What is “Brainstorming?” • After you have done some pre-writing (TPAG!) to figure out your focus • Writing down any idea that comes into your head when you think about your topic (words, phrases, symbols, etc.)
Methods • A few of them: Unstructured list, Structured list, Four squares, Web, Timeline, Venn diagram • Discussed here are two frequently-used types: webbing and Venn diagrams
Webbing • Webbing is a way to see what you know about a topic. • Webbing can be used for just about any type of writing.
Webbing (1) • Start with a bubble in the center of the page, then write your thesis statement (main idea) in the bubble Mr. T is the best teacher ever
Webbing (2) • Add supporting evidence or information around the edges in connected bubbles. Awesome musician Funny Mr. T is the best teacher ever Gives easy work Cool room
Webbing (3) • Go back around and explain why your evidence makes your thesis true. Makes up songs about school; easy to remember Awesome musician Makes class interesting Want to pay attention Funny Mr. T is the best teacher ever Weird voices help me remember Want to go to class Can focus on material Gives easy work Cool room High avg. Lots of information
Venn Diagram • A Venn diagram is used to help visualize the similarities and differences between two subjects. • Venn diagrams are very useful when brainstorming a compare/contrast essay
Venn Diagramm (1) • Start with the two topics you’re comparing in overlapping circles. JFK Bill Clinton
Venn Diagramm (2) • Write similarities in the overlapping space. President Popular Good hair Popular wife (?) JFK Bill Clinton
Venn Diagramm (3) • Write differences in the non-overlapping space. Started space program Almost impeached President Popular Good hair Popular wife Bill Clinton JFK Assassinated Still alive
Overcoming mental blocks • If you can’t think of ideas to add to your brainstorm, here’s two tips: • 1) Get detailed! Think about the 5 senses (see, hear, smell, taste, touch) and how they relate to your topic. • 2) Pretend you have a 2-year-old nearby and keep asking “Why?” - Why did I pick this topic? Why might others find it interesting? Why did someone create the topic in the first place? Why do I think my main idea is a good one?