Skip Navigation
Skip to Menu Toggle Button
Online Guide to Writing and Research

The Writing Process


Because beginning your writing is often the most difficult part of the writing process, planning and prewriting allow you the opportunity to generate ideas in a relaxed and non-restrictive way over a period leading up to the final draft and due date of an assignment. In some cases, no one except you needs to view your planning and prewriting. In others, your professor might require you to submit your prewriting, or you may share your work with peers in a peer-review process. In any event, it’s best to relax as you plan and explore ideas. 

Breaking Down the Parts

Planning the phases of an assignment breaks down the expectations into manageable pieces that will eventually fit the entire puzzle. We do this by analyzing the instructions and mapping out the phases of writing that will transpire in certain days and weeks leading up to the goal.

Why is prewriting important?

The purpose of prewriting is to systematically think, which means to understand how the distinct parts (remember: your position + expert opinion = balanced union of ideas) fit into and influence one another as a whole. Prewriting techniques help you determine which rhetorical approach to take and how to implement it. Because we all think differently, there are many unique prewriting techniques to explore and plan a topic that specifically harmonizes with the way your brain processes information.

Key Takeaways

  • Planning and prewriting hold space for your brainstorming, collection of ideas, organization, and original ideas in a non-chaotic and calm timeframe so that you are prepared when you eventually start writing a draft

  • Many unique prewriting techniques cater to how your brain processes information 


Mailing Address: 3501 University Blvd. East, Adelphi, MD 20783
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. © 2022 UMGC.
All links to external sites were verified at the time of publication. UMGC is not responsible for the validity or integrity of information located at external sites.

Table of Contents: Online Guide to Writing