Faulkner University


Prewriting Exercises

Choose 2 of the following and complete, using the assigned exercise to form your responses.

You probably want to print this and type your responses in an e-mail file and mail these responses to me. Of course, you will have to print the exercise before you can do this page. This assignment is just to help you get started thinking about what you might write for the assignment.

  1. Listing--Prepare a list of five characteristics about your topic.

    List why these traits are helpful to your topic.

  2. Questioning--Answer the following about the traits.
    • Who?
    • What?
    • When?
    • Where?
    • Why?
    • How?

  3. Cubing--Write responses to the following prompts

    There may not be a specific answer to every question for each topic.

    1. Describe/Define--Try to come up with a definition for your topic.
    2. Compare/Contrast--Compare your topic to others of like material.
      List similarities of your topic with other topics.
      List differences.
    3. Associate it--Simply list everything that comes to mind when you think of your topic.
    4. Analyze it--Break the various points you might wish to deal with in your topic.
      Any historical developments that influenced your list?
    5. Apply It--What are the purposes associated with your topic? Are any of them harmful? Helpful? Both? What caused you to list this/these purposes?
      Will you feel ruined if these purposes are not met?
    6. Argue for/Against it--Who doesn't like this topic? Why not? Who likes it? Why? What do you think of it?

  4. Looping--For 10 minutes write down all of your thoughts on the subject.

    Do not stop writing until the time is up.

    Review what you have written. What is the most interesting idea that came out of your free writing? Is there anything unexpected or original? Write down a sentence that summarizes this idea. It may take the form of a statement or a question.

    Use this idea as the subject of another free writing activity.

    As you can see, the idea of looping is to refine your thoughts or sharpen your point of view. You make a complete loop by returning to an earlier idea and expanding on it.

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