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Before You Write

Essay Terms
Before writing an essay response, it is important to understand exactly what is being asked.
Prewriting and planning is a way of organizing your ideas and beginning to put the information you have on paper. It is best to do a prewriting activity before you actually begin writing your paper or essay.
Determining the Audience
Your paper should be “reader friendly,” meaning that the reader should not struggle to understand your ideas. You can make your paper reader friendly by analyzing your audience.
Selecting a Subject
Selecting a subject for your writing assignment is not always an easy task. Often, writers know what they want to write about, but they have difficulty narrowing the topic down.
Determining a Thesis
A thesis statement requires understanding your subject and its importance. Learn how to a solid thesis statement can direct the rest of your paper.
Creating an Outline
Creating an outline is a beneficial step to take before and while writing a paper. This page will show you how to get started.
How the Writing Center Can Help You Start Writing
What to expect if you work with a tutor on the prewriting process.
More Information on Prewriting
Looking for more on prewriting? Here are some helpful websites for college writers.
  • Writing Center
  • Eicher Hall, Room 218
    860 Grant Street
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-3029
  • Regular Hours
  • Monday through Thursday
  • 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Friday
  • 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.