USEFUL WRITING STRATEGIES
Think of writing as a process. Lets divide it into a three stage
process. Prewriting, Writing and Re writing. Prewriting can be thought
of as the stage during which you preview your text by planning and organizing
what you will write. Writing is the stage when you view your text and
compose your ideas. Rewriting involves reshaping, editing and revising
the ideas and grammar in your text. Each stage during the writing process
is connected to the other and recursive in nature. Think of writing as
a connected circle.
The Writing Process
How you prepare yourself before you write influences how effective your
writing will be There are three stages in the writing process:
- and rewriting.
Below are some useful strategies to help you express you ideas before
you begin the write your assignment.
Note taking- see Note taking section
Reading - see Reading for Academic Success section
Free writing: write as much as you can on the topic without stopping
or considering the arrangement of the information
Semantic mapping: create a web or map of your topic, working from
the main idea in the centre to the supporting topics on extending branches
Brainstorming (discussion, debate) producing words, phrases and
idea: list all the ideas that you want to include in your paper
Planning: determine the order of information and what content
Organising: group all related ideas together
Ordering: arrange material in subsections from general to specific
or from abstract to concrete
Outlining: see Making and Essay plan section.
Planning: ask yourself questions; What does the reader want or
need to know? Who is my audience?
Peer interviewing: interview a fellow student to exchange ideas
about the writing assignment
Example: Thesis: Although various methods for limiting or disposing of nuclear
waste have been proposed, each has serious drawbacks.
- A way of planning and inventing
- A logical, general description
- A summary of your plans
- An organizational pattern
- A visual and conceptual arrangement of your writing
- It is used to show a relationship between ideas and can look like
- Major topic
- Division of major topic
- detail concerning division A
- second detail
- Second division of major topic
- Second major topic
- Division of second major topic
- detail concerning division B
- second detail
Drafting: writing a first copy of your plans and outline and making
meaningful connections among your ideas and information
- The process of limiting nuclear waste through partititioning and transmutation
has serious drawbacks.
- The process is complex and costly.
- Nuclear workers' exposure to radiation would increase.
- Antarctic ice sheet disposal is problematic for scientific and legal
- Our understanding of the behaviour of ice sheets is too limited.
- An international treaty prohibits disposal in Antarctica.
- Space disposal is unthinkable.
- The risk of an accident and resulting worldwide disaster is great.
- The cost is prohibitive.
- Seabed disposal is unwise because we do not know enough about the
procedure or its impact.
- Scientists have not yet solved technical difficulties.
- We do not fully understand the impact of such disposal on the
Organising: arranging and sequencing the information to be included
in your paper in a logical and coherent manner
Paragraphing: using indentation signals to the reader the start
of a new paragraph and helps section your paper into units of information
that are unified in topic and focus
Coherence: When sentences, ideas and details fit together clearly
and logically, readers can follow the text more easily. Linking words
behave like glue, connecting all the parts of a piece of text together
smoothly. Here are some of the methods for achieving coherence in your
- Repetition of key terms or phrases- to avoid confusion, writers often
repeat words and phrases.
Example: The problem with contemporary art is that it is not easily
understood by most people. Modern art is deliberately abstract, and
that means that contemporary art leaves the viewer wondering what
she is looking at.
- Synonyms- words with identical or very similar meanings: they provide
some variety in your word choices while helping to connect important
Example: Myths narrate sacred history and explain sacred origins.
These traditional narratives are, in short, a set of beliefs that
are a very real force in the lives of people who tell them.
- Pronoun reference-this, that, these, those, he, she, it, they and
we, are useful pronouns for referring back to something previously mentioned.
Be sure that what you are referring to is clear.
Example: When scientific experiments do not work out as expected,
they are often considered failures until some other scientist tries
- Transitional words - are connecting words that serve as a bridge,
connecting one paragraph, sentence, clause, or word with another and
signal the relationships between sentences and ideas in a piece of writing.
| Transitional words and expressions
| Also, too, in addition, furthermore, Moreover,
and, besides, in fact
|| to add an idea or example
| For example, for instance, such as, including
|| to supply an example to support a
| First, next, last, before, after, earlier subsequently,
later, while, until, initially,
|| to indicate order in which events occur or ideas
| Because, since, for the reason is that
|| to indicate the cause or reason for something
| Therefore, so, thus, as a result, so that, consequently,
|| to indicate the effect or result
| But, however, nevertheless, on the contrary although,
unlike, whereas, while, in contrast despite, yet, on the other hand
|| to indicate that one thing is different from
or contrasts with another thing
| Similarly, likewise, in the same manner, in the
same way, along the same lin es as, like
|| to indicate that one thing is similar to something
| unless, if, even if, or, provided that, as long
|| to indicate a condition
|| to indicate that something continues
| in other words, that is, that is to say
|| to indicate that something will be restated for
| finally, at last, after all, in conclusion, to
conclude, to sum up
|| to indicate the end of a thought or list
INDICATORS FOR WRITING
| Arguments Indicators
|| Premise Indicators
|| Conclusion Indicators
|| necessarily as inasmuch as for the reason that
|| so consequently it follows that one may infer