Before you start writing your paper, it is important to think about
what you are going to write about first. If you just start
writing and find out halfway through the paper that you do not have
enough valid arguments to finish your paper appropriately, you may have
wasted valuable time. If, on the other hand, you start by brainstorming
about the topic, you can organise your thought process in advance.
Therefore, brainstorming and making an outline before you start writing
will benefit the structure and contents of your paper.
There are several brainstorming techniques, some of which are listed below:
- This means writing down (not structuring) as much as you can about a topic in 10 or 15 minutes.
- This technique involves listing ideas under headings. For example, if
you are thinking of arguments for the two opposing sides of your thesis
- This means that you make connections between ideas by
drawing branches to other related topics or ideas (generating ideas).
- Mind Mapping
- Making a mindmap entails writing down ideas linked to a certain topic.
Let's say you have to write a position paper. The first thing you then
need is a topic and a thesis statement. In a free brainstorming
session, you make a list of as many possible topics you can think about
in 10 minutes. Then you go through the list and select controversial
topics. Add why they are controversial and what your point of view is.
The next question will then be: why? This questions can best be
answered by drawing a mindmap (see below).
--> do they work?
--> I think
--> increase or decrease? --> increase
too high or appropriate? --> too high
environment & energy -->
alternative resources? --> possibilities (mindmap)
stop or continue?