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Brainstorming



Brainstorming
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.3

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    color-code, generate, judgments, unexpected, punctuation, original, further, assignment, writing, highlight, interesting, brainstorm, link, actually, thoughts, volunteer


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Brainstorming
By Patti Hutchison
  

1     You are staring at a blank piece of paper. Your assignment is to write an essay. Your mind is as blank as that piece of paper. You need a big wind to stir up the cobwebs in you brain. You need to brainstorm.
 
2     Brainstorming is a way to generate ideas about your topic. When you brainstorm, you open up your head and let all your ideas flow through your pen and onto the paper. There are many ways to do this including listing, webbing, and free writing.
 
3     All brainstorming techniques have some things in common. First of all, start with a blank slate. You can use notebook paper, chart paper, or a large marker board. Write with whatever is comfortable for you- pen, pencil, or markers. But use only one color. No matter what technique you are using, set a timer. You must limit the time you give yourself for brainstorming. Ten minutes is usually a good amount of time.
 
4     If you are making a list, write your topic in big letters at the top of the page. Write down every idea that comes to mind. Use abbreviations as much as possible. Write down single words or short phrases. Don't think about each word you have written; simply move on to the next.
 
5     Webbing is similar to listing. When making a web, begin by writing your topic in the middle of the page. Write it in big letters and draw a circle around it. Then begin writing your words and phrases all around the topic. Do not make judgments about what you write at this time. Don't say, "Oh, that was dumb!" This will make your brain shut down and not volunteer any more ideas. You must keep them flowing freely onto the paper.

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