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Writing Strategies and Grammar

Brainstorming Strategies

The best way to start a paper is to gather your thoughts and focus your energy in an informal manner. Finding a brainstorming strategy that you like will cause an inspirational response. Below are some techniques that can help stimulate the brainstorming process.


Freewriting: Write down whatever comes to mind. Free writing is a means to get your mind and pen in a ‘writing place.’ The quality and style of the free write is unimportant. Set aside time just to sit and write down anything! Use description if that pleases you, draw a cartoon, write your frustrations on paper. Putting pen to paper is enough to get ideas to flow.


Researching: Get to know your topic. Picking a topic that interests you will inspire you to write. However, don’t tie yourself to a topic without exploring the sources first. Just by reading, ideas will generate.


Visual Webbing: Put a scattered brain to work. A good idea needs a concrete starting point. Start by jotting down ideas in a chart, web, or shape pattern for a topic and interconnect them. Force yourself to create as many sub-topics as possible in your web; generating as many ideas as possible is the goal here, even if they don’t end up as part of the outline or draft


Listing: Bulleting a ‘to-do list on a topic. Logical minds like lists where they can go through step-by-step and make sure that nothing has been forgotten or missed. Just by creating a list of ‘to-do’ or ‘to-write,’ starting the project becomes a lot less daunting.


Question: Answer the most basic questions. Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? You put your topic on trial to see whether these questions can be answered within the essay.


Note: Make a schedule you’re comfortable with. The key is to give yourself a realistic schedule that you know you can stick to. Take breaks and be self-aware.


These are not the only ways to brainstorm! These strategies are just some of the many ways you can brainstorm. Knowing your process is going to be the easiest way to get started. Cooking a dish starts with assembling the ingredients. Beginning a new video game starts the player at Level One. Writing is a process that needs to be assembled and started at Level One! It should be explored from whatever means gets you writing!