6 Prewriting Strategies to Get Your Essay Done

by Samantha Smiles   Google
Prewriting Strategies to Get Your Essay Done

Why is prewriting important? It is clear that prewriting is an important stage which facilitates the process of essay writing. Many students use plans to make writing easier. However, there are other prewriting strategies which you might find helpful and relevant.

The Journalists' Questions

The first prewriting strategy is called The Journalists' Questions. Why is this strategy called so? Generally, the journalists use the following questions such as "Who", "What", "Where", "When", "Why", "How" while preparing their papers. These questions are also called 5W's and 1 H. It may happen that the topic question won't answer all the six question. The most important issue is to test whether these questions are applicable to the assignment topic or not. Some the questions will be less or more emphasized according to the nature of the issue. The questions to be asked are the following: "Who are the main and secondary heroes of the story?", "What is the issue and what is so significant about it?", "Where does the issue take place or what is the source of the problem?", "Why did the problem arise in such a way?", "How can it be solved?"

Brainstorming Strategy 

Brainstorm all the possible terms on the topic. This strategy is called brainstorming. When all the items are written down, list them properly. The arrangement should make sense to you and reflect adequately the topic issue. You can now form a topic idea or even a thesis statement.


Another common prewriting technique is Free-writing. A Free-writing is a technique with the help of which you get a lot of text by writing for a while without a stop. When you get focused on a particular idea, start developing this idea with a free-writing. It is a kind of automatic writing when you just write and do not edit anything. Start free-writing on a general idea of your assignment topic. If nothing comes to your mind, it doesn`t matter, keep writing. Something will come to your mind while you are free-writing.

Mapping of Ideas

Have you heard about idea mapping? It is quite a common prewriting strategy. Write down tour topic idea and circle it what is next idea which comes to the mind? Put it down and circle again, linking these two ideas. Is this idea subdivided into smaller ones? Put them down and link with the previous idea.


Another prewriting strategy is Looping. This is a kind of a free-writing technique. It is used to get the most appropriate topic for a paper. In general, you will have to make from four to six rounds of looping in order to decide upon the topic idea. So, what is looping about? You start free-write for about five or ten minutes on one of the topic ideas. When you are ready with the first round, read it carefully and circle a sentence or a couple of sentences which you find the most appropriate and relevant to the topic. Then, start another round of looping without making any pauses. Now, you will be writing on one of the ideas that you have previously circled. Repeat looping until you get the specific idea or thesis for your paper. The most important issue is to write quickly and do not edit.

A Little Bit of Philosophy

There is one more prewriting strategy which views an object as a unit that does not change, experience as a wave (a changeable unit), and an idea as a field (relationships between the previous units). An object is a static subject of the issue. This subject may change with time. How, when and why does it change? The field of perspectives shows what will be the consequences for the subject.

Choose one of these essay prewriting strategies which fits you the best and good luck with your paper.