Chapter 2: Prewriting

2.3 Freewriting

Freewriting is a form of brainstorming. Whether you have been given a topic by your instructor to write on, and your mind is blank, or you have been told to pick your own topic, and your mind is also blank, you can use this technique.

Freewriting involves writing for a certain amount of time—say, ten minutes—without taking your pen off the page. This means that you write down anything that comes to mind, even if that is “This is a really stupid exercise. I don’t know why I’m doing it. Wow, am I bored.”

The goal is to continue writing for the specified time. There is only one rule: do not stop writing, even for a minute, during the specified time period. Your job is not to think about what you are writing, but to write. Afterwards, you’ll have a chance to go over what you wrote and pick out your favourite parts.

Review Questions

Try freewriting on a topic of your choice, or on one of the topics you didn’t choose for a previous question. After ten minutes, read over the freewriting you completed and underline any words, phrases, or sentences that stick out to you. Is there a way you could turn what you wrote into the start of an assignment, a question you want to answer, or a take on the topic that you are interested in exploring further?


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Building Blocks of Academic Writing Copyright © 2020 by Carellin Brooks is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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