• Sat
  • Nov 22, 2014
  • Updated: 4:44am

Free writing

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 October, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 October, 2005, 12:00am
 

Most studentS are nervous about writing, especially in their second language, because they fear they will make a lot of mistakes.


Every sentence could invite more red ink from the teacher.


This discourages them from getting started, and when they do start, they use correction fluid on almost every paragraph.


This is not the right way to achieve good results. Let's get started without worrying about being correct.


This is the idea behind free writing.


You are given a topic: Prepare a talk on road safety for a school assembly.


Write the key words on a piece of paper: Road Safety.


Look at your watch. You need to time yourself. You can choose how long it will take: five to 10 minutes is recommended.


Start writing about your topic. Do not stop under any circumstances. Do not look back. Do not read what you have written. Write, write, write. Do not worry about spelling or punctuation. Pay no attention to grammatical mistakes.


Keep writing even if this means you just repeat yourself. Keep the pen moving and the brain block will gradually lift.


When time is up, read what you have written. Read it aloud if possible. Listen for good ideas. Draw a line through bits you have no use for. Circle good points.


The first time you do it, it will be unfamiliar and you may feel silly, but it is sillier to give up any well-known technique after only one try.


With regular practice, some students find that the system is great fun and can help improve their writing skills.


You wouldn't play a serious game of basketball without doing warm-up exercises first, would you?


Exercise 1


Look through this sample of free writing. Delete what you cannot use and circle the good stuff.


You must be careful when you cross roads. If you don't look right and left and right again, you may not see an oncoming car. And you should look for zebra-crossings and traffic lights. Yes, traffic lights - red, what's that orange colour? I can't remember, green. Watch the picture of - another word I cannot remember - I am half asleep today - do not cross roads half asleep! Be alert - good word - oh and it's amber - another five-letter word beginning with a - memory is funny. Accidents - that's the main point. Pain and blood, losing a leg. Horrible. Watch the pedestrians. Cross when it's flashing. Jay-walking is dangerous. Playing on the street. Highway code. Time's up!


Exercise 2


Carry on this piece of free writing on libraries.


Libraries are full of books. They also...........................................................


Central Library is........................................


The school library is on the .......................................


I use libraries when...................................................


Exercise 3


Try some free writing of your own for five minutes on the topic: The benefits of television.


Here are some ideas to get you going: information, education, documentaries, news, entertainment, family, announcements.


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