Prewriting Process

These resources offer tips on interpreting assignments and strategies for generating and organizing ideas:

Preparing to Write

  • How to Read an Assignment (Duke): There's more to reading an assignment than, well, reading the assignment. Read this handout to find out why and how a close reading of your prompt can turn out to be some of the most important groundwork you'll do when writing a paper.
  • Reading to Write (Duke): At a loss to say something meaningful about a text you've just read? This handout offers tips on reading critically.

Putting Pen to Paper (or Pixels to Screen)

  • Guide to Mapping (Gallaudet): Before you write your paper, try drawing it. This site suggests several techniques for representing your ideas visually, from flowcharts and networks to spiders and stars; all are great for organizing and connecting information before you begin drafting.
  • Brainstorming Sessions in the Writing Studio (Duke): Need help brainstorming ideas for your next paper?  Try scheduling a brainstorming session at the Writing Studio!  Here's a handout to help you get the most out of a brainstorming tutoring session.