Are your creative juices not flowing? Are you just staring at a blank piece of paper, wishing that it would magically turn into a fully finished essay?
Well, wish no more! Use one of these brainstorming strategies to help you figure out exactly what you want to write. Turn off that Netflix, silence your What’s App, and let’s get started!
Strategy #1: Freewriting.
Like its name suggests, freewriting asks you to write ‘freely.’ Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, punctuation, or anything else. Focus on putting all of your thoughts on a topic on a piece of paper. Write without thinking for a few minutes. It’s OK if your brain jumps from one place to another. After you’re done, reread what you have written and see if there is something interesting there that can be used in an essay.
Strategy #2: Listing.
Write down a list of phrases or words that are related to your topic. If you’re writing about “pollution,” you might come up with a list similar to this:
climate change/global warming
You’ll see that your brain might jump around a bit here or there, too, and that’s OK! Brainstorming is all about creativity, so list your thoughts, and let’s see what comes out!
Strategy #3: Mapping.
Mapping is a categorizing strategy. All of those words and phrases you might have come up with before need to be connected in some way. By grouping related words or drawing lines from “causes” to “results,” you’re able to see how all of these ideas come together. As you create new groups of ideas or new connections, you might be inspired to add more!
Strategy #4: Wh-Questions
Ask the journalist in you the important Wh-questions on a topic: Who, what, where, when, why, and how? Answer the questions and see which ones might need more research to answer, or which ones interest you the most!