19
May

Brainstorming Tips for Writing Papers

Brainstorming is a great technique to prepare you for writing a paper, whether or not you are an expert on the topic. Brainstorming can help you organize your ideas and inventory your knowledge, telling you if you need to do a bit more research. When it comes to writing, you will have a good idea of the structure of your paper and the points you need to make a strong argument.

Free Form

Close your computer and remove any distractions from your workspace. On a blank piece of paper, begin to write down any idea that comes into your head about your topic. No idea is too small or silly to write down. Don’t think about spelling, grammar or where each idea will fit in your paper. Write in point form or using keywords.

Mind Map

Write your main topic in the middle of the page. Write the subtopics of your theme around the main topic. Add even more details around your subtopics until everything you know about your subject is on the mind map. Using different colored pens, connect ideas that are related with lines and arrows. This process will help you to think of ideas, start to organize your thoughts and see where you need to do some more research.

Outline

Don’t worry about getting your outline perfect. You can change it later, if needed. Think about each of the sections you’ll need for your paper, including the introduction, main body and conclusion. List the sections you plan to include in the main body of your paper in a logical order. Then fill in all the details you can think of for each section in point form, including the introduction and conclusion. Rearrange the sections and points if necessary. Make a note of where you are missing information. Use this outline brainstorm to guide your writing.

Reporter Style

In this approach, use the classic journalistic questions: who, what, when, where, why and how. Write each question on a blank piece of paper with lots of space around them to fill in the answers. Answer each question from every possible angle. If your ideas stop flowing, rest for a minute and come back to it. Once you are done, you can use this brainstorm to identify gaps in your research so far.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, May 19th, 2011 at 9:10 am and is filed under Tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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