Before you start your first draft, take time for analyzing your writing situation.
Consider the following question:
• What is your purpose? What do you want to accomplish with this piece of writing?
• Who is your audience? Whey would they want to read this piece?
• What constraints are you working under? How long should the piece be and 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’ll benefit in several ways. First, from the very start be more aware of the limitations you’re working under and start planning accordingly. Third, you’ll focus your mind on your task and start to generate ideas.
Here’s an example of how you might analyze your writing situation if you were planning a 2,500- 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 woman to make her mark as a writer in that era.
Audience : The instructor and other students in the history class. Assume that they’re interested in understanding the forces that 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.
Constraints : Paper can be no more than ten double-spaced pages; first draft due in two weeks, required to cite four sources, only two of which can come from the Internet. This work will require at least two trips to the library.