. My mind simply does not work that way. Instead, I like to write ideas out on notecards. Then I lay them out on a table or on the floor and organize them that way. This also helps me see how the ideas connect to each other, so I can group them together or see that I am missing an important point in my outline.”

– Nova