10-second review: “Odell found that college freshmen could improve their writing as a result of being given help in pre-writing.” p. 73.
Title: “Research Round-up: Oral and Written Composition.” Charles R. Cooper. English Journal (December 1975), p. 73. The secondary school publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).
Summary: Lee Odell did not give a clear description of the pre-writing activities he used with the college freshmen writers.
Comment: The idea of focusing on pre-writing activities is useful. Teachers might try several techniques to help them determine which ones help them to write: brainstorming; free writing (begin to write and let your thoughts follow in any direction they want to go); outlining.
I find that brainstorming works best with me as a writer and seems to work well with most of my students. I urge the students to brainstorm for fifteen minutes, jotting down words and phrases in a list without concern for spelling, grammar, etc., and then to review the brainstorm and formulate the thesis sentence. RayS.