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College Writing Guide

Start Creating Before Writing

Don't get stuck staring at a blank screen or page.

Use  prewriting techniques to help you start your writing process:

Try Cubing to Help Narrow Your Focus

Try the Cubing Method: Consider your topic from six different directions.

On a sheet of paper, write down your topic, and respond to these six prompts:

Describe it. (What is it?)

Compare it. (What is it like or unlike?)

Associate it. (What does it make you think of?)

Analyze it. (What constituent parts is it made of?)

Apply it. (How can it be used?)

Argue for and against it. (How can you support or oppose it?)

Look over what you’ve written. What do you know about your topic now?

Use this information to figure out where you might stand on your topic or how you can narrow your focus.

Try Brainstorming to Generate Writing Topics

Don't limit yourself! Use this video from the Sonoma State Univesity Library to find out a great way to generate ideas for topics.

Using Wikipedia to Generate Ideas

Wikipedia can help you find background information and generate writing ideas. Check out the video below to find the right way to use Wikipedia in your writing and research.

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