What is Prewriting?

Prewriting is often considered to be the first stage of the writing process—the point at which writers think about ideas related to their topic, audience, and purpose. However, even though prewriting means “before writing,” writers can actually prewrite at any point in the writing process to help them explore, focus, or evaluate a particular idea. And even though the word prewriting implies the act of writing, there are multiple ways for writers to broaden, narrow, and reflect on their ideas.

Prewriting is a valuable tool for writers when they are struggling to come up with ideas to write about, when they need to expand or sharpen their views, or when they need to evaluate existing ideas to determine the most worthwhile points.