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Think Aloud To Write Well

Sue Gench


If you are a native speaker of English or have mastered spoken English, but having difficulty in basic writing, read this article.


Good writers are capable of expressing themselves. They express their thoughts with clarity and coherence. Now you may think if you are having difficulty in writing, "Good writers have a talent and that's why they write well, but I don't have that talent so I don't write well." Well, having a talent for writing is different than the ability to write well. Here, I am not talking about writing a fiction or poetry, but the ability to "write well", to write a good email message, letter, essay, report, or a research paper which doesn't require a talent but a skill every body can learn. For that matter, first you learn the rules and then put the rules into practice. In this article, I will discuss two processes essential for good writing.

First, it is essential that you have sufficient information on the topic you intend to write. If you are a cook and are asked to write a recipe for French souffle, you must first know how to make it, then you can write a good recipe for it. If you are upset about your boss's unfair treatment to you, you must know what exactly made you upset about it, and if you do, then you can write about it. This article aims to help you put into practice these two processes when writing.

Second, all you need is let your brain take care of it. For that, practice the following process for think aloud:

1) Before starting your essay, ask yourself: "Do I understand the question of this essay?" If you do, then the question is "Do I have sufficient information on this topic?" If you don't, stop there. Gather sufficient information on the topic. Then go to the second step.

2) Read aloud the topic question.

3) Think aloud, and then write down your thoughts. Thinking aloud refers to the task of reading out while writing down what is being thought.

4) Given that you understand the question and you are sufficiently knowledgeable of the topic, think about the answer.

5) Now, think aloud: read out while putting down your thoughts. Don't worry about messy sentences or grammar mistakes. You will take care of it later.

6) Read aloud what you have written down. If you are a native speaker or speak English at the native level, you should be able to hear a flow present in the text while reading along. If you don't hear the flow, stop there at that sentence. Read it again aloud until you think of an alternative to the rough text on the paper. By reading out the text again and again, you will be able to think of a better alternative.

7) Revise your piece using Step 6.

8) To perfect your piece, take a break. The longer, the break, the better you will be able to make it more fluent.

All the ideas that flowed into your mind were your stream of thoughts. When thinking aloud, you stimulated your brain to generate ideas effortlessly, like a stream, continuous and abundant. You evoked your stream of thoughts and then wrote them down so as to go back to revise them to create your final piece.

The brain, in the state of stream of thoughts, creates the magic. Ideas flow into your mind with ease, because thinking is a natural process the brain takes care of. You don't even need to learn it, but just do it. As soon as you start thinking aloud, you will feel an ease at thinking of ideas and writing them down simultaneously. Write every day by applying the think-aloud strategy. Remember to gather sufficient information on the topic before you begin to write.

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