Brainstorming Techniques to Expedite the Writing Process

When you need to write an essay, one of the ways you can come up with a topic for your paper is to brainstorm or think about what you want to write about and outline your paper. Brainstorming helps to organize your ideas and thoughts into a cohesive outline that makes writing your essay easier. When you do brainstorm, don't over think the process too much, just start writing down ideas. You can organize them later as you get ready to formulate an outline.

Brainstorming Methods

There are several ways you can brainstorm when you're about to write an essay. They include:

  • Cubing - this method for brainstorming is looking at the topic or you essay idea in six different ways. You want to describe the topic, compare it to find out what it is like or not like, associate the topic with something it makes you think of, analyze your topic, figure out how you can apply your topic and create an argument for or against the topic.
  • Free Writing - when you free write, you are just getting the ideas and thoughts in your head out by writing them down. Try not to edit yourself as you write, just get everything down on paper regarding your essay's topic. Set a limit, such as three pages, then you can go back and edit what you've written so your thoughts are more cohesive.
  • Create a List - make a list of the facts, arguments, questions or components of your essay. Write down what you wish to communicate in your essay and you can use this information to formulate your outline.
  • Mapping - this is another way of listing ideas for your essay that takes on a graphical form, like a flow chart. Write down ideas and connect them with lines that are color coded to represent similar themes. It doesn't matter what your map looks like, it is just another way to get your thoughts down on paper before you start writing.
  • Research - this is where you will find out the facts that you need to use to support the argument in your essay. Use the Internet, your school's library and other academic information for your research. Take notes in order to have them ready for when you start writing and you don't have to stop to look something up again.

Once your brainstorming is complete, you can outline and start writing your essay.