Brainstorming techniques for writing essays

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Let us assume you are given the topic of advertising. This general topic is very broad. If I were to make a list of ideas or related words with the topic of advertising this is what it might look like:. Clustering is used to establish relationships among your ideas. To cluster ideas, write your topic in the center of a sheet of paper. Draw a circle around it, and surround that circle with related ideas, connecting the two together with lines. If some of the ideas lead to more specific ideas, write those down, stemming from main ideas. See the example below:. Here is a link to some other useful graphic organizers.

What happened? What is the topic? What is the significance of the topic? What is the basic problem? When did it happen? When is the issue most apparent? When did the issue or problem develop?

When is action needed to address the issue or problem? Why did it happen? Why did the issue or problem arise?

Why is it your topic an issue or problem at all? Why did the issue or problem develop in the way that it did? How did it happen? How is the issue or problem significant?

4 Brainstorming Techniques That Will Help You Write Creative Content

How does it affect the participants? How can the issue or problem be resolved? A thesis statement is the central message of a paper, or what you want the reader to learn after reading. All supporting details will refer back to the thesis. What you wrote in the first blank is the topic of your paper; what you wrote in the second blank is what focuses Specific Assertion your paper.

I am writing about polygraphs , and I am going to argue, show, or prove that its use by employers should be banned. Draw 10 lines extending out from your subject with any kind of information connected to your topic at the end of those lines. Draw 10 more lines extending out from your subject! It may become difficult at this point, but keep forcing yourself to think of more connections; this may help you get to a really interesting and unique idea.

Draw lines coming off your smaller lines. You want your connections to be comprehensive and farreaching. Now examine all of the information in your web of ideas. Note the areas that have interesting connections that may become good points and ideas for your paper. The point of this exercise is to get all of your ideas out on the paper so you can see them and the connections between them more clearly. Write down the answers to your own questions as a way to think through potential ideas.

A useful brainstorming strategy is to think aloud. It is productive to brainstorm by having a conversation with someone else perhaps a friend, peer, family member, mentor, or instructor.

The Importance of Brainstorming before Essay Writing

Also, drawing a map might help you see how your thoughts connect to one another, which will help you when you begin organizing your essay. In the center of the map, write your topic and draw a circle around it. Remember that it is okay—actually, it is great—if you have many ideas right now.

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The map below uses the sample essay topic from the previous resource to show you what an idea map might look like. To practice with this brainstorming method, draw your own idea map using the sample essay topic.

Brainstorming Techniques | Guides

Rather than draw a map, some people prefer to brainstorm by simply listing their ideas. This is a fairly straightforward method of brainstorming ideas. Though not as visual as an idea map, lists are a great way of finding and recording your ideas.


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At the top of your list, write your topic. Writing out your topic helps you focus on it.

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