Making a List

Making a list means just what it says, recording ideas that relate directly to a certain subject. Listing is more directed than brainstorming or freewriting; if you decide to make a list as a form of prewriting, then you already have a sense of both your particular focus on the subject and the various aspects related to that focus. You may end up expanding or deleting from your list as you work with it, and that's to be expected. A list is a means of capturing all aspects that you can think of that relate to your focus on the subject.

For example:

Focused Subject: ways in which communication can flow in an organization

  1. traditional top-down, with managers providing information and issuing orders to subordinates
  2. bottom-up, which is rarer, in which management has an open-door policy for receiving information and suggestions from employees
  3. cross-departments, in which people on the same level in the organization share information
  4. working teams, which may include members from various levels of the organization brought together by a special project
  5. grapevine, which cuts through all levels and is the most difficult to control

Need Assistance?

If you would like assistance with any type of writing assignment, learning coaches are available to assist you. Please contact Academic Support by emailing

Questions or feedback about SUNY Empire's Writing Support?

Contact us at