ESL Study Guide

Monday, September 01, 2008


Successful Freewriting

Freewriting is probably one of the best-known prewriting or brainstorming techniques. It works well when you have some thoughts on a topic, but can't decide how to develop it into an essay. Freewriting also functions as a development tool. It turns isolated ideas into a potential essay. People use this technique and often surprise themselves by coming up with an idea they didn't realize they had.

Specifically, freewriting means spending a predetermined amount of time writing nonstop and focusing on one specific topic. This technique may also be referred to as 'flow writing,' because it works on the flow, or momentum, that comes when you stay with your writing. The key is to not stop writing. Ignore your grammar, spelling, or whether your ideas make sense. It is purely about improving the speed of your writing.

1.) Resist the temptation to look back at what you have written.

2.) If you can't stay on topic, keep writing anything to maintain the flow.

3.) Don't censor yourself; remember, no one will see it so write everything.

4.) Follow your ideas regardless of where they lead you.

5.) When finished, highlight the most interesting and strongest ideas.

Try the process again after you've focused your topic; more ideas may be generated.

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