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Prewriting, brainstorming, and outlining


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Prewriting, brainstorming, and outlining

  1. 1. Feedback on the UCLA Library Trip <ul><li>On a notecard, please answer the following questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What was the most successful part of the trip yesterday to UCLA? What, if anything, was a pleasant surprise or discovery? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What could have made the trip more successful? What was frustrating? </li></ul></ul>
  2. 2. Prewriting, Brainstorming, and Outlining beginning to make sense of the chaos of your research
  3. 3. Quiz: What works best for you? <ul><li>&quot;Before I start writing a paper, I like to...&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>a. &quot;... ask a lot of questions to myself about my topic.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>b. &quot;... just get started by freewriting whatever comes to mind.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>c. &quot;... start with big ideas and categories .&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>d. &quot;... create visual brainstorms or mindmaps .&quot; </li></ul>and for the live poll:
  4. 4. Today You Have Options* *The following options are partially inspired by &quot;Pre-writing techniques&quot; from Simpson College,
  5. 5. If you answered &quot;a&quot;: The Questioner <ul><li>a. &quot;... I like to ask a lot of  questions  to myself about my topic.&quot; </li></ul>Image: Oberazzi on Flickr CC
  6. 6. The Questioner: <ul><li>Consider asking yourself questions to help you get thinking about organizing your research. Here are a few ideas: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What have I learned about my topic so far? What's most compelling? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What am I arguing? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How will I prove what I'm arguing? What evidence is most convincing? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are possible counter-arguments? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How will I make my reader care? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Now that you have your questions, start to answer them. </li></ul><ul><li>Want more ideas? Go to the Purdue Online Writing Lab for Prewriting Ideas. </li></ul>
  7. 7. If you answered &quot;b&quot;: The Free Spirit <ul><li>b. &quot;... I like to just get started by  freewriting  whatever comes to mind.&quot; </li></ul>Image: jjpacres on Flickr CC
  8. 8. The Free Spirit <ul><li>Free your mind! Rules of freewriting: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There are no rules. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don't judge your ideas or grammar--just write. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Try to write for as long as possible without stopping, ideally 10-15 minutes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you are lost, write for a while about whatever comes to mind (&quot;open&quot; freewrite) and then choose a specific idea from there to begin a &quot;focused&quot; freewrite. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>After you finish, reread and consider moving to a visual map or rough outline of your ideas. </li></ul>
  9. 9. If you answered &quot;c&quot;: The Big Idea Person <ul><li>c. &quot;... I like to start with  big ideas and categories .&quot; </li></ul>Image: bendeming on Flickr CC
  10. 10. The Big Idea Person <ul><li>First, state your topic and thesis.  </li></ul><ul><li>Next create a rough outline. Consider the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the main sections of your argument? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Within each section, what are the subsections or subpoints? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What evidence will you use to support each section and subsection? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Once you have your big ideas in outline form, go back to your notes and decide how to fit in specific evidence and ideas. </li></ul>
  11. 11. If you answered &quot;d&quot;: The Visual Thinker <ul><li>d. &quot;... I like to create  visual brainstorms or mindmaps .&quot; </li></ul>Image: Austin Kleon on Flickr CC
  12. 12. The Visual Thinker <ul><li>You might consider the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Draw pictures to represent your ideas. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Circle, underline, color code, or use symbols to show the hierarchy of your ideas. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you want, use an online mindmapping tool like Mindomo .  </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>First, put your topic or thesis in the center of the page. 
  13. 13. List of Prewriting Resources <ul><li>&quot;Pre-writing techniques&quot; from Simpson College, </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Why and How to Outline&quot; by Elyssa Tardiff and Allen Brizee, Purdue Online Writing Lab, </li></ul><ul><li>Mindomo online mindmapping software, , (first 3 maps free) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Questions? Contact me. sclark [at]