Freewriting and mapping are invention techniques used to generate ideas to write about.
  1. Freewrite for 10 minutes on a potential topic: No stopping (even if you have to write “I don’t know what to write” until another idea comes), and don’t worry about grammar, spelling, or punctuation.
  2. Reread what you wrote, circle the most appealing option.
  3. Freewrite on that option for 10 minutes, honing in on what interests you (same rules).
  4. Reread what you’ve got, circle the best stuff.
  5. Spend 10 minutes contemplating a claim, and the stasis for that claim. Do you want to argue that something exists or is happening (conjecture)? That the nature of something is this or that (definition)? That something is good or bad, or better or worse than something else (quality)? That we should do something in particular about this situation (policy)? That we are totally barking up the wrong tree about something (objection)?
  6. Put the main claim you’ve decided on in a circle, and then map potential appeals you might use to make that claim. Come up with at least one logical appeal and at least two pathetic appeals.
  7. Spend the rest of the time online looking up information about your idea or continuing to jam free-style for your final paper.