Picking the Right Tool
Prewriting and brainstorming are important when students are writing together or online. Prewriting such as focused free writing, mind mapping, brainstorming, and listing and outlining can help students. There are tools online that make prewriting easier and let students collaboratively plan together before they write. Brainstorming and prewriting are important activities, particularly when writing collaboratively. Writing collaboratively starts when students decide together what they will write. The traditional activities of focused free writing, mind mapping, brainstorming, and listing and outlining can all be done with online tools to collaboratively brainstorm and plan a writing project. In mind mapping, ideas are drawn in circles and common ideas are connected with lines to determine patterns. Longer essays can benefit from mind mapping. Graphic organizers help writers organize their thoughts. Fishbone diagrams, hamburger diagrams, Venn diagrams, and countless other diagrams and charts have been used for decades to help students write.