Essay Brainstorm Techniques English
Learning to speak English as a second language is not easy- especially when introduced to idioms like “who spilled the beans” or “she let the cat out of the bag.” If you’re trying to write an essay and keep hearing that you need to first “brainstorm” this idiom might be keeping you from putting paper to pen.
Brainstorming is simply when you stop to think about the topic you will be writing about, then write down each idea or though that comes to mind. When writing your essay you must be deliberate with the way you roll out information. However, before you even begin that first draft, the time in which you’re gathering your thoughts, you should write or type as quickly as possible to jot down each thought that comes to mind.
To brainstorm when writing an essay there are two ways you can approach the brainstorming process depending on which you feel will be more beneficial for you.
1. Fill the Page
Grab a pen and paper or your computer and start writing. Any key words or sentences that pop into your mind you should add to your paper. This process might get messy but it’s an effective way to quickly gather your thoughts without the pressure of creating an actual draft.
2. Stay Organized
If the idea of throwing your thoughts onto paper makes you cringe or draw a blank mind- don’t worry. There are a few more “orderly” ways that you can brainstorm- using a diagram can help you quickly gather your thoughts but also keep them organized at the same time. Here are two diagrams commonly used when brainstorming:
Venn Diagram: Most students don’t use a Venn diagram on a daily basis but it can be helpful when brainstorming. If you’ve never used a Venn diagram for the purpose of brainstorming, here’s an example: Perhaps you have an essay in which you’re addressing the benefits vs. the harmful effects of Styrofoam. You could then title the left circle benefits and the right circle harmful effects the middle shape would then be able to include each item that is not specifically a positive or a negative to Styrofoam- each thought that falls somewhere in the middle. After your diagram is labeled you can then list items that below in each category.
Spider Diagram: When creating a spider diagram start by writing down key topics that you want your essay to include. Once again using the Stryofoam essay example, perhaps you would write down “Non-biodegradable,” “Cheap to produce,” and “Useful material.” After you have your main topics that you wish to cover you can branch off of those topics with supporting ideals- and maybe even link your key topics together. In the end, it should resemble a spider web.
After you have brainstormed it’s then time to turn your thoughts into your essay. Read through your thoughts and establish where each will fit within your essay. Your essay should include the following parts:
- 1st body (strongest support)
- 2nd body
- 3rd body
Your brainstorming session then allows you to create an outline using each thought you want to convey in your essay. You’re now ready to view essay samples and start writing!
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Written by Bryanna Davis
Bryanna joined EIC in after returning to the United States from teaching English in China. Her interest in international education, sparked initially by her own study abroad experience in Wales, led her to the company. Bryanna is originally from Missouri and is a graduate from the University of Central Missouri.
Other posts by Bryanna Davis
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.