How do I get started writing?

From LitWiki


Writing is a not a process that deals only with a pen and paper; it also involves the brain. Writing is not as easy as it looks, and the toughest part is getting started. The following are some ways that will help writers get started with the writing process. When writing a paper authors have to think about their subject, purpose, and audience. At the beginning of the first paragraph they should try to catch the reader's attention with a short,an clear opening statement. This helps motivate the audience to read more, and makes the over all essay more interesting.


Find a focus

As writers explore their subject, they will begin to see possible ways of focusing their material. At this point a writer should settle on a tentative central idea. For many types of writing, the central idea can be asserted in one sentence, a gerneralization preparing readers for the supporting details that will follow. Such a sentence is called a thesis. The thesis sentence usually contain a controlling idea or a key work that limits its focus. (Hacker 9)

1. Geometric forms known as fractals may have a profound effect on how we view the world, not only in art and film but in many branches of science and technology, from astronomy to economics to predicting the weather.

Main Focus is the beneficial aspects of bats, and the effect of fractals on how people view the world. (Hacker 10)

2. Aside from his more famous identies as colonel of the Rough Riders are President of teh United States, Theodore Roosevelt was a lifelong professional man of letters.

Main Focus is Roosevelt's identity as a writer, or man of letters. (Hacker 10)The subject should contain a noun and assertion. The noun tells the reader what the essay is about and the assertion explains why their writing on that topic.


It's about four different types of reasons an author can use when writing an essay.

1. To inform readers? (Hacker 4)

2. To persuade them? (Hacker 4)

3. To entertain them? (Hacker 4)

4. To call them to action? (Hacker 4)

Find an audience

It is important for writers to think who they are writing for; therefore, think about who will be interested in the essay? Whom does the essay want to reach? Who will agree with the views in the essay? What sorts of information and evidence will the audience find most compelling? All these questions need to be considered while choosing an audience. (Lunsford 14)

  • AudienceOnce the author starts writing the body of the essay they should keep in mind their audience. They should only try to appeal to that speific group of people. "Authors should consider their relationship with the reader and how informed the reader are about the subject. (Hacker 4)


You can use prewriting tactics such as freewriting. This helps you to relax and loosen up some before you start writing on your accutal topic. When freewriting you should write non stop for around ten minutes. You can write about anything and you don't have to worry about grammar or wording. It's an exercise that gets your brain working on creating ideas. (Hacker 7)

Brainstorm ideas

With the focus and audience in mind, writers should come up with related ideas. These ideas will help them construct the body of their essay. The body will support the thesis statement, and it will also tell the reader what to expect as they read on. (Hacker 15)

Use some one else's work as a jumping off point

A truly original idea is extremely hard to come by. All writers have their influences that will come through in what they write, whether it is consciously done or not. Using an established idea to get going is perfectly acceptable, as long as the finished product is not a direct rip off or copy of the established concept.[1]

Plan on paper

Once writer have generated some ideas and formulated a tentative thesis, they may want to sketch an informal outline. Informal outlines can take many forms. Perhaps the most common is simply the preliminary thesis followed by a list of major supporting ideas.

Hawaii is losing its cultural identity.
-pure-blooded Hawaiians increasingly rare
-native language diluted
-natives forced off ancestral lands
-little emphasis on native culture in schools
-customs exaggerated and distorted by tourism

Often used to generate ideas, clustering diargrams can also serve as rough outlines. (Hacker 11)

Clean up

Make lists, diagrams, or outlines to organize the ideas. An outline may be the most helpful planning material. It will include an introduction with a thesis statement, some arguments with supporting details, and a conclusion. For example, the outline will be like the following: (How do I get started writing)

             1) Introduction
                 A) I love school. (Thesis Statement)
             2) Arguments
                 A) I see my friends in school everyday (Add examples)
                 B) It is fun to have Snack Time. (Add examples)
                 C) I enjoy sports a lot. (Add examples)
             3) Conclusion
                 A) I wish I can go to school during the summer too. 

Write the first Draft

A writer needs to have all the writing materials- lists, diagrams, and outlines- close at hand when an intial draft is being written. Such planning materials will encourage the writer to keep writing. Include in the draft an introduction with thesis, body paragraphs with supporting details, and a conclusion. For most kinds of writing, an introduction announces a man idea, several body paragraphs develop it, and a conclusion drives it home. A writer can begin drafting, however, at any point. For example, if it is difficult to write an introduction first, save it for later and draft the body first. When finished with the first draft, proofread and edit much as possible. Once the first draft is complete and proofread, continue the writing process with the second draft and then the final. (Hacker 13)

Don't Stop Writing

Writer's block is less likely to happen if you keep writing. Also practice make perfect. Similar the brainstorming. Once you have started writing something that you like, even when you have passed the point where you don't think what you are writing is your best, keep on writing. A writer can always go back and edit later.[2]


Works Cited

  • Hacker, Diana. A Writer's Reference. 5th Ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2003.
  • Lunsford, Andrea A. Easy Writer. 3rd Ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2006.

Composition FAQ