Whether you are given a specific prompt (writing assignment) to answer or a general purpose such as writing a persuasive essay or writing about something that you have experienced, you need to think through and to gather your ideas. Ask yourself: What do I know about this topic, or what would I like to write about? Ideas may come from your past experiences, your reading, your interests, your thoughts or feelings about a subject, or your class discussion. Get your ideas written down in some way so that you can see them on the page. You might brainstorm by clustering, listing, or freewriting to discover what you have to say.
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