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OASIS Writing Skills

Undergraduate Writing:
Prewriting Tools

Undergraduate resources in the Writing Center

Prewriting Tools

These prewriting exercises will help you identify and reflect on the relevant learning experiences you will include in the narrative. See the selection of blank tools at the bottom of each box. Simply click and download to use.

Resume or CV

If you have a current resume, read it and think back on the experiences you had at each position you held. You might even want to take notes in the margins. You can use this resume as a guide for your narrative. Essentially, the positions you held will determine the main points of the narrative. Additional resume resources are housed on the Career Services Center website.

Time Line

If you would prefer to think of your life in a grander scope, beyond what you would put on a resume, create a rough time line of your life, marking significant events, experiences, turning points, and jobs. Use the time line as a way to think about your life and what you have learned.

Mind Map

Alternatively, perhaps you have an idea of what you learned but not when or how. Use a mind map to brainstorm from the course learning outcomes outward.


Kolb’s (1984) experiential learning theory suggests that four different skills compose the learning cycle: concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation. Create a chart to identify the components of your learning cycle.

  • Experience: What activity occurred?
  • Observation: What did you think about the activity?
  • Conceptualization: What theory did you develop from the observation?
  • Experimentation: How did you put that theory into practice?




Kolb, D.A. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Prentice-Hall.

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