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.

Brainstorming techniques

There are several brainstorming techniques, some of which are listed below:

Example Mindmap

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).

                marketing strategies        --> do they work?                  --> I think so  
                oil prices                           --> increase or decrease?      --> increase
                CEO salaries                     --> too high or appropriate?  --> too high
                environment & energy      --> alternative resources?     --> possibilities (mindmap)
                employment agencies       --> ???
                privatisation                      --> stop or continue?            --> stop



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