Brainstorming. Custom Essay Writing Service



Whether you have no idea or even if you begin with a good idea, the very act of writing can itself somehow be liberating. It can break open the dams in the mind. Psychiatrists often recommend to their patients who are blocking that they try writing out their thoughts because this process often helps break up those dams. Ideas occur to the writer that would not occur if he or she were not already pouring words onto the page. One idea stimulates another in a stream of association that reaches deep into the subconscious. A trickle of words soon erodes the levee, and before you realize it the Mississippi is pouring through.

Try scribbling across a blank page any impressions, ideas, arguments, irritations, anything that comes to mind in a frenzy of free association. This process is called "brainstorming" and is the way many successful students come up with their paper topics. Discuss the assignment with friends, enemies, random people you run into on the bus, your stuffed armadillo, your pet porcupine, even your family. My best ideas have arisen in opposition to what I have heard others say. Listening to others can be a great aid in helping you define your own take on the subject. Go to the library and check out a book report, journal article, newspaper column, or website on the issue. You may be surprised how quickly responses crystallize in your mind. You may also be surprised by what other readers think is going on. What you at first thought an obvious and commonplace observation barely worth mentioning much less writing a paper about may well turn out to be a unique and brilliant insight all your own. If you see an elephant on the page, don't be all that surprised if the other students see orangutans and zebras.

Even if you still have no ideas to scribble out, starting a first draft may be a good way to get an idea. Start not with a topic or idea, for you have none. Start instead with a literal description of the subject or one of the characters or the question of the assignment. Since you need to begin with the literal anyhow, try writing a brief summary, in your own words, of the plot or structure of the text. That very act may be all you need to start your mind expanding. Is the text interesting? Do you care about anything or anyone in it? Do you like one character and dislike another? Why? Is that what the author intended? Why? What does this tell you about the author and about yourself? What about the ending? Is it convincing? Is it even an ending? What about the language? What kind of people actually talk like this? Keep fishing around until you feel yourself reacting with an opinion or until you can imagine an opinion whether you are sure if you share it or not. But under no circumstances try to hand in the wandering thoughts of this first draft as if it were a finished essay.

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