Brainstorming New Strategies For Essay Writing

Sometimes when starting a new piece of written work, it is difficult to judge where to start or if there is enough information to get the project underway.

Brainstorming is a great way of getting all your thoughts and ideas in one place. This can help identify what other information is needed for the project, the order in which you may tackle the project and thinking about links to other concepts. Essentially you are applying critical thinking to chaotic thoughts.

There are several Brainstorming strategies outlined below.

Free Writing

Just write. Don’t worry about punctuation, grammar or spelling - just write about the topic, write about what you want your reader to know and write about what extra information you need. Set a time limit and stick to it. This technique is often used in primary school classrooms, where young students have difficulty in deciding what to write.

Breaking down the topic into levels

First look at the more obvious visible attributes of the topic. Then start making lists of where that topic fits into various other topics and concepts.

An example would be if you writing about Women’s fashion in the Regency period; firstly, what are the visible attributes of clothing worn at the time, and then look at periods of history prior to and after that period. Then look how the Regency period fits in with current trends not just in England but in Europe and beyond (think history).

Perspectives

Try to look at the topic you are writing about form a completely different perspective. If you take the example of a group of artists all painting the same subject, each piece of work will be different not just because of the style of the artist but because they have viewed the subject from a different angle. When applying this process to your work, you need to discuss how others (writers, authors, researchers) have approached the topic.

Cubing

The idea behind this strategy is to look at your topic not just from one other perspective but from six as in the six sides of a cube.

  • Describe it.
  • Compare it.
  • Associate it.
  • Analyze it.
  • Apply it.
  • Argue for and against it.

If you can see any patterns emerge in the answers to the information on the sides of the cubes this could be the information that you need to pursue to develop your thesis.

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