Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Brainstorming. What's Next?

Directions to my readers: please read yesterday's blogs in which I brainstormed the topic of brainstorming.

Question: I now have a bunch of ideas in my brainstorm. What do I do with them?

Answer: 1. Review the brainstorm. 2. Write a main idea. 3. List topics for paragraphs to support the main idea. 4. Write a draft.

Main idea: Brainstorming before trying to compose generates enthusiasm for writing and produces interesting ideas on your topic.

Topics for paragraphs to support the main idea: 1. Advantages of brain storming. 2. How to brainstorm. 3. Steps after brainstorming.


Why brainstorm? Brainstorming helps to overcome inertia. If you're not enthusiastic about writing or about writing on your assigned topic, try brainstorming. You will soon begin generating ideas that will stimulate your interest in the topic. Before you know it, you will be caught up in communicating your ideas. If you are stuck with a topic in which you have no interest, you will soon find some ideas on the topic that you will want to write about. Brainstorming builds enthusiasm for writing.

How do you brainstorm? Limit your time to ten to fifteen minutes. Write your topic at the top of the page. Begin listing ideas related to your topic. Don't stop to correct spelling or grammar. Just write. Use phrases, single words, short sentences. Don't question whether an idea is relevant or good, just write it down. You can decide the significance of the idea later.

If your brainstorming is handwritten, better print for legibility. You can write just as fast when printing as you can in cursive and you will be less likely to waste time trying to figure out what you wrote. If you think you have dried up all your ideas on the topic, keep trying for the full ten or fifteen minutes. Some of your best ideas will occur to you when you think you cannot produce any more ideas. Do not stop to review what you have written. Reviewing will only slow you up, postpone your thinking and may stop you from thinking altogether. Quit promptly at the end of fifteen minutes.

You will be left with, literally, a mess of ideas. Review your brainstorm. From the ideas in the brainstorm and any additional ideas that occur to you, construct your main idea in a single sentence if you can. Then list the topics that will become the paragraphs supporting your main idea.

You are ready to write. First, the draft. Next, the introduction and final, summary paragraph. Place the main idea after the introductory paragraph. Revise and edit and you will have a composition you will have enjoyed writing. And it all began with brainstorming.

Note to my readers: the previous piece of writing was a DRAFT. For example, when I revise, depending on the degree of formality required, I would drop the you point of view and my use of contractions. I would also alter some of my diction or word choice. Writing informally is a way to help people relax and to put down their ideas more easily.

All the best. RayS.

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