PRE-WRITING AND OUTLINING ICS 139w 08/08/2011 Syllabus now available http://www.ics.uci.edu/~jwross/courses/ics139w/ What is prewriting? • First stage of the writing process 1. prewriting 2. drafting 3. revising 4. editing 5. publishing • Prewriting is about figuring out what to write Why prewrite? Methods for prewriting 1. Brainstorming 2. Looping (freewriting) 3. Mind-mapping 4. Outlining Brainstorming • Goal: get as many ideas on paper as possible • generate first, filter later • Start with a blank page and write down anything • Don’t worry if it’s a good idea or not, just get it down • Once finished, review for good ideas Brainstorming Exercise • Individually, brainstorm as many ideas for technological “systems” as you can • Topics for Assignment 2 • Can be familiar or unfamiliar • Software • an application, a website, a game, etc • Hardware • the newest gadget or device, etc • More abstract "system” • a network protocol, a socio-technical system, etc Share with a neighbor! Pitfalls of Brainstorming • Group vs. individual brainstorming sessions • Nominal groups > collocated groups • Fear of evaluation • Limited communication channels (blocking) • Free riding Looping (freewriting) • Write down all your thoughts on a subject • generate first, filter later • Good for coming up with interesting ideas • This is prewriting – do not turn in something like this! • stream-of-consciousness not very effective for technical writing Mind-mapping • A way of generating ideas and beginning to organize them 1. 2. 3. 4. Start with a topic / important word Write other important words around it Connect related items Repeat Group mind-mapping: Facebook http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MindMapGuidlines.svg Outlines • A sequential summary of the document • Can be formal or informal I. Topic 1 A. Item 1 i. detail ii. detail B. Item 2 II. Topic 2 A. Item 1 … Topic 1 1) idea 1 2) idea 2 -- question ? potential answer - other idea Topic 2 … • Can outline at multiple levels of detail • section-level, paragraph-level, sentence-level Structure and Organization • Intro – Body – Conclusion • 5-paragraph essay • Others? • Structure recurses! • Can have intro, body, conclusion at all levels • Jump to locations in expository writing • Table of Contents • Make point first in persuasive writing • Or build to a conclusion • No one correct structure Example Outlines: Expository writing • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet • Automatically-generated outline • What does this outline tell us about the structure? • http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/08/creative- commons-images-and-you.ars Example Outlines: Technical Documentation • Documentation • http://developer.android.com/guide/index.html • Tutorials • http://guides.rubyonrails.org/getting_started.html • APIs • http://download.oracle.com/javase/6/docs/api/ Example Outlines: Research Papers • http://chi2012.acm.org/chi2012archivalformat_final.doc • http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1054972.1055017 • http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/587078.587080 Standard Format: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Abstract Introduction Related Work Method Results 6. 7. 8. 9. Discussion Future Work Conclusion References Example Outlines: Computer Code! Headings and Titles • Outlines Section Headings • allows for quick navigation • helps the reader stay situated • breaks up the paper • Titles • Not always necessary in papers • Required for some cases • e.g., web site titles • Informative and engaging: it’s what people judge your paper by! • full-sentence titles Stress-free Outlining Be comfortable • Doesn’t have to be perfect initially • Can outline and change things around without committing Not a required formal step, but is very helpful • Can outline almost anything (emails, etc) • Solution for being understood even while nervous • Outline can be understood without having to “write” • (without worrying about the grammar or style elements) • If understandable, then you’ve already solved half the problem Homework for Wednesday • Decide on a system for Assignment 2 • (can use an example from our in-class brainstorming) • non-specific Facebook is off limits • Bring in a clean outline (hard copy) for peer editing • should outline at least to the paragraph level • does not need to be formal, but should be readable • Remember to check the assignment instructions! • http://www.ics.uci.edu/~jwross/courses/ics139w/assignment2.html BREAK! Peer Editing • Practice editing papers and responding to others’ writing • Multiple eyes catch multiple problems • Get comfortable sharing work with others Giving Good Feedback • First rule: be honest and kind • “looks okay” doesn’t help anyone • If you react to a paper or something feels wrong, point it out • Mutual Respect • Constructive criticism about the text, not the author • Be pleasant, helpful, and professional • Also give feedback on writing strengths! Giving Good Feedback • Pretend you are the target reader • e.g.: you are the hiring manager; you are a new system user; etc. • Don’t rely on your own knowledge or context! • Give suggestions for fixes and improvements • Try and figure out WHY something this wrong • Don’t just look for grammar – editing != proofreading • Also check organization, argument effectiveness, etc. • Editing tips apply • read aloud, look things up, etc Using Peer Editing • Pay attention to the feedback from others! • No one (not even Joel or Dmitri) will catch everything • edit and edit again; iterate and iterate again Peer-Editing: Resumes and Cover Letters • Exchange and edit Resumes/Cover Letters • Use worksheet as a guide • Exchange with at least two (2) classmates • Can also ask Joel or Dmitri to edit, but need two others • You will need to turn your edit sheets on Wednesday • (you can use the comments for editing before then) Closing • Resumes due Tuesday Midnight to EEE Dropbox • (EEE so you can read my comments!) • Bring your editing sheets to class on Wednesday to turn in • Wednesday: bring complete outline for Assignment 2 for peer-editing • hard copy so we can see what edits have been made to it.