Analyze The Writing Situation

Before you start first draft, take time to Analyze the writing situation.

Consider the following questions.

• What is your purpose?
• What do you want to accomplish with this piece of writing?
• Who is your audience?
• Why would they want to read this piece of your writing?
• What are the constraints under which you are working?
• How long should the piece be?
• How long do you have to write it?

If you take the time to write out the answers to these questions before you begin your project, you will benefit in several ways.

First, from the very start you will be thinking about who is going to read your writing.

Second, you will be more aware of the limitations you are working under and start planning accordingly.

Third, you will focus your mind on your task and start to generate ideas.

Here is an example of how you might analyze your writing situation if you were planning a 2500 word paper for a history course on Elizabethan England.

• Writing Situation Analysis:

Working title: Why were there No women Shakespeares?

Purpose: To show why no well-known women writers emerged in Elizabethan England, to demonstrate that cultural and social conditions would have made it almost impossible for a woman to make her mark as a writer in that era.

Audience: The instructors and other students in the class. Assume that they are interested in understanding the forces that shaped women’s lives in the time of Elizabethan England and that they have heard questions such as “why were there No great women writers or scholars in earlier centuries?" Assume also that they already know a good deal about the Elizabethan era.

Constrains: Paper can be no more than ten double-spaced pages. First draft should be ready in two weeks. It is required to cite four sources, only two of which can come from Internet. It may require at least two trips to the library.

So, take time to Analyze the writing situation.

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