Using Pre-Writing Eases the Job
Many times we have assignments in life where we have to write,
to put words to paper. Knowing how to pre-write is a step that
can save you a great deal of time, effort and energy.
Think about this for a minute.
Why does it seem that some people can take writing job- no matter
if it's an email, a report, a memo, or even sometimes a crucial
letter, and seem to make it child's play? While others, perhaps
you and me, seem to struggle for a long time with the whole concept?
One possible reason: Because people who are successful at writing tend to plan
out BEFORE what they want to write, before actually writing. Many
people refer to this skill or concept as Prewriting This consists
of the actual planning, in addition to the physical pre writing
Most of the time pre-writing itself does not need to be an ordeal.
When you want to be a successful writer it is good to take some
time to plan FIRST. Things you can muse about or think on ahead
of time include:
-How do I make myself understood in a clear, specific way using
good grammar, spelling and correct English?
-How can I put the different parts of my writing together the
-In what way can I arrange the different parts in a way that
is going to be logical and make sense to the reader?
-What is my main Idea?
-How can I develop points and progress step by step to prove
and support my main idea?
-What are the sub ideas, or sub topics that I want to discuss
There are a host of issues and concepts that you can explore
using pre writing, and these are but a few of some of the important
things. As you learn and grow as a writer you will develop your
own steps and learn how to fit the pre writing process best to
YOU and your style, your approach and your personality.
Whatever you do, as much as possible do not hurry or rush the
process. Pre writing is often using just a page or two of notes
and outlines, it does not have to be like "War and Peace" in length.
One writer puts it this way: "you can't take and construct a
house before you get the supplies to build it, or before the plans
arrive at the home-site. You can't rush good writing, either "
Put another way, your writing will be high quality if you take
the time to create a good structure for your writing.
Creating a writing sample of high quality does not just occur,
you have to plan and create it. High quality writing comes from
the choices the writer makes and from step by step planning.
One part of pre writing is making an outline for the task. An
outline is not inflexible; you can change and adjust your outline
as you go along. An outline is a tool to help you work through
the process of constructing and building your writing sample.
It's a way to organize your thoughts, and provide a natural flow
to your writing task.
If you start to get off task or away from your subject, it will
become evident as you compare your pre writing outline as you
work on the project. This is useful to prevent having to totally
re write your document when you are finished.
By making an outline especially for a long writing job, you can
find out ahead of time what material or information you will need
in gathering information. No matter if your writing task is easy,
or one with a lot of depth and complex, writing an outline will
help you in your quest.
As you construct your outline make sure that you allow for a
list of subjects or topics. In your list, make sure that you have
enough to cover the subject matter you are writing about.
It's a balance, you have to make your outline specific enough
to explore the subject, without trying to cover areas you cant
explore in the time or space you have for your project.
There are a number of different Outline Types:
This type of outline is just what it says: INFORMAL. Think of
a statement or a single sentence that sums up what you are writing
about. This is called the Foundation Sentence. Then, write down
short phrases or words that can serve to point you in the right
area or as reminders as you write. This is a good point to brainstorm
and write down all the related ideas to your main theme.
After you sit and write down as many ideas and sub ideas that
you can, now is the time to put them in a order that seems logical
to your flow of thought. A good point to remember: If you want
to discuss something, you have to tell people what it is about
and describe it first before you try and discuss it.
Even for documents that are long, or long reports, using an outline
of the informal style can still be used effectively. Think of
an informal outline as a work in progress, or a tentative one.
One that is very open to change, something very flexible.
After you have done an informal outline, making an outline that
is more exact and formal is one of the next steps. A typical Formal
Outline has many of these steps. Notice the first steps are the
same for both Informal Outlines, and in ways they intersect and
- Construct a base or Foundation Sentence for your writing assignment.
- Make an Informal Outline
- Consider and Brainstorm your subject, topic or main Idea.
- Gather your material and all needed information for your writing
Next, set down your outline into headings, sub headings and
ideas. You can find a guide of how to specifically construct a
formal outline on the Internet, or at your local library.
That's it. Now you are ready to WRITE.