Thanks Marty for a great prewriting session. I found this exercise to be very informative and effective in changing how I feel about prewriting.
I began Phase 1 with a list. The goal of this list was to present ideas, statements, and terms that I already knew; no new information or research necessary. The list wasn’t exhaustive by any means, but covered the topic as well as I could. After the list, I spent some time reading about the topic; I call it reading and not research because I wanted to approach the topic openly and casually in order to just see what was out there. Next, I decided to do some ‘free form prose’ and idea sketches. I began to write in order to see what from my reading had stuck. I was pleasantly surprised. In the free form writing, I went through the list and wrote whatever I knew about each term or idea, a paragraph for some, only a sentence for others, and in the instances where I didn’t remember or still didn’t understand, I allowed myself to write a question.
It was my experience that a solid Phase 1 leads to a solid Phase 2. I had already been thinking about some possible main ideas throughout Phase 1, so it was just a matter of getting it down on paper (or screen). The supporting ideas came easy as well, and the difficulty might exist in when to stop and say ‘enough’. One mistake I made was not recording the sources of my information, which wasted time when I had to relocate information.
Overall, a good experience.