PRE WRITING TECHNIQUES Prewriting is the first stage of the writing process, typically followed by drafting, revision, editing and publishing. Elements of prewriting may include planning, research, outlining, diagramming, storyboarding or clustering etc. Prewriting is important because it helps you generate ideas for writing. Some of the prewriting techniques are: 1. Outlining 2. Free Writing 3. Thinking maps 4. Cubing 5. Directed Questioning 6. Note making and note taking 7. Brain storming 8. Clustering 9. Charting 10. Scanning
The detail of each skill along with its examples is given below. 1. Outlining An outline is a document that briefly summarizes the information that will be included in a paper, book, speech, or similar document. It shows the order in which the information will be presented and indicates the relationship of the pieces of information to each other. By making an outline of the document which we begin to write gives us inside of our document. Examples: 1. Suppose a general situation in which a person is given to write an article on a general topic, what should he do after selecting his topic?
Of course he will begin to collect data for his article, now while collecting data, as he read through books and articles, he will create an index card. From each source the gathered information will be put in an index card. That index card will be his outline of that article and that process which he has adopted is outlining. 2. Consider another situation in which you are required to write an essay on your favorite personality (say Quaid-e-Azam). You will make an outline for the material you want to include in the essay. E. g. Birth, early education, higher education, interests, works, death etc. . Free Writing A strategy designed to “free” ideas from your subconscious mind and gets them down on paper. This kind of writing is “free” in another sense; you don’t need to worry about punctuation, correct grammar usage, etc. Your main objective is to write for a sustained period of time (ten to fifteen minutes) without stopping. In this you are free to make mistakes and write whatever you want. Examples: 1. Suppose you are a student and your professor has just given you an assignment. You are required to write a paper about a specific topic, or to come up with a topic of your own.
You begin to panic. “Where do I start? ” you may ask yourself. “How do I begin? ” There is just no need to be worried. Take your pen and start writing each and everything related to that topic. Once you have done this, now just organize the things and note them neatly. 2. Suppose you are an Electrical engineer and you work in an office and your BOSS has assigned you a task to estimate budget plan of constructing a building. Obviously it is not your job but order is order. As it is not your job, you don’t need to be panic and you can write anything that comes in your mind about the assigned task. . Thinking Maps Thinking maps are powerful tools to help you gather ideas and arrange information as you prepare to write for any occasion and purpose. It shows you how the parts of a subject are related. Once a person understands the essentials, “thinking maps” can be like completing a puzzle which is interesting. Examples 1. 2. Condensation Precipitation Evaporation Water vapor, a gas returns to liquid state Liquid water falls as rain, sleet, hail, or snow Liquid water becomes water vapours, a gas| 4. Cubing Cubing is the art of explaining any topic from different perspectives.
Cubing is an excellent tool for rapidly exploring a topic. It reveals quickly what you know and what you don’t know, and it may alert you to decide to narrow or expand your topic. These perspectives may include: 1. Describing to others. 2. Comparing with others. 3. Associating with others. 4. Analyzing it. 5. Its applications and usage. 6. Argue for or against it. Examples 1. If you produce a cosmetic item, you share your production with others, compare it with other cosmetic items, relate it to a good quality item, analyze it either it is costly or not, tell its benefits and at last give arguments in its favor. . If you are a mobile phone dealer, you go to different shops and tell them you sell Nokia or Samsung phones, you compare your items with other mobiles, relate your links that you are trustworthy dealer, you discuss its financial aspects and try to convince shop keeper to buy mobiles from you. Cubing helps you to write all this procedure in a good way. 5. Directed Questioning This technique works when you have a topic of your interest but you are not sure what and how to write it. It this kind of situation, you don’t need to expand your thoughts, rather you have to limit your ideas to the point.
Also when you question yourself about the topic you are going to write, this mechanism of questioning makes it easier to write about the topic. Examples 1. If you are asked to write about educational services of Sir Sayad Ahmad Khan, you can discuss historic background of Sir Sayad but your focus should be educational services, and not the other aspects because it is not necessary to include all the things. 2. If you are given any project, you select it and then questions can make it easy to write about it……e. g. why you are interesting in this project?
How you got this idea? What are merits of it? What are demerits of it (if any)? Is this project financially supportive? etc. 6. Note making and Note taking The storing capacities of human memory are limited. It is useful, therefore, to know how to efficiently make notes of what one wants to remember. Note taking is a technique which is used when a person is reading or hearing something for the first time and he is trying to jot down the key information so he can use it later. Note making is when you return to those notes and make notes on them.
This means you just go through notes, put things into your own words or summarize them and highlight key points. This technique is useful while gathering information for a respective article from books and lectures etc. Examples: 1. This technique is helpful when you are going to study a language other than you mother tongue. Because it is not easy to remember a lot of knowledge and vocabulary of the secondary language in one attempt. So there will be a need to read it again to learn and remember more about new language. 2. If you are attending a technical lecture (e. g. elated to some machine or something else), it is a good practice to make lecture notes because you might need them to make comprehensive understanding of the topic. 7. Brainstorming It means thinking of as many ideas as possible in a short amount of time. Brainstorming involves capturing all of the thoughts, ideas, and fragments in your head and writing them down on paper. Brainstorming is an informal way of generating topics to write about, or points to make about your topic. The important point about brainstorming is that there should be no pressure to be “excellent”. You should simply open their minds to whatever comes into them.
Think of it as a kind of free association. When someone say “literacy” what pops into our mind? Most of us will come up with more useless ideas, but that’s okay. Examples 1. If a person has a lot of money, he thinks what he can do with it. He can visit other countries, can give donations to charity, he can buy books and also he can give scholarships with this money. This is brainstorming because all these ideas come in a person’s mind n a short time duration. 2. If you are asked to write some memorable experiences of your life, your mind just click and many such moments will come in your mind.
This is also brainstorming. 8. Clustering Clustering is a non-linear brainstorming technique whose results yield a visual representation of subject and organization. Clustering is a generative tool that helps us to connect thoughts, feelings, and ideas not connected before. It allows us to loosely structure ideas as they occur in a shape that allows for the further generation of ideas. It taps our associative powers in a self-organizing process, encouraging us to create personally meaningful patterns. Examples 1. What else caused the War? Was slavery really the main issue?
Civil War Main Events Outcomes Causes People of Interest Slavery Pres Emancipation Poverty Gettysburg ? Atlanta Mobile phone 2. Phone calls, messaging Cost and comparison Media player specifications 9. Charting Sometimes you will want to organize your ideas in the form of a chart. This technique works very well for comparison or contrast writing or examining advantages and disadvantages ( that is also a comparison). You can make many kind of charts depending on your topic and also the king of writing you are doing. Examples 1. 2. | City | village|
Advantages | More Job, health, education and transport facilities| Less job, health, education and transport facilities| Disadvantages | Noise, air, water pollution| Calm atmosphere, pure vegetables, no noise| 10. Scanning Scanning involves a process of quickly searching reading materials in order to locate specific bits of information. When scanning you don’t start from the beginning and read to the end. Instead, what you do is jump around in the text, trying to find the information you need. Scanning can help you locate specific pieces of information and gain an overview of the main points in an article or text.
Examples 1. Suppose you are searching the meaning of a word in dictionary. Easy way to do this is that you first look the first alphabet, then second and so on until you reach the desired word. It is easier than starting from the first word of the dictionary to look the meaning. 2. While looking a number in a telephone book, you simply jump to the starting word of the name or other information known to you. This saves time. In this way Scanning involves moving one’s eyes quickly down the page seeking specific words and phrases.
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