Pretend that you have time and finances to visit a country you've never visited and know little about. Although you could hop a plane and figure out what to do when you get there, you would probably do some Google searches, browse guidebooks, buy a map, make a few reservations for lodging, and chat with others who have made the trip. If you were thorough, you would sketch a complete itinerary, book all your hotels, and read extensively about your destination. Then, as a last step, you would pack your clothing and gear after consulting your packing list.

Writing is like taking a trip. Planning and preparation will usually result in a smoother voyage and give you confidence and energy to complete the trip. This section contains tools to help you plot your course.

One such tool, the Creative Inquiry module, was developed to give you a more in-depth look at how to use clustering, freewriting, idea trees, and mapping to get your project started. Take a few minutes with the module to see which strategy will work best for you.

full-text pdf

For more information on pre-writing, download the full-text PDF document and go to:

  • Understanding the Assignment—page 16
  • Thinking and Planning—page 16
  • Determining your Purpose—page 17
  • Analyzing your Audience—page 18
  • Generating Content—page 18
  • Outlines—page 20

Launch PDF