How Can Freewriting Help Your Students Work Through Complex Problems?

For students, free writing can allow them to let go of what they think “the teacher wants” and move toward freeing up their minds to think. Often ungraded, this type of low-stakes writing exercise can be fantastic tools for students in any course or discipline. Free writing takes students away from simply seeking the correct answer and allows them to consider larger or other aspects of a topic, hopefully relieving the anxiety they might have at times when they can’t find the correct answer but also, perhaps, aren’t allowing themselves to think. In any discipline or course, we can use free writing to help our students use written language to understand what they think, where they're stuck, and hopefully how to build on what they've been learning in your classroom. 

Feel free to contact WAC Director Chris Salerno at if you'd like to talk about ways to incorporate these or any other writing exercises into your course.