Introduction Getting Started “Writer’s block” is a commonproblem to many students. This iswhen ideas for writing do not comevery easily. It is easy to get veryfrustrated when beginning to write.Brainstorming activities can helpyou get ideas for your essay andhelp you become less frustrated.
Brainstorming Three Activities Clustering Listing Freewriting
Brainstorming Clustering Listing Freewriting Clustering1. Start with the main topic of your essay. Write that word in the center of your paper.2. Write down any sub-topics that are connected to that main topic. Draw arrows to the sub-topics from the main topic. Transportation Alcatraz Museums San Francisco Chinatown Golden Gate Bridge Fisherman’s Wharf
Brainstorming Clustering Listing Freewriting Clustering 3. If you have new ideas, connect those words to the appropriate sub-topic. Cable Car BART BusCivilian Prison American Legion 1934-1963 Transportation Modern Art Old Military Museum Prison Alcatraz Museums Asian Art Museum Famous Prisoners San Francisco Restaurants Completed 1937 Chinatown Golden Gate Bridge Stores Scenic View Theaters Fisherman’s Wharf Clam Chowder Ships boats
Clustering Clustering Listing Freewriting Example #1 View of Sunny Trees Yellow View of Sky Good-Sized Windows Bedroom Favorite RoomSoft Bed Comfortable Big Closet Furniture Rocking Chair Quiet
Clustering Clustering Listing Freewriting Example #2 Volleyball Soccer Cleaned Housewife Houses Went to Liked Sports church Very ReligiousWaitress Taught Sunday Hard Worker School Gave to My Mother charityRead many books A Leader Intelligent After-School Club Coordinator Had many different interests President of PTA
Brainstorming Clustering Listing Freewriting Listing1. Start with the main topic of your essay. Write that word or words at the top of your paper.2. Write down any word or phrase that might relate to your main topic underneath. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar. Your goal is to write down as many ideas as quickly as possible. Why I Want to Become a Nurse
Brainstorming Clustering Listing Freewriting Listing Why I Want to Become a NurseLike science Challenging jobLike problem solving Opportunities for promotionMany jobs available in nursing Interested in study of diseasesGood salary Interested in study of human bodyLike working in a hospital Flexible hoursWant to help other people Will always learn something new
Listing Clustering Listing Freewriting Example #1 How to be a Successful Language Learner•Practice speaking with others •Ask others to correct you•Take classes •Look for patterns in your errors•Guess at the meanings of words •Organize your study time•Listen to radio or TV •Use special techniques to remember new words•Observe others •Ask for help when you don’t understand•Set reasonable goals •Review material regularly•Don’t be afraid to experiment •Use a dictionary•Study vocabulary in related topics •Choose a good textbook
Listing Clustering Listing Freewriting Example #2 Cambodia•Major Cities: Battambang, Phnom Penh •Artful dances•Angkor Wat •Theravada Buddhism•Borders Vietnam, Laos, Thailand •King Sihanouk•Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers •Pol Pot/Khmer Rouge•Once a French colony •Weather: hot and rainy•Tuol Sleng Prison •Minority Groups: Cham, Pear, Brao•Agriculture: rice, rubber, fish, timber •Land mines•Cambodian writing: originally from India •Education
Brainstorming Clustering Listing Freewriting Freewriting1. Start with the main topic of your essay. Write that word or words at the top of your paper.2. Freewriting is like talking to yourself on paper. Write as much as you can in connected sentences (not lists) about your topic. Write as quickly as you can without stopping to think about grammar or organization. My Favorite Book
Brainstorming Clustering Listing Freewriting Freewriting My Favorite Book My favorite book… I don’t know where to start. I read so many booksthat are interesting that it’s hard to choose just one. I guess I couldstart by talking about the kinds of books I really like. I like biographiesand autobiographies the best. I really enjoy reading about anotherperson’s life. One of my favorite books is called Roots by Alex Haley.How the author was able to trace his family history all the way back toAfrica was amazing! Another book I really enjoyed was Carl Sandburg’sbiography of Abraham Lincoln. What an incredible president! There arealso some very interesting books about leaders like Napoleon, Churchill,and Stalin. Well, I guess that gives me a few ideas about where I canstart on my topic.
Freewriting Clustering Listing Freewriting Example #1 A Problem I Have I have of course many problems in my life like everybody has, butright now I am feeling new problems like the cultural shock. I got outof my country and came to study in the U.S.A. One of the biggestproblems is to make friends, to make or have the good old friends Ihave back home. It’s so hard here- you don’t know how to act, whetheryou should ask them their telephone number or wait for them to do it,whether you should call them very often or not. Are they bothered bymy language problem? Can they not carry on a conversation with mebecause they always talk about local or national subjects about which Iam not informed? This is really hard and sometimes makes me feel likea stranger in a group where everybody is laughing and talking and theysupposedly were my friends.(Spack, R., 1996)
Freewriting Clustering Listing Freewriting Example #2 Things I Brought to the U.S. I have been living in the U.S.A. for about four years. When I cam here,I brought with me a few books, my favorite T-shirts, and a little hand-made pillow from my mother. Among some of the books I brought with meis one called The Little Prince. It is a very interesting book. Every time Iread it, I find new and different ideas that I can practice in my life.Some of my favorite T-Shirts are souvenirs from places which I hadvisited in Colombia where I come from and they remind me of the goodtimes I had. The little handmade pillow from my mother is a small cottonsquare, with five lines around it and my Christian name on it. Sometimeswhen I have difficulties in my courses, I look at it asking for help like mymother used to give me when I was living at home. And what I left behind was a happy family life, my good friends, and apretty city in the north of Colombia near the Atlantic Ocean, where it isalways sunny and windy. (Raimes, 1987)
References PowerPoint Presentation by Ruth Luman: Modesto Junior College. Raimes, A. (1987). Exploring Through Writing: A Process Approach to ESL Composition. New York: St. Martin’s Press. Spack, R. (1996). Guidelines: A Cross-Cultural Reading/Writing Text. New York: St. Martin’s Press. This project incorporates portions of copyrighted works. These items are included under the fair use exemption of the U.S. Copyright Law and have been prepared according to the educational fair use guidelines. They are restricted from further use.
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