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Although many more prewriting strategies exist, this chapter covers six: using experience and observations, freewriting, asking questions, brainstorming, mapping, and searching the Internet.Using the strategies in this chapter can help you overcome the fear of the blank page and confidently begin the writing process.If you think that a blank sheet of paper or a blinking cursor on the computer screen is a scary sight, you are not alone.
Later you will learn more prewriting strategies that will narrow the focus of the topic.
In addition to understanding that writing is a process, writers also understand that choosing a good general topic for an assignment is an essential step.
Sometimes your instructor will give you an idea to begin an assignment, and other times your instructor will ask you to come up with a topic on your own.
A good topic not only covers what an assignment will be about but also fits the assignment’s purpose and its audience.
My purpose: ____________________________________________ My audience: ____________________________________________ When selecting a topic, you may want to consider something that interests you or something based on your own life and personal experiences.
Even everyday observations can lead to interesting topics.
When faced with a blank page, however, experienced writers remind themselves that writing, like other everyday activities, is a process.
Every process, from writing to cooking to bike riding to learning to use a new cell phone will get significantly easier with practice.
These can all provide inspiration for your writing.
Reading plays a vital role in all the stages of the writing process, but it first figures in the development of ideas and topics.