Writer's WebPre-writing: Keeping a Journal
by Amy Addison

Often the hardest part of developing a thesis and writing an effective paper is simply getting started. To help yourself formulate and organize ideas, you may want to keep a writing journal. This journal may be as formal or informal as you wish; it is for you and should be written as if you are addressing yourself or a very close friend. The idea is to get things down on paper as you think of them.

When making an entry, write from beginning to end before rereading or editing. Even if you are writing for a class, your journal usually won't be graded for grammar, spelling, or punctuation; there will be plenty of time for that later in the writing process! The following are a few exercises you might want to try in your journal:

Branching Example

For other pre-writing exercises, see the Writer's Web handouts that follow concerning brainstorming, cubing, and clustering.


Back to 'Prewriting - Keeping a Journal' or 'Getting Started'
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