Brainstorming is an effective and efficient activity to generate new ideas, thoughts that eventually lead to the solutions of several problems at a time. Brainstorming can be performed in groups or you can do it on you own. Start brainstorming session, when you are refreshed and relaxed to produce ingenious, original and creative ideas. Sit at the table and write down as many ideas on this subject as possible. Do not be afraid to sound silly, write everything that comes to your mind.
The next step is to bind your ideas and to assemble them into several topics, which require more careful investigation. Then jettison all other ideas, especially strange or irrelevant ones. Once you have finished this process you will see that you have come up with the idea which can serve as the starting point for essay writing.
Steps of the process in detail are:
1. Come up with the existing problem that should be investigated. For many people, the problem has some negative meaning. But here, you should present some facts that should be explored; it does not mean that they have to be negative ones, e. g. "The efficiency of Basic Health Care for Cats".
2. Present it clearly. Every person who reads it should understand what you intend to say.
3. Discover as many solutions and answers to the problem as possible. Do not be shy to express your ideas. You should write down all solutions you have thought of, even if they seem bizarre to you.
4. Select several (approximately five or six) ideas you like best. Set several criteria that give the best answer to the problem. Criteria may start with the word "must" or "should".
5. Score every idea (from one to five, for example) depending on how well it corresponds to the criterion. Once all ideas have been scored, sum up the points.
The idea with the highest score is actually the best one for writing an essay. Nevertheless, keep notes of all the ideas because even the best idea might not be work in the future.
If you still can not find the right topic, consult our essay writers or your tutor. No doubt they know the answers to all your questions.
2.1: Brainstorm for the Essay
This resource was written by Jaclyn M. Wells.
Last edited by Allen Brizee on March 23, 2009 .
This resource covers methods of developing ideas for the essay you will be required to write.
After you have a good grasp of what the prompt is asking, you should figure out how you will respond. You may have heard teachers refer to this stage as pre-writing. At this stage, you should brainstorm many ideas. You won’t necessarily use all of the ideas you come up with, but it’s helpful to have lots of ideas to choose from when planning your essay. After you have gathered many ideas, you’ll work on figuring out your main idea. Even though you may feel rushed to begin writing right away, it’s important to take some time to go through this step to make sure you have an interesting main idea and plenty of supporting points.
You might use one or both of the following methods to gather your ideas. Experiment with both of them to see what best helps you brainstorm your ideas.
Brainstorming Method 1: Idea Map
Drawing a map of your ideas is helpful in many ways. First, people often find that seeing a visual representation of their thoughts helps them to add more ideas and sort through them. Also, drawing a map might help you see how your thoughts connect to one another, which will help you when you begin organizing your essay.
In the center of the map, write your topic and draw a circle around it. When you come up with a new idea, write it down, draw a circle around it, and draw a line to show how it connects to the topic in the center and/or the other ideas you’ve written down. Look at the main ideas you’ve written and see if you can think of other ideas that connect to them. Remember that it is okay—actually, it is great—if you have many ideas right now. You won’t necessarily use all of them in your essay, but all it’s important to collect many ideas right now. The map below uses the sample essay topic from the previous resource to show you what an idea map might look like.
To practice with this brainstorming method, draw your own idea map using the sample essay topic.
Brainstorming Method 2: Idea List
Rather than draw a map, some people prefer to brainstorm by simply listing their ideas. This is a fairly straightforward method of brainstorming ideas. Though not as visual as an idea map, lists are a great way of finding and recording your ideas. Idea lists help you “mine” your ideas so that you have many to choose from and also help you find a main idea and supporting points, which will be useful as you plan your essay.
At the top of your list, write your topic. Writing out your topic helps you focus on it. Then, list the ideas you think of in the order that they come to you. You can use many lists to find supporting points for each of your ideas. The lists below use the sample essay topic above to show you what idea lists might look like.
Example Idea List
What is an important goal I have for the next few years?
- finishing school
- getting a better job
- keeping in touch with my friends and family
- learning a new language
How can I achieve my goal?
- to finish school, I can figure out what my goals are for school, find a school that fits my goals, and apply to schools and for financial aid
- to get a better job, I can finish school, learn a new language, search for jobs, prepare my applications, and make a list of people who will give me a good reference
- to keep in touch with my friends and family, I can make a list of everyone’s contact information, like addresses, phone numbers, and email
- to learn a new language, I can pick what language I want to learn, get a dictionary, and find a class
To practice with this brainstorming method, make your own idea list using the sample essay topic.