OWL TIP OF THE WEEK
As you begin a new semester, likely you will begin a number of new writing assignments as well...so where to begin? We suggest starting with a brainstorming strategies! There are a several ways to lay out your ideas before organizing them into a coherent essay. Here are a couple methods:
1. Freewrite: Just write. Don't know what to say? Jot the first thing that comes to mind. Don't worry about grammar or mechanics or even organization. Don't go back and rewrite. Just throw your ideas on paper or in any word processor. Set a quantitative goal: 500 words, three pages, five minutes. It doesn't matter. Just write.
2. Listing: Think about what it is you want to communicate in this writing assignment. Jot down a list of words or phrases for your point or idea. Find connections between the words on this list. Make associations. Define terms you want to use. Again, don't organize. See where the words take you.
3. Mapping: This is also known as clustering or webbing, and it is a great practice for visual learners. Jot down several key words, phrases or ideas. Then, draw lines connecting them. Maybe write down a theme or point on the lines that helps you connect the separate ideas. Maybe color code each bubble or idea. How you produce the map is up to you. The below image is just one possibility.
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