10 Prewriting Strategies For Creative Writers And College Students

Prewriting strategies are very helpful for young writers ,students and teachers.When you write about a personal experience, most of the details will already be clear in your mind. You will know exactly what to say.For other writing projects, you may know only a little about your subject and will need to do some gathering. Gathering refers to the collecting and planning you do during prewriting. First, you collect details about your subject. Then, you plan how you will use these details in your writing. Gathering is especially important when you are developing research papers, reports, essays, and so on.

Gathering Strategies For Prewriting

How much collecting should you do? If you know plenty about a particular subject, you may simply collect your own thoughts about it in a free-writing. Then again, if you need more information about your subject, you may attempt two or three different collecting strategies. A variety of such strategies are listed on these two pages. Read through the entire list before you choose which ones to use.


Free writing

 Write freely for at least 5-10 minutes, exploring your subject from a number of different angles.


Jot down things that you already know about your subject, and the questions you have about it. Keep your list going as long as you can.


Create a cluster with your specific subject as the nucleus word. (See page 48.)

Analyzing Think carefully about a subject by answering the following types of questions:

  • What parts does my subject have?
  •  What do I see, hear, or feel when I think about it? (.Describe it.)
  • What is it similar to? What is it different from? (Compare it.)
  • What are its strengths and weaknesses? (Evaluate it.)
  • What can I do with it? How can I use it? {Apply it.)

5 W’s of Writing

Answer the 5 W’s—Who? What? Where? When? and Why?—to identify basic information about your subject. Add How? to the list for even better coverage.Try this strategy: Keep asking the question Why? about your subject until you run completely out of answers. Then sum up what you’ve learned.

Offbeat Questions  Think creatively about a subject by creating and answering offbeat questions. Examples follow.

Writing About a Person

 What type of clothing is this person like?

What type of weather is he or she like?

Writing About an Important Issue

What sport would your viewpoint participate in? t What food does your viewpoint resemble?

Writing to Explain a Process

What television show is the process like?

Where in a hardware store would this process feel most at home? Develop a debate between two people in which your subject m explored. (You could be one of the debaters.)

Here Is A Quick Guide Of Prewriting Strategies For Every Writer



Refer to nonfiction books, magazines, pamphlets, newspaper. and so on, for information about your subject.

Viewing and Listening

Watch relevant television programs and videos or listen to tapes about your subject.


Explore the Internet for information about your writing.


Visit or watch your subject in action to learn about it. If your subject involves an activity, participate in it.



Interview an expert about your subject. Meet the expert in person, communicate by phone, or send questions to be answered in writing.


Talk with your classmates, teachers, or other people to see what they know about your subject. Take notes to help you remember the important things they say.

Organizing the Details

All good writers—even the most creative ones—make some decisions about the organization of their writing before they attempt a first draft. Good writing has a design. It moves clearly and smoothly from one main idea to the next. It leads readers somewhere.

You can organize the details of your writing in a list, a cluster, or a brief outline. Use your focus statement as the starting point for your planning at this stage. You will want to arrange your details so that they support your focus statement in the most effective way.

METHODS OF Organization Details Of Your Writing

The list below identifies different ways to organize details in your writing.

Chronological (Time) Order:

You can arrange details in the order in which they happened (first, second, then, next, later,).Autobiographical and biographical essays are almost always organized chronologically, as are science and history reports.

Order of Location (Spatial)

You can arrange details in the order in which they are located {above, below, beneath,).

Descriptions, observation reports, and certain explanations (such as giving directions) are organized spatially.

Order of Importance:

You can arrange details from the most important to the least—or from the least important to the most.Persuasive essays, news stories, and most expository essays are organized by order of importance.

Cause and Effect:

You can begin with a general statement giving the cause of a problem and then add a number of specific effects.Essays that explore or analyze problems (often based on current events) are organized in this way.

Note: The problem and solution method is closely related to the cause and effect method of organization. You state a problem and explore possible solutions.


You can develop two or more subjects by showing how they are alike and how they are different.

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

Leave a Comment