Prewriting for the Descriptive Essay

This page presents a few common prewriting strategies that can be helpful in getting you started on an essay. This information might be especially helpful if you have ever claimed to have "writer's block" when you had trouble working on a writing assignment. Why do we not suffer from "algebra block," "geography block," "chemistry block," or other such maladies? Could "writer's block" really just be a matter of not knowing about the prewriting strategies that help writers start writing?

Graphic Organizers for Essay Prewriting - …

The prewriting stage is when you prepare your ideas for your essay before you begin writing


Students need to learn the steps of the writing process (planning, drafting, revising, and editing) [11]. Too often students do not take the time to plan before they write nor do they revise and edit after they write. Research has indicated that pre-writing or planning, in particular, provides students with time to figure out what they know about their topic and organize their thoughts [12]. Regardless of the content area, pre-writing or planning is helpful.

Prewriting for an essay includes organizing ideas

Although writing is generally a low-resource subject, there are products on the market that can assist students in many aspects of the writing process, prewriting included. Programs like Inspiration or Kidspiration help students by showing them ways to organize random ideas. For instance, Inspiration allows students to select various-sized and -shaped icons and shows them many ways to manipulate those icons to consider relationships and organizational patterns. This can also be done on paper, without the assistance of a computer. Other programs, like Writer's Helper, help by asking questions about a topic. If the student submits the word "freedom," for example, the computer prompts questions about the subject. Again, if students don't have continuous access to computer programs like this one, they can still learn questioning as a technique for seeing ideas in new and complex ways.

Learn how to model a range of prewriting techniques and introduce several mnemonics to help students organize their writing.

PreWriting Techniques - SLC Berkeley

Together, all of these items give John the impression that the mother is not ready to give up and might be focused on thinking of a way out of her situation. This may be a good topic for a paragraph in John's essay, as this prewriting activity has made clear that there are at least a few aspects of the photograph that point toward this idea. If John makes this idea one of the topics of his essay, he will return to the photograph and look for more aspects of it that might relate to the same idea.

A Guide to Prewriting Techniques ..

What John has here is a mess, but this is a sign that he successfully prevented the editor in him from interfering with his writing. (Conversely, this example shows the importance of the editor's job later on in the writing process!) John has attempted to capture on the page some of those fleeting thoughts that were running through his mind in the ten minutes that he was thinking about the photograph. The biggest challenge for John during the ten minutes that he was prewriting was to just let himself write without stopping to make any corrections or to read or correct what he had written, but he did it.

The last step in the prewriting phase of essay writing is planning your essay

Prewriting exercises can help ..

John now looks over his list again to see if any of the other items logically go together, and he finds that some of them do. This prewriting activity has gone far in helping John develop ideas and in helping him see how some of the specifics of the subject might be logically related.

PRE WRITING TECHNIQUES Prewriting is the first stage of the writing process, typically followed by drafting, revision, editing and publishing. Elements of

Prewriting an Essay What is the prewriting stage

For our example, the writer, John, is asked to write an essay of at least 800 words on the photograph Migrant Mother, by Dorothea Lange. The approach to the subject is up to John, but the essay is supposed to include both descriptions of the photograph and interpretation of the meaning that the photograph expresses. A copy of the photograph appears to the right. Just click the image to see a larger version.

Do you have a plan for your essay yet? It's easier to write an essay if you do. Let’s take a look at 6 prewriting strategies to get your essay rolling.

Tips on Writing a Descriptive Essay | Time4Writing

"Clustering" is another prewriting technique that allows the writer to generate ideas and also suggests ways in which the different ideas might be logically related, which can help the writer get a sense of how the essay could eventually be organized.