Brainstorming helps you generate ideas about a topic.
When you brainstorm, you write down every idea that pops into your mind about a topic. Good ideas, bad ideas, funny ideas, stupid ideas—write them all down as soon as you think of them. The important thing is to get as many ideas down on paper as fast as you can.
You don’t have to use every idea that you write down.
When you are brainstorming, don’t judge your ideas, just write them down. You want ideas of all kinds. You probably won’t use them all, but you can decide later which ones to keep and which ones to throw away.
You can brainstorm your ideas in the form of a list, or you can simply write all over the page. Many students find it helpful to use a clustering method (or web) because it allows them to show how their ideas are related to each other.
To freewrite, just start writing and keep going for a minute or two.
Keep your pencil on the paper and write whatever comes into your mind. Instead of simply writing words and phrases, however, try stringing them together into complete thoughts. Grammar, punctuation, and spelling don’t matter at this point. Working the idea through in your mind is what is important. You can polish your writing later.
Graphic organizers can help you gather ideas and organize them visually.
Using a graphic organizer allows you to see how all your ideas are connected to each other. Graphic organizers can help you give information, compare and contrast ideas, define concepts, show causes and effects, or categorize items.
The best compositions include an introduction, a body, and a conclusion
The introduction (the beginning) gets the reader’s attention, tells what the subject is, and lets the reader know what to expect. In shorter essays (such as the kind you’ll most often be asked to write for school), the introduction is usually a single paragraph made up of several sentences.
The body (the middle) explains the subject in depth, giving details and examples to support the ideas. This part of the composition may contain several paragraphs.
The conclusion (the end) wraps up the composition, usually by giving the reader a summary of what was written. Like the introduction, it is usually one paragraph long.