Academic Writing

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“Invention” or “Discovery” is the means whereby a writer or orator either finds (discovers) or creates (invents) content. In academic writing or speaking, invention often is thought to begin with research, but students also use invention techniques to help them prepare for research. Invention fosters critical thinking skills, so that as students do their research, they are more open to various problems and perspectives and more able to connect what they learn to their personal experiences and knowledge; invention also helps writers or speakers narrow a topic, clarify a thesis, develop ideas, or find arguments. In addition, once some preliminary reading or drafting is done, invention techniques can help he writer or speaker to refocus.…show more content…
7. Do this each class meeting for a period of time leading up to the drafting stage of a writing assignment. 8. Follow up the group session with a 10-minute writing period. Ask each student to select at least one idea the group came up with and elaborate on it. Remind them the writing won’t be graded or collected. 9. If you don’t have time in class, you can assign brainstorming for outside work and grade the quantity (but never the quality) of their work. Have students brainstorm a list of ideas about the topic for at least 10 minutes and then write for one hour elaborating on the ideas on the list without stopping.
Students may find this exhausting; they may discard most of what they write. However, they will discover ideas about the topic that they never knew they had.
This should take 20-30 minutes of class time. You can cut the time by omitting the follow-up. Don’t cut the brainstorming to less than 10 minutes, however, because students need at least that much time to warm up and push themselves to think more deeply and reflectively. For a handout on Brainstorming geared to students, see the University Writing Center online handouts.
Focused Freewriting
One of the best ways to get inexperienced writers used to the idea of writing is freewriting, which is writing without judgment or limits (except for time). The theory behind freewriting is that the writer’s conscious mind may be inhibiting ideas. While this theory is
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