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Idea Generation: Non-stop Writing

Brief description

This is a quick writing exercise which helps students to find a topic for an assignment or reduce writer’s block.

The exercise teaches students to write more effectively by focusing on one thing at a time: first they produce a text, then they edit it.

Motivation for the exercise and required outcome

The use of this exercise in your teaching or between teaching sessions enables you to set a framework within which the students can work more effectively and improve their writing skills. The exercise can be used to generate ideas and find topics for assignments, and to overcome writer’s block.

Performing the exercise

1. Non-stop writing exercise on AU Studypedia:

  • The students do an individual non-stop writing exercise using "Tool: Free Writing" on AU Studypedia.
  • During the exercise a green bar indicates whether the student is writing fast enough, while a red bar indicates whether the student is stopping too often to think about what they are writing.
  • The goal is that the students should not take breaks but should write non-stop for the entire time allocated – including things which they have not thought carefully about.

2. The students read, edit and adjust their texts:

  • After the exercise, the students are given the opportunity to read and edit their texts so they can be used in an assignment or elsewhere.

3. Optional steps:

  • You can choose to set aside extra time after the exercise to give the students the chance to think about the exercise, for example by talking to the person next to them about what they have learned and whether they had any new or unexpected ideas for further work.
  • You can vary the exercise in several ways. For instance, the exercise can be based on the students’ own topics, or on topics which you have chosen in connection with a specific course or specific teaching.

You will need:

Useful tips:

  • Which topic should the students base the exercise on?
  • How much time should be set aside for the exercise?
  • How much time should be set aside for any editing of the students’ texts?