overcoming writer’s block and various forms of pre-writing
The readings for this week are about overcoming writer’s block and various forms of pre-writing, which means preparation and planning you can do before you sit down to write a paper. Pre-writing and planning is very important because it can help you produce your best work. My chief recommendation is that you do some sort of informal writing during your planning stages. Don’t just sit there and think — think and write at the same time. You can do this by making lists, writing informal sentences and paragraphs, creating charts or maps of your thoughts, and making a rough outline. You can also talk to people (friends, family members, fellow students) and take notes as you talk. If you jot down ideas as you prepare to write a paper, the process of jotting down those ideas will trigger other ideas, and soon you will have a lot of ideas to work with. The best way to overcome writer’s block is to let yourself write informally, in any way you want to. Write about anything, no matter how loosely related to your assignment. Soon the ideas will start to come.
Here are the pages I would like you to read:
• On thePrinciples of Composition site, read “Overcoming Writer’s Block,” “Freewriting,” and “Clustering.”
• On thePurdue Online Writing Lab site, please read “Invention: Starting the Writing Process,” “Introduction to Prewriting,” and “Prewriting Questions.”
Please spend some time browsing through both sites; you will find that they are valuable resources. In the “Writing Exercises” section, I will ask you to write about what you learned from these readings and to practice a pre-writing technique.
Writing Exercise #1
In the readings for this week, you read about how to overcome writer’s block and how to get ideas for your writing. In this exercise, I would like you to do two things:
1. Reflect on what you learned in the readings. Which of the recommendations and techniques have you already been following? Which ones will you follow in the future?
2. Give one of the prewriting techniques a try — perhaps free-writing or clustering. We will be writing a paper on education in the next couple weeks, so use your personal experiences in education, particularly in high school, as your topic. You can do this exercise on the computer or on paper but you do not need to submit it to me. What I would like you to write here is a report on how it went. Which technique did you use and how well did you like it? (Again, you don’t need to include the exercise itself.)
Write one or two paragraphs on each question (about 100 words each).
I will grade the assignment on a 20 point scale and will look for the following: 1. Meeting the required length; 2. Focused answers to my questions; 3. Evidence that you have read and understood the readings; 4. Clear, grammatically correct sentences and correct spelling.
This entry should be a minimum of 400 words, although you are free to write as much as you want.
Write about your experience with writing. What aspects of writing are you good at? What do you struggle with? What are your goals for this course?
I will grade your entry based on meeting the required length and answering my questions in a focused manner
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