By: Kangsen Feka Wakai, a 2nd year MFA student
At the Writing Center, part of our role is to guide writers along the way as they make the choices and moves that will lend meaning to their papers. Part of our role is to help writers think.
Thinking about the writing process is as fundamental to the process as the writing itself; it is a way of teasing out ideas, and creating that bridge between the Professor’s expectations for an assignment, and the moves you are supposed to make to meet those expectations.
Therefore, thinking before you write is essential because it helps to assemble your thoughts, while ridding your mind of some of the clutter that can get in the way of writing.
Imagine the mental clutter that governs the freshman college writing student’s mind as he or she juggles academic expectations, acclimatizing to a new environment, and the social pressures that come with both!
Thinking enables strategizing, which in turn provides the kind of distance that can facilitate not only a seamless entry way into an otherwise confusing assignment, but can also guide the writer as he or she engages a particular subject.
For the freshman college writing student, thinking about the assignment can make the difference between understanding and misunderstanding the task at hand.
Brainstorming, I say, is a virtue.