Lesson 9 prewriting, brainstorming and outlining

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Lesson 9 prewriting, brainstorming and outlining

  1. 1. Prewriting, Brainstorming, and Outlining how to begin to make sense of the chaos of your research
  2. 2. Quiz: What works best for you? "Before I start writing a paper, I like to..." a. "... ask a lot of questions to myself about my topic." b. "... just get started by freewriting whatever comes to mind." c. "... start with big ideas and categories." d. "... create visual brainstorms or mindmaps." and for the live poll: http://www.polleverywhere.
  3. 3. Today You Have Options* *The following options are partially inspired by "Pre-writing techniques" from Simpson College, http://www.simpson. edu/hawley/writing/prewriting.html
  4. 4. If you answered "a": The Questioner Image: Oberazzi on Flickr CC a. "... I like to ask a lot of questions to myself about my topic."
  5. 5. The Questioner: Consider asking yourself questions to help you get thinking about organizing your research. Here are a few ideas: ● What have I learned about my topic so far? What's most compelling? ● What am I arguing? ● How will I prove what I'm arguing? What evidence is most convincing? ● What are possible counter-arguments? ● How will I make my reader care? Now that you have your questions, start to answer them. Want more ideas? Go to the Purdue Online Writing Lab for Prewriting Ideas.
  6. 6. If you answered "b": The Free Spirit Image: jjpacres on Flickr CC b. "... I like to just get started by freewriting whatever comes to mind."
  7. 7. The Free Spirit Free your mind! Rules of freewriting: ● There are no rules. ● Don't judge your ideas or grammar--just write. ● Try to write for as long as possible without stopping, ideally 10-15 minutes. ● If you are lost, write for a while about whatever comes to mind ("open" freewrite) and then choose a specific idea from there to begin a "focused" freewrite. After you finish, reread and consider moving to a visual map or rough outline of your ideas.
  8. 8. If you answered "c": The Big Idea Person Image: bendeming on Flickr CC c. "... I like to start with big ideas and categories."
  9. 9. The Big Idea Person First, state your topic and thesis. Next create a rough outline. Consider the following: ● What are the main sections of your argument? ● Within each section, what are the subsections or subpoints? ● What evidence will you use to support each section and subsection? Once you have your big ideas in outline form, go back to your notes and decide how to fit in specific evidence and ideas.
  10. 10. If you answered "d": The Visual Thinker Image: Austin Kleon on Flickr CC d. "... I like to create visual brainstorms or mindmaps."
  11. 11. The Visual Thinker First, put your topic or thesis in the center of the page. You might consider the following: ● Draw pictures to represent your ideas. ● Circle, underline, color code, or use symbols to show the hierarchy of your ideas. ● If you want, use an online mindmapping tool like Mindomo. Want to see a Mindomo example? See my very lame example here, based on what I actually wrote about for a history paper in high school about documentary photography during the Depression.
  12. 12. List of Prewriting Resources "Pre-writing techniques" from Simpson College, http: //www.simpson.edu/hawley/writing/prewriting.html "Why and How to Outline" by Elyssa Tardiff and Allen Brizee, Purdue Online Writing Lab, http://owl.english. purdue.edu/owl/resource/544/02/ Mindomo online mindmapping software, http://www. mindomo.com/, (first 3 maps free)
  13. 13. Questions? Contact me. sclark [at] windwardschool.org

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