There are five steps in the prewriting process that are helpful in the development of any topic. These steps are: brainstorming,clustering,freewriting,narrowing a topic,and outlining. The first step is brainstorming, in which the writer merely lists ideas on the specified topic. At this point, no idea is discarded. This step is the most basic and requires no organization. The second step is clustering. Clustering adds a little more specificity. With this idea, the writer places the main idea in a circle in the center of the organizer.
The ideas are then connected with lines; this method is also commonly referred to as a spider web, bubble web, or mind map. Following clustering, the writer should move on to the freewriting stage. At this point, the writer usually has an idea about the topic and the ideas he/she would like to include. When freewriting, the writer simply lets his/her ideas flow onto the page; paying no attention to conventional errors or re-reading until complete. The ideas should be able to flow completely although, at this point, seemingly unorganized.
Following the review of the prewriting, the writer is able to see what areas of the topic are well-supported, which areas need support, which areas to omit and therefore can determine how to narrow the topic. Finally, we come to the final stage of creating the outline. The outline is the most detailed and specific. The main idea of the paper is included; along with the main idea of each pragraph and the supporting details to be included within each paragraph. Following this process, the writer will find it very easy to complete a paper on a given topic.