Brainstorming is a method students can use to generate ideas for writing a paper. In the process of brainstorming you should suspend any concerns about staying organized. The goal is to pour your thoughts onto paper without worrying about whether they make sense or how they fit together.
Brainstorming for Right Brains
To get started, you will need a few clean pieces of paper, some tape, and a few colored pens or highlighters.Write your main idea or topic in the middle of the paper.
Start writing down thoughts in no particular pattern. Write words or passages that pertain to your main idea in some way.Once you've exhausted the random thoughts that come into your head, start using prompters like who, where, when, and why. Do any of these prompters generate more words and ideas?
Don't worry about repeating yourself. Just keep writing!If your paper gets full, use a second sheet. Tape it to the edge of your original paper.Keep attaching pages as necessary.Once you have emptied your brain, take a short break from your work.
When you return with a fresh and rested mind, glance over your work to see what kinds of patterns emerge.You'll notice that some thoughts are related to others and some thoughts are repeated. Draw yellow circles around the thoughts that are related. The "yellow" ideas will become a subtopic.
Draw blue circles around other related ideas for another subtopic. Continue this pattern.Don't worry if one subtopic has ten circles and another has two. When it comes to writing your paper, this simply means you may write several paragraphs about one idea and one paragraph about another.
Once you finish drawing circles, you may want to number your individual colored circles in some sequence.You now have a basis for a paper!
Brainstorming for Left Brains
If the process above makes you break out into a cold sweat, you may be a left brain. If you aren't comfortable with chaos and you need to find a more orderly way to brainstorm, the bullet method might work better for you.
Put the title or topic of your paper at the head of your paper.Think of three or four categories that would serve as subtopics. You can start by thinking how you could break best down your topic into smaller sections. What sort of features could you use to divide it? You could consider time periods, ingredients, or sections of your subject matter.
Write down each of your subtopics.Don't worry about the order of your subjects as you write; you will put them into order once you have exhausted all your ideas.Once you have emptied your brain, take a short break from your work.
When you return with a fresh and rested mind, glance over your work to see what kinds of patterns emerge.Number your main ideas so they create a flow of information.You have a rough outline for your paper!