Students writing in English often have problems getting started and tend to obsess about grammar and writing error-free prose. Freewriting (FW) is an excellent icebreaker for starting writing and focusing on content over form. It is a 10-15 minute activity in which the writer writes without interruption, emphasizing production and the generation of ideas. FW forces students to think in English. The activity de-emphasizes student obsession with correctness. Elbow (1973) believes that regular FW is the most effective way to improve writing. The presenter will explain the benefits of FW, demonstrate how to implement the activity and apply it to later writing.
This presentation will demonstrate how a FW activity can be implemented into an essay writing class to help students generate ideas and communicate without obsessing over ‘correctness.’ The presenter will explain the rationale, process and outcomes of this activity. In addition, the presenter will provide a list of potential FW topics for teachers to use, and show some student writing examples.
Sean Gaffney, Specially Appointed Instructor