Brainstorming

Topics: Writing / Pages: 6 (1422 words) / Published: Feb 20th, 2013
In this strategy, a topic or idea is examined from six distinct viewpoints — hence the name. Describe the topic (what is it?), compare it (what is it like or unlike?), associate it (what does it make you think of?), analyze it (what constituent parts is it made of?), apply it (how can it be used?), and argue for and/or against it (how can you support or oppose it?). Cubing was developed as a critical-thinking exercise to help students express their thoughts in opinion essays, but it can be adapted for general nonfiction writing, though it is of limited value for fiction. A similar technique is to explore three perspectives: The first is to describe the topic and its features, its constituent parts, and its challenges, and to compare and contrast it with other topics. The second is to trace the history of the topic and the influences on it throughout that history, and the topic’s evolution. The third is to map the topic to similar contemporary topics as well as to its influences, and to topics that it influences. 2. Freewriting Write. You don’t know what to write? Then write that. Just write. Have a quantitative goal: 500 words, three pages, five minutes — it doesn’t matter. Just write. Do not pause in order to spell correctly or write flawlessly, and don’t go back to rewrite. Turn off your inner editor. Do not strive for coherence. Just write. Consider closing your eyes while you’re writing or typing, or turn the computer monitor off. Just write. 3. Listing If your intent is to write an essay or a review or profile, what do you want to communicate? If you wish to craft a story, which ideas and elements do you wish to convey? Jot down a list of phrases or single words you will return to later. For nonfiction, the list can consist of opinions, arguments, facts, questions, or components, or any combination of the above. For fiction, list people, places, and things, values and qualities, goals and obstacles. Don’t outline at this

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