Prewriting

The purpose of prewriting is to generate an abundance of raw material and notes that will give you some strategies for writing your first draft. For most students, starting a draft too soon, without the results of the prewriting phase, leads to poorly constructed writing that often contains weak generalities. Papers tend to reflect superficial treatment of the assignment. Prewriting is not an isolated event; it is the way to look ahead to drafting and revising, enabling a piece of writing to grow.

Prewriting is a systematic thinking process that helps you probe what you will write. Prewriting techniques help you determine the rhetorical approach to take and how to plan for implementing it. Prewriting planning enables you to explore a topic from different perspectives, engage your imagination and creativity, discover original ideas, and perceive not-so-obvious relationships between and among ideas.

  • Prewriting consists of gathering research, developing a position, organizing the material, and understanding the audience or assignment.

  • Deficiencies in the prewriting phase can lead to a poorly conceived paper.

Student Services: 1616 McCormick Drive, Largo, MD 20774
Mailing Address: 3501 University Blvd. East, Adelphi, MD 20783

Copyright © 2011 University of Maryland University College (UMUC). All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without prior written permission of the copyright holder.

All links to external sites were verified at the time of publication. UMUC is not responsible for the validity or integrity of information located at external sites.