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Brainstorming – An Aid To Writing


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Brainstorming can be made easy with the use of the these simple graphic organizer tips. The three types of graphic organizer brainstorming strategies that we will be looking at are: the T Chart, the web and the cause and effect. This is only the beginning of brainstorming in a way that will make you a concise and detailed writer.

The T Chart is typically used in comparing things. For example, at the top of my paper I may write “Robin” and “Golden Retriever”. I would draw a line under the two words I wrote side by side. I will then draw a line, vertically, down my paper in between the two. On one side I will write the characteristics of a Robin. I might say it flies, has feathers, builds nests, etc. In the colum that I make for the Golden Retriever, I may say: it walks on four legs, has fur, usually lives in a person’s home as a domesticated pet. After you have a pretty good list, go back through both of them, color coding everything that is the same in one color and the things that are different another color. This will make the ideas easier for you to sort later.

The web is a very common way of brainstorming subtopics and ideas that can be incorporated into a piece of writing. To begin brainstorming with a web, place the topic of your piece in the center of the paper. From there think of everything you know to be true about that topic, such as the sky is blue, sometimes has clouds, etc. When you think of that list of broader subtopics, draw a line from the central topic to each of the subtopics. From the subtopics, draw lines to what you know to be true about the subtopics. For example, you could draw a line from “clouds” and draw a separate line to each type of cloud you will be discussing. This organizer can be used with fiction texts as well. You can make a web regarding a place you have been with subtopics such as people, the scenery, the smell, the sounds, etc. You can then draw lines from each of the senses that you experienced and elaborate on each of these.

Finally, the cause and effect chart is a good way of writing about consequences or outcomes of various situations. Write something that someone may do or something that may happen and the effects that it may have, such as: divorce affects children. You would then draw an arrow out of that and write “Effect 1″ and write an effect that would take place in a child’s life related to divorce. You would repeat each of these steps until you have a list of effects relative to the topic at hand.

These are just a few of the multitude of different graphic organizers that will help one organize information, in order to produce a concise and interesting piece of writing. Brainstorming may seem too time consuming or not worth bothering with. However, just a few minutes devoted to planning what you are going to write could be the difference between an award winning piece and a piece that no one wants to read. Brainstorming is also very useful in selecting topics to build web-sites.

Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to Brainstorming

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  • Posted On December 31, 2006
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