Pre-writing Writer's Web
by Melanie Dawson

Often the hardest part of developing a thesis and writing an effective paper is simply getting started. To help yourself formulate and organize ideas, a writer should try pre-writing. Pre-writing is a group of various methods that can help a writer get ideas down on a paper as they think of them, as well as helping the writer approach topics from different perspectives. The purpose of pre-writing is not to ensure everything is said with the exactly right words or in precise academic language.Pre-writing can help spark creativity, draw unexpected connections, and offer an unrestricted, comfortable space to build confidence with writing.


Cubing is a writing exercise and a useful prewriting technique, like clustering, that helps a writer develop and expand upon ideas. Consider a cube. It might be helpful to pick up a book, or any other object with 6 sides. As the writer turns the object over, they see a different side and a different perspective of the same object each time. Cubing, when writing a paper, works much the same way. By challenging the writer to approach an topic from many different angles, it helps a writer come up with new ideas as well as predicting possible counter arguments.

Here are some guidelines:

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Checked & proofread, fall 2018, Griffin Myers, Writing Consultant