# 10.2: Prewriting Strategy

The first stage of the writing process is always topic generating and freewriting. Use the topic generating and freewriting techniques described in Chapter 1. After competing these steps, let’s say you determine you want to compare two DSLR cameras, the Nikon and Canon. Generate as many points of comparison you can think of and place them in a map or grid like the one below. Then fill in as many details as possible. This will give you content for your essay and a way to organize them.

Nikon D7000 Canon 60D
Price $685, extra cost for specific lenses, tripod is separate cost$999, specific lenses included, tripod is separate cost
Image quality 16.2 megapixels 18 megapixels
Shutter speed 6 frames per second, 100 shots, good for still objects, portraits 5.3 frames per second, good for continuous shooting, great for action sports like car racing or basketball
Auto-focus system Dynamic ISO range 100-6400 Dynamic ISO range 100-6400, expands to 12800

## The Thesis Statement

For many students, the thesis statement can be the hardest and most important sentence in a paper. It identifies the topic and purpose of the paper. Students will need to develop clear and concise thesis statements that identify the point and purpose of the essay while breaking the subjects down into logically developed paragraphs. Thesis statements should always be written in third person. There are two kinds of thesis statements: a basic thesis statement and a listing or mapping thesis statement.

### Basic Thesis Statement

Despite a slightly higher price, the Nikon D7000 is a better value than the Canon 60D.

The basic thesis statement identifies the topic and makes an assertion about the topic, stating the position of the writer.

### Listing or Mapping Thesis Statement

By contrasting price, image quality, shutter speed and the auto-focus system, it is clear that the Nikon D7000 provides more camera for a slightly higher price than the Canon 60D.

The listing or mapping thesis statement acts like a checklist. In this case, often the writer is not making a judgment; the topic is an explanation rather than an evaluation. The information should be covered in the order listed in the thesis statement. Thus, in a comparison/contrast essay on cameras, the first body paragraph would be on price, the second body paragraph on image quality, the third on shutter speed, and the fourth on the auto-focus system. Writers should have at least three criterion to use to compare or contrast.