Freewriting is an important prewriting technique. Through my research, I have learned the many benefits of freewriting. This tool helps students overcome writers’ block. The freewriting exercise can help students choose a topic to focus on. The purpose of freewriting is to take a topic and pour as many ideas about the topic for a certain amount of time.
In addition, freewriting teaches us unplanned speaking. It is important to write and speak slowly, paying attention to every single word. If we want all the benefits of unplanned speech, we need to be willing to make a mess with our writing. It is important to recognize that unplanned speaking on the page is a part of the writing process.
Ken Macrocrie introduced freewriting to school teachers in 1968. He wanted students to stop writing dead pieces that he called, ‘Engfish.’ He prescribed a ten minute exercise to write without stopping and editing. Then, he wasn’t thinking of speaking unto the page.
The cool thing about freewriting is that if you feel nothing on your mind, you can just talk about what you’re wearing. The goal is to ease the unplanned thinking into something you can mold into your draft.
Check out this article from Google Scholar. Read the second section of the article that focuses on the freewriting technique. Many writers engage in very slow speaking. In their writing they choose every word with care. Freewriting is an easy way to learn unplanned speaking onto the page. It teaches us how to use unplanned speaking as a disciplinary process. This article throws in some really good points about freewriting! Please check out the article!
1. Freewriting prompt- Write for 10-15 minutes without editing using the following line as a focal point to write from:
“The stain will not come out…”
The stain will not come out of my shirt. I tried everything. This is driving me crazy! I do not want to walk around all night with this huge ketchup stain on my shirt. Everybody will be staring at it all night. Maybe I should go back home and change, but I don’t think I have time. I’m not driving so I don’t know if that will be an option. Maybe my boyfriend can take me to the mall and I can buy I cheap shirt somewhere. But, that requires me to spend even more money. I’ve spent enough money tonight. I don’t get paid again until next week. I need a new job! I remember one time I spelt red wine all over my white shorts and I was miles and miles away from home. It sucked so badly. You can’t imagine the looks I got all night. I wanted to just stay in the car all night. Well, at least it isn’t that bad this time. I do not know what else to say. I have a really bad headache. I am hungry too. I just ate an hour ago. I had a huge omelet. It was so gross because it was entirely way too much egg. I felt like I was going to throw up. Anyways, I think I should start carrying around a tide stick. I used to. I don’t know why I stopped. Another thing that works really well when there is a stain in your shirt is hand sanitizer. If you used a napkin and use hand sanitizer. You just gently rub it and it well come out. I used to work at the cleaners, so I used to get stains out of people’s nasty shirts all the time. Sometimes we would charge extra. There was one time where I had to do the train of a wedding dress. It was extremely filthy.
2. Freewriting Prompt – Write for 10 minutes (without editing) in any style using “At This Very Moment” as your title.
At This Very Moment
At this very moment my head is pounding. I really wish the sun would come out. I don’t like the dreary cold weather. Of course the day I’m off the sun doesn’t shine. It always works like that. At least I didn’t have too big of plans today. Although the drive in movie theatre would have been nice. It would be too cold to sit outside and watch a movie. I have to work in the morning at 8 am anyways. I am waiting for my boyfriend to get off work so we can go workout. We had plans to go to the driving range, but we will see. I really want to go to the Chow Baby, but I had a really heavy breakfast this morning that made me sick to my stomach. I need to finish my homework today. It has been a very lazy day. I hate when I don’t get things done I plan done. It makes me mad. I haven’t been to the movies lately. There are tons of movies I would like to see. They may all be at the dollar movie theatre now. I need to get a fill in. I don’t feel like paying for it. I’m so cheap.
1. Check out this website. It is very useful! Here, teachers share their best writing ideas. There are so many useful resources to use in the English/Language Arts classroom. There are many mentor text lessons for K-12 and writing prompts. And much more! Check it out!
2. Check out this website. There are hundreds of different writing prompts that can be used in the English/Language Arts classroom.
Here are a couple of freewriting activities for the classroom:
Since everyone has wishes that they want to come true, encourage your students to write these down. Next, have them write down what they would have to do to make them come true. Of course, this is freewriting so they are to write as much as they can within 10-15 minutes.
This activity is to help students generate language for poems. The students are to write words that remind them of their topic for 10-15 minutes without stopping. For example, if their poem is about orange. They are to jot down words and/or phrases that come to mind.
Check out this article!
This article reports on the focused freewriting technique in a writing course offered to a diverse group of students at an Australian university. It examines the benefits of focused freewriting. The article explains that focused freewriting can be used as an empowering learning tool beyond the writing classroom. Previous research has reported that the use of freewriting as a useful tool for both writing classes and disciplines.
Tell me what you think!