This page has everything you might need to know about prewriting and getting ready to start your paper. There are many different ways to brainstorm, and we've put up a lot of examples and links to help you get started. Sometimes it's hard to know exactly where to start when you have to write something, and prewriting can help out a lot.

So, what is prewriting, exactly? It's the creation and arrangement of ideas preliminary to writing. In other words, it's a way of gathering
ideas before you write. You can see what you might want to write about before you put it in the official paper. Prewriting is essential to the writing process because it makes you think about what you are going to say. It keeps you on track and shows you where your writing is heading. It shouldn't be skipped because then your writing may become aimless or sound like you don't know what you're talking about. It's basically a way to throw all your ideas into one place without any organization or evaluation. There's no wrong way to do it....

Some examples of prewriting include
  • webs
  • lists
  • diagrams
  • bulleted lists
  • outlines
  • random ideas on paper
  • freewrites (Want to practice one? Go to )

Why Does It Matter? In the real world, employees have to brainstorm on things like marketing ideas, etc. Before they start, they have to put it all together and decide on what they want to do, like students have to do when writing a paper. Brainstorming happens all the time in the real world, especially in creative/business jobs.

How do you get started? You can start with the who, what, when, where, why, and how. Put down the main points of what you're writing so that you'll have a guide when you start the actual paper. You should also keep in mind who you're writing to (your audience). The good thing about prewriting is that there are no grammer rules and no organization rules. You can put it in whatever order you want to, as long as it's right in your final product.

A Web with topic, supporting points, and supporting details
A Web with topic, supporting points, and supporting details


When you're finished with getting rough ideas, you can start organizing those ideas in some form, like an outline.



If you need more help with prewriting ideas go to
And last but not least

When you're done with your prewrite, you can start your rough draft. To find out more about rough drafts, go to Drafting

For more help from the Wikibook, look here!
Choosing and Refining Topics

Selecting Appropriate Support

Annotated Bibliography