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Free writing is traditionally regarded as a prewriting technique practiced in academic environments, in which a person writes continuously for a set period of time with limited concern for rhetoric, conventions, and mechanics, sometimes working from a specific prompt provided by a teacher. While free writing often produces raw, or even unusable material, it can help writers overcome writing blocks and build confidence by allowing them to practice text-production phases of the writing process without the fear of censure. Some writers even use the technique to collect initial thoughts and ideas on a topic, often as a preliminary to formal writing.
Unlike brainstorming, where ideas are listed or organized, a free-written paragraph is comparatively formless or unstructured.