Pre Writing Phase

Pre Writing Is a Serious Part of the Essay Writing Process

When you start working on essay writing assignment, 9 out of 10 of you tend to zoom right in to the writing part. May be this is because you are not aware of the proper essay writing process. Or maybe you think that skipping the pre-writing phase is convenient. However, the results can be disastrous if you don’t attend to some of the key tasks that you need to attend to BEFORE the actual writing. Here are some essential tasks that you need to attend to in the Pre-writing stage of your essay.

1. Read your assignment carefully – Generally, a writing assignment comes with a set of instructions or writing guidelines. This will include

  • The subject are or topic the essay should be written on
  • Formatting style to be used
  • Essay type such as argumentative, analysis, narrative, informative etc. Identify the action instructions as “analyze”, “evaluate”, “narrate”, “compare” etc.
  • Essay structure such as three paragraph, five paragraph or extended essay
  • Referencing requirements and reading list
  • Word limit
  • Submission deadline

2. Topic Selection

  • You will know the subject area from the assignment instructions. Identify whether a topic is assigned.
  • If no topic is assigned, brainstorm and come up with a number of alternatives.
  • Evaluate the choices with the main topic selection criteria. A good topic should be relevant to the assignment, interesting to you and reader, be easy to gather data on, and preferably on a subject that you have a good knowledge in. It should also be appropriate for the essay type you have to write.

3. Title – Create a simple working title that reflect the essay that you plan to write

4. Essay Outline – Create an Essay Outline with key points in bullet form or in short phrases

  • Introduction
  • Body
  1. Point 1
  2. Point 2
  3. Point 3
  4. Point 4, 5, 6…
  • Conclusion

Within each section of the outline, mention in point form or short phrases the key points you intend to discuss.

5. Research –  Find the content to be included in the essay or to be used as evidence to support the central thesis of the essay. If the essay needs to include experimental results or primary data gathered, then, plan and execute these actions to have the data required at hand.

6. Organize data – Read, sort and arrange the gathered information from your research, read and sort them to groups as per the section that it will be slotted into within the outline and save them for the writing phase.

7. Record References – Note down the reference details of the sources in a separate sheet or a computer file to help you write the reference list at the end of the essay.

As you can see, Pre-writing is serious business and lays a sound foundation for you to write your essay smoothly once you get started on the writing phase. By skipping this essential phase, you are most likely to produce an essay that is disorganized and not fulfilling some of the key expectations outlined in your assignment guide.

So don’t skip the pre-writing phase. Use it to preplan and prepare for the writing.

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